There are few pests that can present as many problems as mice and rats. These rodents chew holes that can allow water to get in and cause wood rot, mold, and other serious issues. They damage interior walls, wallpaper, and sheetrock as they make pathways to food storage areas. Inside attic spaces, they rip up insulation for material to create their nests, chew into stored boxes, and make homes inside stored furniture. In your kitchen, they leave feces and urine everywhere and expose food, dishes and food-prep surfaces to harmful bacteria, parasites, and human pathogens. If all this isn't enough, they bring ticks and other ectoparasites into your home. We don't have to tell you how bad ticks are. Those little arachnids can carry Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tularemia and other serious diseases. But, what you might not be aware of is that a single mouse can have as many as 100 seed ticks on its body. That is why every Providence homeowner should take the time to learn and implement rodent protection. Here are a few things you should know.
Why Rodents Are a Year-Round Problem
Mice and rats don't hibernate. They can be active all year long. In fact, in winter, you can go outside with a flashlight in the middle of the night and find a rodent running on top of the snow or ice in your yard. If that rodent discovers heat leaking out of a gap or crack in your home, it is likely to gnaw its way into your home. And once mice and rats get in, they aren't likely to leave. Your home has a lot to offer a rodent.
Fall and Winter Rodent Prevention
Before the temperatures drop and before your yard is covered with snow, it is important to make sure your exterior walls are protected. Not only will this help to keep rodents out, it will help to keep heat in. If you're reading this in winter, some of these tips can still be applied.
- Use a caulking gun to seal gaps around pipes, the seal around your doors and windows, holes created by pests, and any other entry points in the wood of your home.
- Use a repair kit to seal cracks in your foundation wall or chipped mortar.
- Inspect your door sweep and rubber weatherstripping. Make sure you have a good seal.
- If you have a brick home, make sure your weep holes have a protected cover.
- Check your vent covers and make sure they have not been damaged by rodents. If they have, replace them.
- Put wire mesh in your downspouts to prevent rodents from climbing up to your roof where vulnerabilities may be plentiful.
- Cut tree branches that touch your roofline (or go over your roof) to prevent roof rats from getting onto your roof and gaining access to your attic spaces.
Spring and Summer Rodent Prevention
During warm months, rodents can be lured onto your property for many reasons. If you attract rodents, there is a higher probability that those rodents will get into your home. Apply these prevention steps all year long to reduce rodents.
- Clutter is a big attractant. Norway rats create burrows under piles of clutter and all rodents use clutter to protect themselves from predators as they explore. A yard that is free of hiding places is more resistant to rodents.
- Rodents need water. If you have puddles in your yard, they are watering holes for rodents. These can develop for many reasons, such as a clogged gutter system or a leaky exterior spigot. If you're seeing puddles, try to address the conditions that are allowing the water to accumulate. Keep in mind that captured rainwater can act as watering holes as well. A turned-over frisbee is a perfect example.
- Rodents love firewood. If you have firewood stacked near your home, you can expect to have rodents coming in close to your exterior walls. Consider moving it 20 feet away and elevating the stack.
- Routine inspections of your interior can alert you to an infestation. Look for the presence of droppings, urine, chew holes and grease marks on baseboards.
The Best Rodent Control in Providence
Keeping mice and rats out is a difficult job. If you live Providence, you should know that Big Blue Bug Solutions has one of the most respected Wildlife Management teams in New England. When it comes to keeping rodents and other wild animals out, don't trust just anyone. Get the best.