Winter Pest Elimination Suggestions & Treatments
October 6, 2014
As winter approaches, the colder weather prompts us to find warmth, but we are not the only ones who are looking to stay warm and dry. Rodents, such as mice and rats, are looking for warm and comfy places to nestle out of the cold, and if they can get into your house to do it, they will! You are probably wondering how to stop them from taking up residence. Just like you would do with other pests, two main principals stop them: eradication and cleanliness. The best way is one that will keep health risk for humans and the environment as low as possible while ensuring the method works.
Did you know that a regular house mouse needs less than a dime's circumference to get inside? That isn't a lot of space! Knowing this, you will want to rodent proof your house as best as possible, and close of any openings that the can get in from.
One of the most common ways of getting into your house is through gaps in doorways. Simple gaps around door jambs can be filled in with air guards (these slide under the bottom of the door with a small roll of insulation on each side to eliminate breezes). Shed, garage and storage houses can be fitted with seals that work the same way. Check the wire screens on your windows for any gaps, tears or holes, and if you have basement windows, check that the panes are all intact and the windows tightly shut so rodents can’t sneak in.
Now that you have taken care of the gaps in your doors, you need to check the walls and foundations of your home (including the basement) for spaces, holes, crumbling or gaps. If you are unable to make immediate repairs, consider using steel wool meshing. If you have a concrete foundation, fill in the gaps with concrete and make sure you check it as it is drying to ensure a secure fit. Check around piping and utility items ports in your home. If there are gaps, fill them in with the steel wool meshing. If you have missing piping, temporarily fill in the gap and replace the piping as soon as possible ensuring that there are no gaps in the new fixture. Also check any ventilation spaces (such as vents and air conditioning spaces) that should be covered with meshing.
Rodents are extremely agile climbers, and for this reason, you need to remember that they can get in just about anywhere if there is an opening! Chimneys are access points. Make sure that they are covered with a rain capping system. Don't forget that they can get in through gaps under your roofing, gutters and shingles. Try to remember that trees and climbing ivy make for easy access to the roof and if you have access points, you are enabling them. Make sure to trim!
Two of the major things that attract rodents are messiness and poor sanitation habits. Exclusion will give good measures in preventing them; however, good cleaning habits will aide in assuring they stay out. All rodents need food, water and shelter to survive. In the wild, they feast on garbage and trash and have plenty of spots to burrow in to, however, leaving trash ad garbage outside can promote them coming to your hoe and taking up residence. Don’t leave pet food outside either as this will attract them, and make sure to bring feeding dishes inside at night. Don't give them the opportunity to desire your home as theirs.
Don't forget that outside clutter isn't the only culprit. Inside mess is a huge enemy in the battle against rodents. Mice in particular will thrive in messy environments, so make sure to keep your garage, basement and attic in good clean order. In doing so, they won’t have many options for setting up their own homes inside.
Other common solutions include poisons and traps, though extra care should be taken with both. Mesh is only a temporary fix. Rats and mice have teeth that continually grow, therefore, they need to gnaw on things to grind down their teeth and nothing will satisfy them more than that temporary fix and wood. Their teeth are durable and strong and can bore through plaster, wood and concrete, though the steel wool will hurt their mouths and cause them to avoid that space more often than not.
Rat traps are an effective way to get rid of rodents quickly. The quick reaction of the trap ensures a quick kill and that the rodent can’t get away. The down falls to traps include the fact that a dead rodent can be messy and unsanitary and the possibility of the trap springing loose could harm a pet, child or yourself.
Another popular form of rodent elimination is rodent poison. Bait comes in many forms such as pellets and feeding trays. Most will ingest ample enough to make them feel full and tired and will eventually die in their nests. The problem with this though is that if they die in the walls of your home, they can emit an odor and can attract flies and spiders. If you are going to select rodent bait/poison, you should have a trained and licensed pest control applicator perform the service. Rodent bait can be very dangerous when it is used incorrectly.
There are many effective ways to eliminate pests. The best elimination is prevention! Contact Alliance Pest Services to find out more about how to pest proof your home from unwanted guests over the colder months.