Clues to tell if Rodents are seeking harborage in your home
As temperatures continue to cool across the country, rodents will begin to seek shelter from the elements, most often in homes and other structures. Rodents may be small, but they pose a number of threats to human health and property. It’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for signs of these destructive pests in and around their property.
Aside from being a nuisance, rodents are vectors of a vast array of diseases, such as Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever and the potentially fatal Hantavirus. They can also chew through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires.
Here are a few clues that rodents may be present in a home:
- Droppings: A trail of rodent droppings is typically found in kitchen cabinets and pantries, along walls, on top of wall studs or beams, and in boxes, bags and old furniture.
- Noises: Rodents often make scurrying sounds, especially at night, as they move about and nest.
- Gnaw marks: New gnaw marks tend to be rough to the touch and are light colored.
- Burrows: Inside, rodents often nest in various materials such as insulation, and they are drawn to areas that are dark and secluded.
- Damaged food packages: House mice prefer to feed on cereals and seeds, while Norway rats prefer meat, fish and dry dog food.
We encourage homeowners to complete a thorough inspection of their property before the winter weather strikes. They should look for cracks or holes in the foundation, loose mortar around the basement foundation and damaged screens. No crack or hole should be overlooked as mice only need an opening the size of a dime to find a way inside.
Here are 5 tips to help keep the rodents out of your house this winter.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and 5 feet off the ground.
- Keep the basements and attics clear; eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
- Keep food in rodent-proof containers.