How Rodents Get into Your Home
Various rodents like mice and rats are looking to get into your home. They want food and shelter, just like the rest of us, but they also carry diseases that could be harmful to humans or pets. Here’s all you need to know about how these critters get inside and what you can do about it.
Why Rodents Want to Live With You
As we said, mice and rats want food, shelter, and a place to reproduce. They don’t care if your home is already occupied. They will find a way to enter and escape the harsh environment outside.
Rodents are attracted to warmth or the smell of food. To deter them, store food away and in metal or plastic containers. They don’t need light, just a quiet area to rest. Rodents can breed quickly, which is why it’s essential to know the signs of possible infestation.
Where to Look for Openings
If it’s open and large enough, a rodent will use it as an entrance. These are some of the most common locations rodents will take advantage:
- Cracks in the foundation
- Openings around windows and doors
- Garages and sheds
- Holes in the roof
- Sewer lines
Perform frequent inspections of these areas to make sure they are properly sealed and not broken through. Go through spaces like your attic and garage, where there is less light and activity. Finding an early breach is key to preventing it from becoming a full-blown infestation. Look for droppings, trails, or small holes that may indicate an unwanted visitor.
Also, look for anything that may be attracting the rodents. Garbage, dirty floors, and open food will be a significant incentive for them to make the trek into your home. Take care of these issues, and try to clean crawl spaces and behind appliances to cover all your bases.
Make Sure You’re Sealed
While you’re looking for vulnerabilities around your home, it would be a good idea to take extra steps to seal off these areas to keep out rodents. For roof openings, find a waterproof sealant to fix those areas.
You can also invest in door sweeps, an inexpensive way to seal the bottoms of doors. You should make sure your garage door has a bottom seal and that the door is flush with the walls and the ground.
For the chimney, you can install a grate or screen to keep rodents out. Also, make sure to have the chimney frequently cleaned. If you notice cracks in the foundation or walls, have it looked at by a professional who can assess and repair the damage. For vents, make sure they are sealed - not only for rodent control but also to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Your Home Will Change
Just because you apply sealant or get your home tightened up does not mean you’re good forever. Home infrastructure changes - storms, wear and tear, age, and accidents can all change the protection you’ve built up. That’s why it’s important to maintain frequent inspections.
What to Do in the Aftermath
Finding a rodent infestation - whether a lone survivor or a colony - can be a stressful experience. The first thing you should do is call a rodent control company. An expert will assess the damage and what the next steps will be.
In the meantime, try to gather information like where you found the rodent, if there were any trails or droppings, and if you know where it entered. This will help an exterminator diagnose the problem.