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Tips to Prevent Rodent Infestation

An 855Bugs technician is tending to a bait trap outside a brick home in Waco, Texas.

With falls arrival comes cooler temperatures! While that is certainly a welcome change in Texas, there is one thing that isn’t welcome with the cooler weather. Rodents. Just as we start to spend more time indoors to stay out of the cold, rodents will be looking for warmth and shelter, as well. When these critters take up residence in our homes, it poses a risk of damage to our property, the spreading of disease, and, let’s not forget, an overall feeling of uneasiness knowing we’re rooming with rodents! There are a few things you can do to help prevent rodents from taking up residence in your home.

SEAL ALL ENTRY POINTS

What’s the difference between a mouse and a rat? Fifteen cents! You might be wondering what in the world we’re talking about, but did you know mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime? And, rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter! Terrifying, isn’t it?!? This is why it is imperative to diligently check the perimeter of your home on a regular basis. Be sure to check around doors and windows, around the foundation, and around air conditioning units, electrical, and plumbing entry points. For smaller holes, fill them with copper mesh. Use metal flashing around pitch change areas on roofs and 1/4″ hardware cloth (wire mesh) in other, larger areas. If you’re having a hard time finding entry points and/or don’t feel confident in sealing them, the folks here at 855Bugs are highly experienced in rodent exclusion. Additionally, we offer ‘Critter Quitter’ vent covers to protect vent openings from rodents and add additional protection from roof leaks.

REMOVE FOOD SOURCES

Rodents will eat just about anything! It is important to make sure your home and property are not a buffet. Seal pet food in airtight containers, make sure your garbage is secured in a bin with a lid, store food in sealed containers, and keep bird feeders away from the house. The more difficult it is for rodents to access a food source, the more likely they are to move along.

A rat drinks from a discarded coffee cup on the street.ELIMINATE SOURCES OF WATER

Just like humans, rodents need water to survive. Without access to water in your home, these critters will not take up residence. Check your pipes often to be sure they aren’t leaking, and immediately fix any leaks. Be sure that water is not collecting anywhere in the yard.

CLEAN UP YOUR PROPERTY

Rodents need a source of shelter. Store firewood as far away from the home as possible on an elevated surface. Clean up debris, lumber, and rock piles around the property. Keep shrubbery and other vegetation neatly trimmed. Removing these hiding spots will help reduce the likelihood of a rodent infestation.

ADOPT A PET

Cats are notorious for hunting mice and rats. Adopt a good hunting animal to help control the rodent population before it becomes a problem. Keep in mind that pet food needs to be tightly sealed, and water and food dishes should not be left around the premises.

ENLIST THE HELP OF A PROFESSIONAL

An 855Bugs pest control expert kneels down by the exterior wall of a brick home checking bait traps.
If these preventative measures have not worked for you and you are seeing signs of rodents in your home, 855Bugs is here to help! Here are some tell tale signs of rodent infestation:

  • 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 have seen any of the signs above, it’s time to schedule a FREE inspection with 855Bugs. We can help identify points of entry, sources of food and water, and utilize a variety of pest control methods to ensure your home is rodent free!

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