Do you like to spend all of your time outdoors when the weather gets cold? Although a few hardy souls may say yes, most of us prefer not to be cold. Rodents – like mice, rats and squirrels – feel the same way. Food, water and shelter are basic requirements for rodents; since we have all three in our homes, it should be no surprise when rodents enter our home. When they make themselves at home, they can leave trails of urine and feces wherever they go. They also bring disease, destroy personal belongings and can even cause fires with their incessant chewing! Here are a few tips to help prevent your home from becoming a winter haven for your neighborhood mice:
- Make sure that tree branches are not in direct contact with your roof or house. Rodents, especially squirrels, will use those branches as a direct highway to your attic.
- Many people like low-lying ground cover such as pachysandra and vinca. While aesthetically pleasing for flower beds, it is not recommended to be up against your house; low ground cover makes a wonderful harborage for rats and mice. From there it is a hop, skip and a jump into your home.
- Inspect and maintain the structure. If a nail pulls loose or a board warps, access becomes easy. A 10-minute repair can save both money and heartache in the long run.
- Is there a space where the gas pipe or other utility enters your home? Caulk it or use some other appropriate filler to prevent access.
- A door strip that fits snugly can save energy and prevent rodent entry.
- Keep firewood a little bit away from your house and put it on a pallet or elevate it in some way.
- Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids. It is best if they are not right against your house.
- Attached garages are often a point of entry. In my career, I have yet to see an overhead garage door that will keep mice from sneaking in at the corners. Best not to create an extra incentive for rodents to enter; do not keep bird seed or dry dog food in the garage
If you are watchful of all of these possibilities you can reduce the possibility of rodent entry. However, if you suspect rodents have taken up residence in your home, call Braman and a rodent control professional will come to get rid of them.