Rodents can enter buildings through very small openings. Mice are known to enter buildings through openings that are as small as a dime and rats as small as a quarter. Rodents can also damage the interior of a home or building. Rodents often build nests, and gather, and store a large amount of food (e.g. grains, nuts, seeds, etc.) behind walls, in crawl spaces, and in attics. Not only do rodents contaminate food, they also spread disease. They also attract other pests by the way they spread and store food.
Rodents are known to re-arrange wall and attic insulation to create nesting sites. They also cause damage due to their gnawing habits. They often damage walls, appliances, furniture, and electrical lines. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 8% of all house and building fires are caused by mice and rats from gnawing on electrical wiring.
Damage caused by rodents to the exterior of a building will also increase the risk of weather and moisture deterioration to the structure. Rodents also enter and make nests in parked vehicles and machinery. They are also known to damage the electrical wiring and hoses of the vehicles and machinery they infest.
Steps you should take to reduce rodent infestations
To reduce rodent infestations, you should first remove and/or eliminate anything that might attract them to your property. Excessive ground cover can be detrimental. Wood piles and other debris should be moved away from the structure. Avoid using bird feeders on your property. Birds are messy and will spread bird seed all around (this will attract rodents). If you have pet(s) and feed your pet outdoors, do not leave pet food for long periods of time (only water). Train your pet(s) to eat when you feed them and clean up any messes. Last but certainly not least, seal gaps and openings around utility lines etc. Taking these steps will reduce the risk of rodent infestations.