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3 Ways to Prevent a Rodent Infestation

Mice and rats spread more than 35 diseases worldwide.  These diseases can be spread directly from rodents to humans, as well as through contact with rodent urine, feces, rodent bites, and saliva.  These diseases can also be spread indirectly to humans through fleas, mites, or ticks that have come in contact with an infected rodent. The spread of rodent diseases can be prevented before an infestation and controlled both during and after an infestation by following the three simple rodent control guidelines listed below. Keep in mind that a trained and licensed exterminator can help you by providing advice and services throughout each step of the way.

Mouse Cheese
Image: flickr.com/photos/19779889@N00

1 – Seal All Holes Inside and Outside the Home

Rats can fit through a hole that is merely the size of a half dollar while mice are capable of squeezing through a hole that is as small as a nickel.  Keep rodents out of your home by carefully checking for gaps around the inside and outside of your home.

When inspecting for holes and gaps inside the home, be sure to look in the following locations:

  • Around pipes that lead to sinks, washing machines, furnaces, and water heaters
  • Throughout the Kitchen, especially around cabinets, stoves, and refrigerators
  • Inside the attic
  • Around doors
  • Around the fireplace
  • In the crawl space or basement
  • Around floor drains
  • In places where the floor and wall meet
  • Around floor and dryer vents

When inspecting for holes and gaps outside the home, examine the following areas closely:

  • Around holes for plumbing, electrical, gas lines, and cables
  • Under and around doors and windows
  • Around vents in the attic and crawl space
  • Along the entire foundation of the home

If you or your exterminator spot any holes or gaps, fill it with steel wool and caulk it to keep it in place.  Larger holes can be covered with lath metal, hardware cloth, cement, or lath screen.  By blocking off all entrances to your home, you can greatly reduce indoor rodent sightings.

2 – Trap Existing Rodents to Help Reduce the Population

Work with an exterminator to choose the appropriate trap for the type of rodent that you are dealing with.  Traps that work for mice may not necessarily work for rats.  It is best to avoid using sticky traps or live traps because they tend scare the rodents and cause them to urinate when caught, which may increase the risk of disease exposure.  It is best to place traps near walls since rodents typically do not run out into the open due to their instinct for safety.  Place a small amount of peanut butter on the trap and then place it perpendicular to a wall where the rodents tend to frequent.  Depending on the type of rodent, you may need to wait a few days before you see any activity.

3 – Properly Clean Up to Avoid Illness

Prevent rodent infestations by cleaning up your home and other surroundings.  Eliminate potential rodent food sources by sealing all foods, including pet foods, in thick containers with tight lids.  Keep all cooking areas, including outside cooking areas, clean.  Always keep compost piles, bird feeders, and other rodent food sources as far away from the house as possible.

For additional tips on keeping rodents out of your living space, contact an exterminator today.

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