People aren’t the only ones who spend more time indoors when the weather gets chilly, so do other creatures. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), nearly a quarter of all homeowners report mice and rats in their homes during the winter. They come inside seeking food and warmth. Rats are more common in urban and rural areas, while mice are more likely to be found in the suburbs. Whether you live in Atlanta, Roswell, or Alpharetta, it’s important to remember that pest control should also cover rodents.
The Dangers of Rodents
Rodents are dangerous to our homes, where they can damage the structural integrity. They chew wood, piping and electrical wires, which can result in fires. Basically, they can eat through anything that is not copper or galvanized.
Mice and rats can also endanger our health. They carry bacteria and diseases, including salmonella and hantavirus. They can transmit diseases through droppings and bites. They also carry additional critters inside with them, including fleas, lice and ticks, which can make people and pets miserable.
A couple of rodents can quickly become an infestation. A female mouse can give birth to a dozen babies every few weeks. That’s why it is essential to keep that first critter from making its way into your home. As Atlanta pest control experts, we recommend a few preventative measures to help you keep your home from becoming a cold weather haven for local rodents.
Precautions Outside Your Home
Be sure to seal cracks and holes in the exterior of your home, particularly around pipes, vents, chimneys, windows, and the foundation. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping. Inspect your home for cracks in the foundation and crawl space, between the siding and concrete block, and other areas where different types of material adjoin. Mice can fit through a hole the size of a pencil, and rats can squeeze in through an opening the width of a quarter. If you have holes in your property, you’re losing heat as well, so you need to repair them.
Keep firewood and shrubbery from touching your home. It is easy for a mouse to step from firewood or bushes into the home. Store your firewood at least 20 feet away and five feet off the ground. Make sure that your shrubberies are trimmed so that they are not brushing up against the house.
Our Team Pest USA professionals are not just experts at Atlanta termite control and wildlife removal. They know how to keep unwanted critters from getting inside in the first place. They can give your home a full inspection. Experts recommend that you have a full evaluation of your house’s exterior twice a year.
Precautions Inside Your Home
If you understand where rodents like to make themselves at home, you can remove temptations. Rodents like food, moisture, and clutter. Keep food in sealed containers, and fix leaking pipes. Rats and mice are good swimmers. They have been known to get into sewer lines or climb up drain pipes. Keep boxes and other potential hiding spots off the floor.
Signs of Rodents in your Home
You may not see rodents scurrying around, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They usually come out at night when people are asleep. However, you may hear movement, particularly inside the walls. You may see droppings, teeth marks on wooden surfaces, tears in your packaged foods, or scattered crumbs around packaging. You may notice foot and tail prints on walls, floors, or in dust. Our Atlanta pest control professionals are trained to spot these telltale signs.
Whether you believe you may have a rodent problem, or want to ensure that your home is sealed up properly, call our Atlanta pest control experts. We will do a full evaluation of your home and make any necessary repairs. If we see evidence of critters, we will discuss our removal process with you.
Before the weather really gets cold and your home or business becomes the Bahamas of the neighborhood rodent population, give our Atlanta pest control experts a call at 770-985-4444 for a free inspection.