Tips for Keeping the Rodents Out This Winter
Uh oh. What was that flash of brown or gray you just saw scurrying across your basement floor? So much for sleeping tonight. We can’t deny it, rodents in your home are no fun to deal with.
It’s a mouse. What’s the big deal?
Mice and rats cause thousands of dollars in damages to people’s homes. We’ve seen damage such as:
- Eating wiring
- Nesting and reproducing
- Eating insulation
- Eating through walls and siding
Mice and rats also carry diseases, such as hantavirus, salmonellosis, bubonic plague, and rat bite fever. They breed at an accelerated rate, so if you had five mice in your house today, there could be 50 in a few months and over 100,000 in a year. Luckily, we haven’t seen anything that bad, yet. But to prevent large infestations of mice and rats, you must be proactive about protecting your home and family.
Why do you get mice inside your home?
Like all animals, mice and rats need these three things to survive:
Our houses are a perfect home for mice and rats. And since a mouse can enter a hole the size of your pinky finger, it’s easy for them to get in. So it’s important to take 15 minutes to walk around your house and see if you have any potential entry points. We can almost guarantee that you will find some.
You may just be in the wrong place at the right time. If there’s construction going on nearby or if you live close to fields, dealing with rodents will be a common problem. When there are changes in weather or to the surrounding area, pests are always driven out of their homes and into ours.
We all want to believe that our homes are the exception to the rule. The truth is, if you have mice, your neighbors probably are dealing with them too. This is just one of many common misconceptions about rodents. If you’ve seen mice, ask your neighbors if they’ve seen them too.
Other Common Misconceptions
Having a pet doesn’t mean you don’t have a rodent problem. It happens time and time again – our customers can’t understand how they have a rodent problem since they have a cat or dog. Unfortunately, pets aren’t on full-time mouse duty. It’s nice when they do keep them away, but everyone is still at risk.
Tom & Jerry has convinced us that cheese is the best attractant for mice. However, cheese doesn’t really do the trick. Instead, try peanut butter. It works every time.
Catch and release doesn’t usually work out well for either you or the mouse. If you catch the mouse and release it, there’s a good chance it is going to either end up back in your house or end up not living long.
Prevention – What can you do?
If you’ve been one of our customers for a while, you have probably heard us talk about being proactive instead of reactive. We have found that customers who are proactive not only save money but they have fewer pest issues. Pest control is founded on the principles of being proactive and using pest control to gain control of the pests. That’s what we do with mice and rats, too. Be proactive. We want to help you prevent the problem so it saves you time and money.
You’re probably wondering what you can do to keep the rodents away. Here are some practical things we’ve seen that work time and time again. Give them a try.
1. Most rodents just want food and will go wherever they can find a free meal. If you have discarded food after a meal, make sure you dispose of it in a tamper-proof container until trash day. If you have pets, never leave extra food out in the open.
2. Empty your pet’s food tray when they are done eating.
3. Make sure your pet food is stored in a sealed container that rodents will not be able to chew through.
4. Wipe down your counters, especially underneath appliances such as toasters and ovens.
5. If you have a shed, make sure you are not storing seeds, grains, or any food item that might tempt a house-hunting rodent to make a visit.
6. Make sure you trim your hedges and prune your trees regularly. Overgrown hedges can create a sheltered environment, and trees provide a gateway to your attic and windows.
8. Seal off or patch entry points bigger than 1/4 inch.
9. Essential Oils are said to help reduce rodent activity as well. Peppermint oil on cotton balls or mothballs will do the trick. Just put them around your home and near potential entry points, like on both sides of the garage, and in the basement.
If you are having rodent issues already, try using glue boards or bait boxes. Putting some peanut butter on the middle of a glue board will do the trick. This is a lot cleaner than the older snap traps. The sooner you get rid of the rodents, the less risk you are assuming.
These tips work really well, but let us know what other tactics have worked for you. Comment below and share your experience, or leave any questions you have.