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Eliminate Rodents around your Home this Winter

All kinds of rodents would love to start Hotel Rodentia in your Connecticut household this winter. House mice, roof rats, Norway rats, and other types of rodents are looking for a place to winter, and your Connecticut home is the perfect spot. We don't want your holiday present this year to be a rodent infestation.

Plenty of hard-as-steel homeowners have jumped in fright at the sight of a rodent roaming around. Rodents carry diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, hantavirus, and are thought to be the original carriers of the plagues, bubonic, black, etc. Other serious rodent problems are caused when they contaminate food, make noise, and cause damage by gnawing and scratching on walls and pulling out insulation to make nests.

Below, we’ll tell you the signs of a rodent problem this winter and what to do to rodent-proof your home.

Signs of Rodents

Be vigilant of these signs of a rodent invasion.

  • Scrap piles Look for signs that rats or mice are nesting. Piles of wood shavings, scraps of paper, or insulation pulled from the walls are a clear sign.
  • Noises Rats and mice may make gnawing or scratching noises in the walls at night. Rats will scurry and fight one another for territory or food.
  • Droppings Rodent droppings are a sure sign of an infestation. Rat droppings are dark, rounded pellets while mice droppings are dark and shaped much like a grain of rice.
  • Paw Prints Tiny paw prints might be found outside, in the dust in a cabinet or on the floor, or leading from a food source, like a bag of flour or sugar they have chewed through.
  • Rodent Sightings If a rat or mouse shows up in your living room, it’s time to take action. However, rodents are nocturnal, and won’t normally come out during the day. You’re unlikely to see them, except during a midnight stroll to the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Alert Pets Dogs and cats have a keen sense of hearing and smell. If they show agitation or are on high alert, it could be a sign of a little furry home invader.

Eliminate and Prevent Rodent Attractions

Food attracts rodents better than anything else. Follow these directions and discourage a rodent from coming inside in the first place.

  • Food storage Airtight containers will keep the smell of food from rodents. Place all food, including pet food and bird seeds, on a high shelf, far from reach.
  • Keep a Clean house Clutter provides plenty of hiding spots for a family of rodents. Although dirt and grime don’t attract rodents, a thorough cleaning will disturb them and discourage them from hiding in your house.
  • Yard Upkeep Fallen tree limbs, leaves, or fruit provide great opportunities. Leaves and branches allow space for hiding places, and fruits, seeds, or nuts are excellent sources of nutrition for a rodent. If you keep a bird feeder, place it at least 20 feet from the house.
  • Compost Piles: If you compost, especially if you compost food, we recommend keeping the pile at least 20 feet from the home and at least 1 foot off the ground. Install a chicken wire fence or a metal screen around it to prevent access.
  • Firewood Piles: Any stack of wood will provide nesting grounds for a litter of rats or mice pinkies (another name for baby mice.) Keep these at least 20 feet from the home as well, and at least 1 foot off the ground. Install a chicken wire fence or a metal screen around it to prevent access.
  • Empty Garbages Empty the garbage frequently, and keep the outside garbage lid tightly sealed.

Eliminate Rodent Entry Points

Rats and mice can fit into minuscule spaces ranging from the size of a quarter to the size of a dime! Pay extra attention to find any gaps, as a single seal could permanently eliminate a rodent problem.

  • Check cracks and crevices. Fill these with silicone caulk or steel wool, especially cracks near the foundation or sill plates.
  • Fill accessible gaps in siding.
  • Check and seal gaps around water, gas, or electrical piping.
  • Seal gaps around doors and ground-level windows.
  • Install a metal screen around larger entry points and add caulk or steel wool if necessary. Chimneys, fireplaces, garages, and sheds often pose a problem with large entry points.
  • Shrubbery around your house provides hiding places that give rodents time to search for or gnaw entry points into your home. Bushes and shrubs should be trimmed at least one foot from the side of the house, and grass should be cut short.
  • Trim tree branches at least 5 feet from your roof to reduce access to your roof by rats and other pests, like raccoons.

Professional Control and Prevention

If you are afraid a rodent, mouse or rat will enter your home, live traps, glue traps, rodent bait, bait stations, and good old peanut butter traps are available for over-the-counter purchase to get rid of rats or mice. However, we discourage the use of live traps and poison bait, since these can be dangerous for children or pets if not properly used. A homeowner who approaches a trapped rat or mouse without the proper expertise could contract a disease the rodent might carry.

Luckily, you’re not alone. Our Fox Pest Control Technicians are Pest Professionals with the expertise and experience you need for rodent control. If you suspect rodents are in your house, don’t wait. Follow the steps outlined above and call today for a free estimate. Your Pest Pro from Fox Pest Control will work with you to create a rat control or mice control plan that fits your needs and restores your peace of mind. Pest Control? Think Fox Pest Control.

Posted on December 2, 2019.

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Connecticut Pest Control & ExterminatorsFox Pest Control proudly provides expert pest control and bed bug control in Connecticut. We have helped over 20,000 homeowners manage and exterminate their pest problems and look forward to putting over 8 years of experience to work for you.

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