Is your home guarded against rodents this winter? Rodents, like rats and mice, spread filth and disease and they can damage your home. Check out our winter checklist for rodents and learn actions you can take to help prevent these unwanted guests from entering your home.
1. Inspect Your Home
Before you begin rodent-proofing your home, you’ll first want to thoroughly inspect your home. Take about 30 minutes, walking the perimeter of your home and take notes of any structural deficiencies and points where rodents can potentially enter your home. This includes chimneys, holes, and door jams. Keep in mind, rats can enter openings the size of a nickel and mice can enter openings the size of a dime!
2. Apply Weather Stripping
Rats and mice can squeeze into very tight spaces. Make sure all of your windows and doors are fitted with weatherstripping. Applying weatherstripping will not only help eliminate a gap but it will also lower your utility bill. If you have a garage, make sure the garage door seal is in good shape and that it doesn’t reveal a gap when shut. You can apply a metal device called a “rodent guard” at the bottom of your garage door to help prevent rodents from chewing on the weatherstripping.
3. Seal Gaps and Holes
Rodents can gain access into your home through holes for utility wiring, HVAC lines, dryer vents, spigots and any holes that lead into your home from the outside. Use a silicone-based caulk to fill in these gaps.
4. Don’t Forget Your Chimney
Remember rodents are excellent climbers, especially roof rats. You can purchase a chimney cap from a home improvement store and apply it to your chimney. In addition to helping prevent animals from entering your chimney, chimney caps will also help protect your roof from burning embers and help keep moisture out.
5. Seal Your Crawl Space
Rodents and a host of other pests infest crawlspaces. Once rodents enter, they easily travel through ducts, wiring, and pipes to enter your home. Use caulking, screens or wood to seal gaps and cover holes.
6. Don’t Leave out Attractants
Rodents are nut and seed feeders, but will eat just about anything. We recommend that you do not place bird feeders or squirrel feeders on your property. If you have outdoor pets, feed them in the morning and remove any uneaten food. Leaving your pet’s food out may attract pests.
7. Maintain Your Lawn and Landscaping
Keep branches and tree limbs cut back from your home. Rodents use limbs to gain access to your home. If you have any fallen branches or leaves on your property, make sure to pick them up. Additionally, any shrubs and foliage growing low to the ground or close to your home can create ideal environments for these pests to take cover. Low shrubbery can be conducive to burrowing as well.
8. Keep Trash Airtight
In addition to keeping your yard tidy, make sure your garbage cans have secure, airtight lids. Exposed garbage may attract rodents and other pests.
If after reviewing our checklist, you discover areas of your home are showing signs of pest activity, contact United Pest Solutions. We provide thorough inspections and effective treatments to homes and businesses in the Seattle, WA area. Our pest control technicians will not only eliminate your current pest problem, but they’ll also help prevent a future pest problem from occurring.