If you have to call for pest control in Burlington in the fall, chances are good that it may be for rodent removal services. Mice and rats prefer to live outside during summer, but as the weather turns colder and food becomes more scarce, they start looking for warmth and shelter indoors. Then when the weather warms up again, they may keep your home as their home base even as they spend more time outside looking for food.
The best way to avoid this is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. It can be tricky because rodents have a talent for squeezing into spaces that seem impossibly small, but there are some steps you can take.
Declutter Your Home
Rodents are prey animals, so they look for warm, dark, out-of-the-way places to conceal themselves when taking up residence inside a home. Clearing out clutter, especially in rodents’ preferred areas, such as attics or basements, provides them with fewer places to hide. A tidy home is considerably less inviting to a mouse or a rat.
Perform a Check of the Outside
If you have deciduous trees in your yard, fall is the time that they will drop their leaves. This outdoor clutter also provides opportunities for rodents to hide, so you should clean these up as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to check the foundation of your home to see if there are any large cracks. If you can feel heat escaping or see light from the inside, they may be large enough to allow access to rodents, which are able to squeeze their bodies into very small spaces. If possible, you should also seal up openings where the gas and water lines enter the building.
Seal Windows and Doors
Similarly, a very small crack in the weather sealing around the doors or windows of your home may be enough to allow a mouse or rat to get in. Even if the hole isn’t big enough, rodents are equipped to widen it to make it big enough so they can fit. Their front teeth are very sharp and strong and never stop growing. Therefore, mice and rats have to keep chewing on things to keep them worn down to a manageable level.
Rats and mice are attracted to the doors and windows of your home because this is where the heat that leaks from your home is most likely to escape. Rodents can feel the warm air leaking out, which motivates them to try to find a way inside.
Cover Vents With Screens
Another place where mice and rats can feel hot air escaping from your home is the ventilation system. Vents are necessary to allow hot air and toxic gases to escape from your home, but they can also be an entry point for rodents. Mitigation is tricky here: You can’t close up the vents completely, but you have to narrow the openings sufficiently so that unwanted guests can’t get in. One possible solution is to screen the vents with a wire mesh that keeps rodents out while allowing air to flow freely. Choose a screen made of the strongest material you can find and check it periodically for damage. If it appears that rodents have gnawed on it, or attempted to, replace it immediately, with a stronger material if you can find one.
Know How To Deal With an Infestation
If you take these steps early in the fall, or even late summer, you may be able to prevent an infestation. However, rodents are clever and adaptive, especially rats, and may get in despite your best efforts. If this happens, call Truly Nolen for rodent removal services as soon as possible. Infestations of mice or rats are not easy to resolve and typically require professional expertise.