Rodents Moving In This Winter?

September 21, 2015

As the temperatures drop and the winds bring a chill, you will be spending more time indoors. You will prepare your living space for the cold winter ahead to insure you and your family will be warm and cozy. You will not be the only one getting ready to snuggle into your home for the duration of the winter. Rats and mice will be doing the same thing. They do not need much of an invitation. A mouse can enter a home through an opening as small as the eraser on a pencil and a rat only needs the opening to be the size of a quarter! Even if you do not see an opening, they will find access through a small crack in the foundation. Sometimes they will slip in between siding and the concrete block. Or they can get even more creative. You may find that a rodent has found a tiny opening where the fascia meets the roof of the house. Even if you think you have zero crevices, cracks or openings anywhere on the entire house (which is almost impossible) rodents have even been known to climb UP a drain pipe or swim through a sewer line! It does not matter how nice your home is or what neighborhood you live in. Virtually all homes have a few rodents either living in them or at the least coming and going as they please. 

rat inside house near baseboards eating

Have They Arrived?

Mice and rats have poor eyesight so they rely on their sense of smell to find food and usually they will establish a path that they will use again and again. They are more active at night, so you may hear scratchy, gnawing and squeaking coming from the walls, kitchen, even your dresser drawers. You will probably run across their nests which will be made from chewed fabric, cotton, paper, hair, leaves, and grass or just about anything they can chew into a warm domain to have their babies. (Yes, babies) You may find these nests in corners inside cabinets or under the sinks. Other favorite nesting areas are in your dresser drawers, closets, shoes or storage areas. 

You may see track marks from their feet and drag marks from their tails along baseboards or dusty areas. Then there are the dreaded droppings. Mice leave brown and black granular droppings virtually everywhere they go. You will find these droppings on kitchen counters, in cabinets and in pantries. They are likely to be behind toasters, microwave ovens, coffee brewers or any other counter top appliance. 

Can It Get Grosser?

Actually, yes it is even grosser than that. Besides the fact that you just found your kitchen counter (where you prepare your family meals) has been a rodent toilet; you probably are looking at the rodent “Johnny on the job.” Rodents urinate as they run through your home to leave a scent trail which they and other rodents will follow to find food. When they have found food, like the crumbs from the toaster or a few grains of rice, cereal or cookies – they eat and while they eat, they defecate. This tells other rodents where the food was and the scent of the droppings alert the other rodents that it is good to eat. The next rodent will not only eat the food, but also some of the droppings from the last “guest.” Then he will leave his own waste on your counter. This means if the first mouse or rat that ate in your home had a disease such as E coli or Salmonella; the next rodent will consume the disease. These are just two of the diseases humans can catch from sharing their home with rodents. 

Other issues

Besides the fact that rodents are nasty and can carry disease, they are dangerous in other ways. A rodent bite can be very serious and may result in having to take a series of Rabies shots. Another common problem with a rodent infestation in your home is fire. Rodents will eat just about anything. They are known to chew on electrical wires which can cause house fires. 

What to do!

We have determined that almost all homes have or will have a rodent problem to some degree. We have determined that it is virtually impossible to keep the rodents from your home. We have determined that they are dangerous, nasty, disease carrying unwelcome guests. But what can you do? 

You will find a thousand do it yourself treatments. Though some are somewhat effective, most can only address part of the problem. Mice will find another way in and they will continue to spread disease and filthy droppings while a homeowner tries to rid the home from them. 

The fastest, cleanest and most effective way to get rid of a rodent issue is to call an exterminator. A professional is trained to know how to rid your home from rodent problems. He can also prevent the rodents from returning. The best time to call an exterminator is before it gets too cool. The first cold snap will alert the rodents that it is time to move in your home. 

So, store all food in air tight containers with lids. Clean out cabinets and pantries and small appliances for crumbs and tiny specks of food. Check your underwear drawer for signs of visitors. And then call a professional to get rid of the rodents! 

Alliance Pest Services can resolve all your pest and rodent problems.  

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