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How to Rodent-Proof Your Home for Winter
Here are a few "fun facts" about rodents:
- Their teeth never stop growing, so they must chew constantly to prevent their teeth from extending too far. In homes, they often chew on wiring, which can cause electrical problems and even lead to fires!
- Their skeletons and body are extremely flexible, so they can fit through the smallest of gaps. Their travel is really only limited by the size of their skulls. Mice can fit through a gap about the size of a dime, and rats can fit through a gap about the size of a nickel! (A juvenile rodent can go through spaces even smaller than that.)
- Rodents are great climbers and are able to scale almost any rough surface—including wires, pipes, and fences—to get to where they want to go.
- They transmit a number of dangerous diseases, including Salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, Leptospirosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis, and—yes—even the plague. Rodents may also transmit other diseases indirectly if they are infested with disease-bearing fleas. In addition to these health hazards, they can also contaminate food and aggravate allergies.
- Rodents reproduce quickly: mice, for example, reach reproductive age a little more than a month after birth. They can then breed year-round, reaching 5-10 litters per year, with each litter averaging 6-8 offspring. Do the math, and that's a lot of mice!
All that said, would you want rodents in your home?
We didn't think so. But how do you keep them out? You can be sure that, this winter, mice and rats will try to invade your home in order to escape the cold. The good news is that there are steps you can take to rodent-proof your home, and Scherzinger Pest Control is here to help.
Let's talk more about rodent-proofing your home.
What You Can Do to Keep Rodents Out
Rodents can fit through the smallest of spaces, which means it's important to seal all potential entry points into your house. Here are some common places through which rodents enter homes:
- Foundation cracks
- Gaps around windows and doors
- Gaps in shingles and chimneys
- Improperly sealed utility pipes, water and gas lines, heating/air conditioning ducts, and exhaust vents
- Poorly fitted garage doors
- Overhanging branches and shrubs close to your walls and foundation
We recommend inspecting the foundation, walls, windows, doors, and roof of your home for gaps larger than 1/4-inch. These gaps should then be filled.
There are a wide variety of materials available to fill gaps and keep rodents out, including caulk, concrete, brick and mortar, wire mesh, foam, metal siding, or metal rodent guards. The material you choose will depend on the location and size of the gap. You may also want to keep in mind which rodent(s) you want to keep out. (Rats are stronger than mice and can chew through tougher material.)
In addition to blocking all entry points, you can also make your home less attractive to rodents. In general, this means keeping your doors closed (especially your garage door) and your home clean and free of available food. Here are our suggestions:
- Seal inside and outside trash cans. Keep outside trash cans as far from the house as possible.
- If you have bird feeders, place them far away from the home. (The seeds that fall to the ground are beloved by squirrels and other rodents alike.)
- Keep pantry items and pet food in airtight, sealed containers. Try not to leave uneaten pet food in bowls on the ground.
- Clean your kitchen regularly. Don't leave crumbs lying around: wipe off countertops and sweep the floor.
By taking these steps, you can help prevent rodents from wreaking havoc in your home.
Rodent problem? Call us!
If you need help rodent-proofing your home or have seen signs of a rodent infestation, we're here to help.
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.Authored By: Eric Scherzinger