With daytime and overnight temperatures falling, animals go into overwintering mode and for them this means leaving the landscape for warmer places which can provide food and water and a safer environment in which to have and raise their young. Your home is at the top of their list!
Besides being disgusting, noisy and destructive, rats and mice can contaminate food, spread diseases, bring on allergies and even invite their friends; fleas, ticks and lice into your home. Rats, especially, have been known to damage property by chewing through drywall, insulation, and electrical wiring (including vehicle wiring). So, if you park your car outside, don’t forget to check under the hood frequently.
- Removing yard debris and trash. Always look for places you think rats might like to live such as wood- piles and thick ground covers. Take time to thin out the vegetation and move firewood away from the home. Frequently restacking the wood will also discourage rodents from the area.
- Keeping trash cans tightly closed.
- Storing pet food or bird seed in metal cans with secure lids.
- Picking up fallen fruit. (Don’t feed the rats!)
- Bringing in pet bowls and bird feeders at night when rodents are the most active.
- Keeping your home in good repair. Check for openings where rodents can get in. Remember that a mouse can squeeze through a hole as small as a dime, and rats can enter through quarter-sized holes. Covering the openings with metal, concrete or mesh wool or copper mesh wool will stop them from getting in.
Rats and mice are sneaky, determined creatures, so if they’ve gotten past your best defenses, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Rats and mice have a need to gnaw.
Rats and mice gnaw to take care of their teeth. Their front teeth constantly grow and without gnawing and chewing to reduce the size of their choppers, the teeth would grow right out of their mouths until they would be unable to eat therefore starving to death or the bottom incisors would poke through the roof of the mouth stabbing into the brain. Not a good way to go!