When it comes to rodents in our homes, we often think of small mice scurrying across the kitchen floor on the way to the pantry for food. That can be annoying and leave a mess in our food storage area, but the apparent damage is fairly minimal. Unfortunately, rodents do damage in surprising ways and it’s often unseen.
Mice, rats and even squirrels can cause structural damage to homes, destroy heat and air conditioning ducts, pull down insulation and even cause fire hazards when they chew through wire insulation. Mice will chew on anything that will help build their nests, and take burrow into any soft spaces (think insulation in the walls).
As we head into the fall season, here are a few tips for homeowners:
Seal any openings – Rodents enter your home through small openings – a small rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, and a mouse can squeeze through an opening that is only ¼ inch wide! Do a detailed inspection around the outside of your house and look for small openings or gaps where water pipes, gas lines and power lines enter the home or foundation. Expanding foam from a can helps seal those openings, or a quality caulk.
Look for signs of infestation – Rodents leave signals that they are in the area – chewed cardboard or shredded paper, droppings (scat), chewed wires and urine trails. Under the home look for hanging insulation or destroyed insulation around air ducts.
Listen – If you hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet in the ceiling, or scurrying noises in the walls, that’s a sign you may have mice or squirrels making a nest in your insulation.
Store food in sealed containers – Many people store extra supplies in their garage or shed. If you have a supply of snacks, a hurricane preparedness kit or simply leftover power bars from the last camping trip in unused areas of the home, store them in airtight containers. Food in wrappers, bags and cardboard boxes is an open invitation to unwanted guests!
Call in the Professionals – Lastly, if you see signs of rodents in your home, garage or crawl space, don’t wait. The problem will not go away on its own – it will only get worse! Call in a professional team, like Home Pro Pest Control, and get the local expertise you can count on to take care of the problem the right way, and then help you keep rodents at bay in the future.