Pest Advice Blog

Oh Baby it’s Cold Outside! (Rats and Mice Think So Too)

Rat_BlackAfter spending the day outside in the cold weather, there’s nothing more welcoming than stepping into a warm, cozy house. The problem is you’re not the only ones trying to escape the realities of the winter months with unpredictable drops in temperature, biting winds and sometimes, snow. As we enter into the cooler part of the year, rodents are particularly keen on finding warm areas to settle into. Attics and basements make the coziest retreats for rats and mice that are extremely capable of finding sneaky ways to enter your home, even through the smallest of openings. According to the Department of Health, if rodents can be controlled in the winter months when their breeding levels are already low, there will be fewer of them that survive when their annual breeding cycle begins in spring. In turn, this helps to decrease the overall population throughout the year.

Since natural food sources such as insects and seeds are difficult to come by during winter, rodents will be attracted to food and water that you leave lying around. It’s important to take advantage of this seasonal change by making it difficult for rodents to stake their claim on your territory.

Transmission of Diseases

Besides dealing with the obvious unpleasantness of having mice and rats in your home, there are dangerous health concerns not to be overlooked. The reputation of rodents as carriers of diseases far precedes them in any part of the world. The mere mention or sighting of a rat in an eating establishment for example, is enough to make patrons nauseated and restaurant owners nervous at the prospect of being shut down.

Rodents can transmit diseases by directly biting people or from someone ingesting food or water contaminated by infected rodent feces or urine. Breathing in dust that is contaminated, or coming into contact with mites and rat fleas can also result in the transmission of diseases such as Rat-Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Tapeworms and Murine Typhus.

Rodents eat what?

So just because you haven’t actually seen a rat or mouse in your home does not mean they aren’t there. If you know what to look out for, you can identify a rodent problem before it gets out of hand:

  • Rodent droppings- black in color and capsule shaped, you may notice these around food and water sources in your home or in attic or basement corners.
  • With the need to constantly wear their teeth down, rodents will gnaw on wiring, pvc pipes, ducts, plumbing and chew their way through the insulation like cotton candy. Chewing through electrical wiring can be quite problematic as this can lead to attic fires that can spread throughout the home.
  • You may hear a “scratching” sound coming from your roof. This is in fact the chewing noise that rodents make as they are having a field day with that insulation in your attic!
  • Plumbing or wiring inspections may reveal a rodent problem if it is brought to your attention that wires have been chewed through.

Keeping rodents at bay

Making your home as unappealing to rodents as possible is the best way to help control a potentially hazardous situation. Remember to:

  • Store garbage inside heavy plastic or metal cans that can be closed with a lid. It’s a good idea to wait until the morning of your trash pick up to take the bin outside instead of giving rodents the opportunity to scrimmage throughout the night.
  • Keep your yard free of weeds and debris to avoid giving rodents a tempting place to hide. Avoid letting boxes or crates pile up.
  • Tightly seal and store away all food. Don’t forget the pet food!
  • Install screens on windows and sliding doors, routinely checking for holes. Door sweeps are also a good idea to block entries.
  • Seek professional pest control help if a rodent problem becomes overwhelming.

Truly Nolen’s Exclusion & Trapping Method- Rodents don’t stand a chance.

You’ve taken all the above steps to ensure that rodents do not find your home enticing, but as a final measure, calling in your Truly Nolen expert to perform an Exclusion & Trapping service is one of the most effective solutions to keep your home completely rodent free.

By “rodent proofing” your home, the exclusionary phase of this program involves your expert diligently sourcing and filling any holes, crevices or gaps that are ¼ inch or larger. Rats and mice have extremely soft bone cartilage, making it easy for them to fit through small openings. This phase of the service is complimented by an ongoing monitoring program so that the initial work performed is maintained leaving no room for error (or rats!)

Once the rodents have no way into the home, the next phase involves trapping and elimination of rats and mice that are inside. This is also an on-going process (several days to weeks) to make sure that any rodents that already exist inside the structure are trapped and removed. As one of the most effective solutions of rodent control, the Truly Nolen Exclusion method is proven to be a safe way to completely eradicate rodents from your home, only leaving behind the peace of mind that your family deserves.

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