As the temperature drops and food sources diminish, rodents are likely to want to relocate, and your home is going to be high on their list. They might start out in your garage, attic, or crawl space, but with the reproductive rate of rodents they will soon be spreading out from there. Allowing these furry freeloaders to share your space isn’t only likely to lead to property damage, but it will also put you and your family in proximity to diseases like the hantavirus and the bubonic plague. Here are a few steps you can take to keep rodents where they belong this winter.
The first step should be to make it harder to gain access to your home. Trim back tree branches that would give them easy access to your roof, use metal wire mesh to cover attic vents, and seal cracks around doors and crawl spaces. Hopefully, they will move on if it’s hard to get it.
If they do make it inside, they are less likely to stay, or worse, breed, if there isn’t access to food. Keep your home clean, what is a small amount of food for a human can be a feast for a mouse. Store your food, and feed for your animals in containers that are sealed. All animal feed that you keep outside or in areas that are easily accessible should be kept in containers that rodents cannot chew through.
There are a number of ways to kill your rodent intruders on the market these days, but they all fall into one of two categories. Poison or traps. Poison has its conveniences, but your animals might ingest it, predators like owls might eat exposed rodents and die (which would lead to greater numbers of pests in the long run), or they could die in your walls where you can’t get to their rotting carcass. Traps, especially electronic traps are probably a better option in most cases. They also make live traps for mice and squirrels, but then you have to figure out what to do with them without getting bit.
If you see signs of a rodent, clean up after them. Especially after you have eliminated them. Cleaning up the area will not only make your home healthier by removing their waste, but it will also decrease the chances of further invasion. Mice and rats leave urine trails where they walk, a urine trail will tell other mice and rats that there is a home with potential food here.
Rodents can damage your home and spread serious illness. Take the proper steps to keep your home and your family safe this winter.
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