Autumn is the season of pumpkin spice and… rodents. Wait. What?? Yes, that’s right. It’s time to start planning and preparing for those mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, and opossums looking for warmth and shelter. As temperatures begin to cool down and the leaves start to fall, you can be sure that rodents will be looking for somewhere warm to nest. Don’t let that be your home!

Have you ever been laying in bed at night and suddenly hear scurrying about in the walls or ceiling? While there’s little you can do about it at the moment, this is not something to be ignored. In addition to the diseases they spread, mice, rats, squirrels, and other critters can wreak havoc on your property.

These rodents will chew on almost anything that they find useful in building their nests. This includes wood, cloth, insulation, paper, fabric, drywall, and even the insulation around wiring. Gnawing on wood can lead to structural instability. Chewing on drywall leads to cosmetic damage. Exposed electrical wiring causes a very serious fire danger. Let’s not forget to mention the damage to that sentimental family heirloom that’s been past down generation after generation or the destruction to important documents.

So, how are these pests getting in? Mice, rats, and other rodents are extremely resourceful and persistent creatures. Did you know a mouse can squeeze through an opening as small as ½ inch? And, don’t think you’re safe because that hole is only ¼ inch. They can easily chew through many surfaces to make that hole large enough to sneak through. Rats are excellent swimmers. While it certainly doesn’t happen often, rats can swim through sewer lines and wind up in your toilet bowl.

Check out what Eric, our branch manager, had to say about rodents and how they got in:

Eric sitting in his truck.“The most unexpected place I’ve found rodents in a home was when there were squirrels under a customer’s toilet. They came in through the plumbing vent on the roof. I had to get them out, and then I sealed off the roof vent.” Eric went on to say, “we offer ‘Critter Quitter’ vent covers to protect vent openings from rodents and add additional protection from roof leaks.”

As you can see, they will find a way. So, what can you do as a homeowner or business owner to help protect your property? First and foremost, it’s important to seal up any crack, hole, or opening that may present an entry point for rodents. Use caulk, wire mesh, or “Critter Quitters” to help protect your property.

A squirrel eats from a package of rolls in front of a porch.From there, let’s look at what attracts these rodents. All creatures need a source of food. While mice, rats, and squirrels prefer nuts and fruits, they will also snack on plants, pet food, vegetables in the garden, amongst a variety of other things. Look for a food source that may attract rodents to your property. While it’s a daunting task, try your best to remove pecans that have fallen in your yard. Keep gutters cleaned out and free of tree droppings. Trim shrubbery away from your home. Cut tree limbs that overhang your roofline. And, keep pet food tightly sealed in containers.

While rodents get most of their water from the foods they eat, they will often look for other sources. Water sources can include bird baths, leaky pipes, water bowls for pets, irrigation systems, and air conditioning drip lines among many others. Do your best to eliminate any source of water.

If you’ve stumbled on this blog because you’re already experiencing signs of rodents in your home, or if you’ve followed these steps and you are still seeing signs of mice, rats, squirrels, or other critters, it’s time to call 855Bugs! How do you know for sure if you’ve got an infestation? Check out some of the tell tale signs below:

  • Dirt and grease smudges are shown on white PVC pipe as evidence that rodents have been crawling around.Sounds – Because these creatures are most active at night, you may hear scurrying, gnawing, or scratching sounds in your walls or attic.
  • Droppings – While mouse droppings are typically small in size (1/8” – 1/4” or so), rat droppings can be much larger at three times the size.
  • Damage – Are you seeing small holes chewed through drywall or wood around the home? Did you come across chewed wires? This is a possible indication that rodents have taken up shop.
  • Smudges along baseboards – Dirt and grease on the bodies of mice & rats will often leave dirty smudge marks along walls and corners.
  • Odors – If a rodent has made its nest in your home, you are likely to start smelling urine odors in the area they are nesting.

If you’re experiencing any of these signs of rodents on your property, 855Bugs can help! We employ a variety of different methods to rid your home of these pests. From baiting to live trapping, from under toilets to rooftops, 855Bugs will help you remove all unwanted rodents!