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A Step-By-Step Guide to Rodent-Proofing Your Aiken Home

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a house mouse crawling in a food pantry

You wake up in the morning and head into your kitchen to make a cup of coffee. As you remove your cup from the cabinet and begin to take out the coffee grinds, you notice small black rice-sized deposits along your countertops… mouse droppings. With the cool weather, mice are looking for food, water, and respite from the cold. When rodents establish themselves in your home, you will likely see other signs of infestation such as gnaw marks on walls, chewed wiring, or destroyed food packaging. 
 
Aside from the visual signs of infestation, you may also notice other signs of rodents in your home. If you have a pet, he or she will smell hear the intruder moving around and may even bark or paw at spaces under stoves, refrigerators, or furniture. You may even hear scampering in the walls or ceilings at night.  
 
Lastly, rodents leave behind waste, and some of it is particularly difficult to clean. They will urinate in your walls and saturate insulation. If you begin to smell mouse urine, you know you have a serious rodent problem. 
 
At this point, you’re most definitely asking yourself two questions: How do I get rid of rodents, and how do I prevent them from coming back? 
 
In order to rodent-proof your house, there are several steps you have to take.

Step 1

  • Sanitize and clean. You have to make sure to clean up any food messes promptly. Sweep and vacuum under heavy appliances like your refrigerator and stove. Move appliances out from the walls to get right to the back and clean and vacuum every area.
  • Clean and sanitize your cabinets. Keep your garbage cans covered and the areas around them cleaned.

Step 2

Do outdoor maintenance. During the warmer months, rodents live outside, and you want them to stay as far away from your home as possible. Make sure you mow the lawn regularly to avoid hiding places and avenues of transportation through your yard. You should trim overgrown vegetation until you can see the ground underneath. Clean all yard debris. Store your firewood away from your house.
 
Check for any visible rodent pathways that would lead a rodent to your home. These are generally along interior walls, building foundations, ledges, tree branches, and fence rails.

Step 3

Eliminate entry points where rodents can get inside. Rodents are pretty clever and can make their way into your home through very small gaps and openings. Once in your walls or ceiling, they will adeptly travel and eventually find a way into your living space. This means you have one word that should become your mantra: seal. There are several different materials used to seal up access points, cracks, or crevices such as:

  • Caulk
  • Steel wool
  • Concrete
  • Copper or aluminum mesh
  • Hardware cloth
  • Sheet metal
  • Make sure all your screens are intact along with door sweeps. There should be secure screening over any vents and chimney caps to prevent these easy access points.

Step 4

Check your storage spaces and avoid leaving food that’s easily accessible to rodents. Don’t leave any food out when not in use. All dry foods like pet food, cereals, rice, flour, sugar, and grains should be stored in airtight containers that are made of plastic, metal, or glass.

And believe it or not, rodents will also make homes in your stored seasonal decorations. They love collecting pieces of garland or tinsel for their nests—along with materials like cardboard, newspaper, and string. So, if you’re packing decorations in materials like these, remove the packaging and store everything in plastic airtight containers, and keep them off of the floor.

What else can I do to eliminate rodents?

Your knee jerk reaction is to go out and buy traps. Truth be told, they may be effective for a small population. However, even if you catch a few rodents, there will still be more around. Rodents reproduce quickly, and their babies are likely left behind in their nest. Therefore, it’s important that you find and destroy the source of the infestation. 
 
You may also consider poisons.  Though this can be helpful, using a poison without the help of a professional can be dangerous. You may wind up with a dead rodent stuck in your walls or poisoning an animal that is not your target. 
 
At the end of the day, once you see a single rodent, there are likely others. Our professionals at Aiken Pest Control will work with you to come up with a solution for prevention and removal. Contact us today!

 

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