Rodents: Rats and Mice

a rat infestationIt’s around this time of the year that rodents (mice and rats) can create major problems. As the temperature outside drops, rodents start to make their way indoors, in other words into your home or business, seeking food and cover. Once rodents enter your property, whether it be your home or business, they carry disease as well as run the risk of playing havoc with your electrical systems.

Rodents are responsible for a staggering 1 in 20 house fires which result from them chewing through electrical wires in the attic. It really doesn’t take too much preventive action to eliminate such a risk. Keeping rodents OUT of your property can be achieved in three ways which we will now discuss:

  1. Getting rid of any entry points
  2. Eliminating food sources
  3. Prevention methods such as traps and bait.

Something that is often glanced over, is how the rodents are actually making their way into your property in the first place. Routine checks of your property are vital to ensure that any entry points are immediately eliminated. Surprisingly it only takes a hole the size of a pencil for a rodent to make his entry! One entry point which is often overlooked is weather-stripping. Doors which lead to the outdoors, as well as garage doors, will almost all have weather-stripping in some way, shape or form. The rule is simple; if it lets daylight in, it needs to go. Any pipes or plumbing that goes into the wall should also be carefully analysed. Unfortunately contractors can often cut a hole in excess of the actual pipe size when building new homes. You can either use steel wool to block the hole or you can patch the area up, so long as you’re cutting off the entry point. For rodent prevention, steel wool can be especially favorable as it will cause gum damage to a rodent who is attempting to enter. Don’t overlook holes which are at a height, rodents have incredible climbing abilities.

Food sources readily available are like sending out an open invitation to the rodents in your area. Examples of such are bowls of pet food, whether they be outdoors or indoors. Have a rule to only feed your pet when they are ready to eat and remove any leftovers immediately. Using plastic containers to store pet food can be very effective, in fact the same is true for bird seed. In addition if you have an outdoor bird-feeder keep it at a good distance from your home. It’s really a matter of using your common sense. You can put out all the rodent baits you like, but if some tasty dog or cat food is also available, this is where the rodents will choose to dine. This is important both for people who are taking preventive measures and those currently treating an infestation.

The third and final step is implementing a monthly bait program. To stop the rodent from ever setting foot in your property use bait boxes and do a monthly check. This method works both for homes and businesses. You don’t need to worry about other animals, as bait boxes are designed to lock in such cases. In this way you can keep the bait around your property, without the concern of other animals or children making their way to the bait. Use a heavy weight to make sure the bait boxes stay firmly in place. Traps can also be used at these stations. In fact many people choose to use snap traps instead of bait. The middle of the bait box has a space where rodent traps should easily fit. Just use a little rodent attractant on the trap and you should be able to effectively put the brakes on any rodent who is knocking at the door. For the best results place the bait boxes at the outside wall of your property or at the dumpster. Since rodents use their whiskers to walk along the walls this positioning of the bait boxes tends to see the best results.

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