What do you think of when you hear the term "rodent-proofing?" Does it make you think of simple home improvements in order to repair openings rodents may use to enter your home? Does it make you think of the application of products to seal holes? Or, is your understanding much larger? While the term often refers to the repairing and patching of potential entry points, there is a bigger picture. We're going to examine this today. We'll share with you some experts tip that will teach you how to keep rodents away, how to get rid of rodents in your yard, and how to stop them from entering any structures on your property. If you already have a rodent infestation and you need rodent pest control in West Chester, remember that the Masters Touch Pest Solutions' team is available to help. While you have many options to keep rodents away and to prevent rodent entry, rodent removal is best done by a trained professional. Navigate to our contact page to request a service visit.
Types Of Rodents Common To The Area
The first step in keeping rodents out of your West Chester home is understanding the different types of common rodents and knowing how they behave. We basically have two types of pest rodents in West Chester. One is considered a yard rodent. A meadow vole would fall into this category. It will feed on food sources in your yard and has no interest in entering your home. We're going to focus on the rodents that get inside since this article is about rodent-proofing your home. You don't need to use rodent-proofing to keep a vole out, right? Here are the two common home-invading rodents.
Rats: These are big rodents that enter homes through gaps about the width of a quarter. They come in two colors, black and brown. Rats are found in damp, dark, and dirty locations, such as underneath structures or in the crawl space under a home, or they live in nests built in tree cavities. When considering rodent-proofing, you need to mostly apply patches near the ground because there are ways to prevent rodents from accessing your roof. The secret to keeping them off your roof is understanding how they climb up to your roof. We'll talk about that in the prevention section below.
Mice: These are small rodents that enter homes through gaps as tiny as the width of a dime. The worst of all home-invading mice is the house mouse. If you catch a glimpse of a dusty gray mouse, it is likely that you have house mice. It is hard to keep these pests out of your home with exclusion work alone. They find the tiniest of holes and gnaw on them until they're large enough to squeeze into. They're also adept climbers that sometimes scale rough exterior walls like Spiderman. You'll need to do more to keep these pests out.
There is more we could say about rats and mice, but these are the points you need to understand most. They climb and chew their way into your home, and it is hard to stop them with exclusion work alone. But the process of applying prevention is hard. You may need some incentive to roll your sleeves up.
How Rodents Create Damage And Spread Disease
We're not going to spend a lot of time on this topic, but it is essential to understand why it is bad to have rodents in your walls or to have them nest in your attic spaces. At the heart of the problem is that wild rodents are—well—wild. They aren't domesticated. One of the worst things they do inside your home is leave their fecal matter everywhere. You can't expect them to go outside to do their business. Here is a short list of some of the ways wild rodents create damage and spread disease accidentally:
- Rodent waste can contaminate many things, including attic insulation, stored items, building materials, food packages, shelves, cabinets, and food-prep surfaces. Contaminated materials may require replacement, which is costly.
- Rodents leave droplets of urine to help them create a scent map of their environment. The longer rodents remain in your home, the more the scent will grow. That urine is also a source of contamination on insulation, on stored items, and in the food storage areas of your home.
- Rodents chew on wires. Experts believe that 20 to 25 percent of structural fires that have no definable origin are likely rodent-related. Therefore, it is best to not allow even a tiny mouse to live in your home.
- Rodents pick up ticks and spread them around inside homes. These bugs are linked to a long list of diseases, including Lyme, alpha-gal, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Rodents chew holes in the exterior of homes. These holes allow moisture, mold spores, and secondary pests to enter.
Keep these facts in mind as you continue on. Rodents are small animals, but they can create a big problem when they get into your home. Not only do they do the things listed above, but they will quickly grow a population and create more problems as their numbers increase.
Natural Ways To Keep Rodents Away From Your Home
Rodent-proofing is a complex process. We wish it wasn't. If you have the time, skills, and energy to tackle the following jobs, you'll naturally keep rodents out. If you need help, remember that Masters Touch Pest Solutions can address rodent populations around your home, help you with exclusions, and apply other control methods to keep rodents from entering.
Step One: Reduce Food Around Your Home
There are many ways to address rodent food around your home. While it is impossible to remove all that rodents may find to eat, it is worth your effort to try. Here are some examples:
- Clean trash receptacles and keep trash covered. Rodents can smell the scent of decaying food from a distance and it will attract them.
- Rodents love nuts. If you have trees that produce nuts, it is essential to stay on top of simple clean-up chores.
- Rodents eat seeds. If you have bird feeders, consider moving them away from your exterior to keep rodents from exploring your walls and foundation.
One of the most important reasons rodents get into homes is that they find food and are encouraged to establish a nest near the food.
Step Two: Reduce Ground Clutter
Rodents have terrible eyesight. They have to use their noses, whiskers, bodies, and ears to navigate. Removing smells, like the scent of garbage, is important, but even more important is the removal of ground clutter. Rats and mice go from object to object and are deterred by open spaces.
Step Three: Remove Common Routes
Rodents climb telephone poles, trees, pipes, and rough exteriors. If they find a route to your roof, they can exploit vulnerabilities that you don't even know are up there. Here are a few helpful tips to stop them:
- Install guards on pipes.
- Apply metal flashing around tree trunks.
- Trim branches near your roof.
- Apply guards on utility lines that touch your home.
- Block access to downspouts.
If rodents can't get to your roof, they can't find high entry points that are hard to seal or protect.
Step Four: Remove Common Hiding Places
When rodents come near your home, they're going to want to find places to hide. Two common hiding places are cluttered landscaping and open spaces underneath decks. Trim your plants and remove weeds to make it harder for rats and mice to hide. Apply hardware cloth or a fencing material to keep them from hiding under your deck and other structures. If they can't hide near your home, you'll have less trouble with them.
Step Five: Apply Exclusion Work
The last step is to patch holes. You can do this in a few simple ways. Keep in mind that this is in no way a comprehensive list. It is meant to get you started in the right direction.
- Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps, and align doors so they seal completely.
- Use expanding foam to fill wood holes or gaps around frames.
- Use expanding foam to seal gaps around pipes and PVC conduits.
- Use mortar to patch foundation cracks.
- Repair broken window panes, damaged frames, and torn screens.
When you're done with these, you can find satisfaction in a job well done. Most of rodent control is the application of prevention and exclusion methods. If you have normal rodent pressures in your yard, you shouldn't have trouble with rodents finding a way into your home. When rodent pressures are hard or conducive conditions are hard to correct, we can help you diagnose your problem.
The Solution To Total Rodent Control For Your Home
You have many options for keeping rodents out of your West Chester home, but what do you do if rodents have already gotten in? Can you starve them and drive them out? Maybe. But it isn't easy. Can you apply traps and remove them? Some of them. But homeowners typically fail to remove rodents completely and miss certain key steps required to prevent continued entry. It is best to hire a trained and experienced rodent management professional. In West Chester, contact Masters Touch Pest Solutions for assistance. We use advanced strategies developed by industry experts to effectively remove rodents, watch for warning signs to make sure they're gone, and provide long-lasting protection against future infestations. Connect with us through our contact page to schedule a rodent inspection. When it comes to keeping pests out of your home, you're never alone.