In wintertime, many things that have been living outdoors tend to want to find shelter for the colder months of the year. They favor human homes due to our tendency to keep them heated, but they’re not great roommates. They can cause visible damage to your home, spread disease, contaminate food storage and prep areas, and even increase the risk of electrical house fires due to chewing on wiring. The one thing better than getting unwanted rodents out of your home is not having them there in the first place. But, how?
Keeping Outside Critters Out
- Fill Holes, Cracks and Gaps. Rodents can crawl into any entrance that is large enough to only fit their heads (average size - a US quarter). Inspect your entire home for openings that size, or larger. If any are found, seal them with the most appropriate means available (small cracks may be fine with caulk, holes in brick may require cement). Weather-stripping may suffice for cracks in doors or windows.
- Do Not Feed Them. Rats are put in mazes for testing because of their strong troubleshooting skills. If there’s accessible food, they’ll find it. Keep all garbage cans constantly covered, process produce from any trees or gardens immediately (pick what’s ripe and immediately remove fallen items) and ensure that any outdoor pets are fed in a manner that keeps the feeding area free of food debris.
- Remove Natural Habitats. Debris such as fallen limbs, dead branches and lumber, or old cars or appliances are convenient homes for rodents. Remove any unnecessary items at the first opportunity. Keep wood piles a foot away from the walls of your home, and 18 inches off the ground, if possible. Keep vegetation and shrubs pruned and trimmed back four feet from your home.
- Use Baits and Poisons Outside and Traps Inside. Not only are these potentially harmful to children and pets, directly, but rats can spread the poison within your home prior to dying, making it dangerous for everyone. And, while there may not be rodents residing in the home at the moment, a trap can help curtail intruders from reporting back that they’ve found a way into the house.
If any neighbors have been complaining of rodent issues, you will be at a higher risk as their colonies seek to spread. If you’re serious about keeping rodents out before they become an infestation, contact RID Pest Control to learn more about our pest and rodent control services and request a free consultation, today.