Rodents can cause a lot of trouble when they get into our homes, especially mice and rats. These two types of rodents can bring ticks, fleas, lice, mites, and other parasites in with them as well. And, unlike squirrels (another common rodent that gets into our homes) mice and rats can spread these parasites around from the basement to the attic. Squirrels are usually content to stay in attic spaces, and their parasites will usually stay with them. So, as we talk about rodent-entry points, we'll be focusing on mice and rats, in particular, house miceNorway rats, and roof rats.

a house mouse eating flour in a pantry
norway rat eating grains in a basement

Low Entry Points

When house mice come near a home, they are likely to target low entry points. The same is true of Norway rats. These mice and rats prefer to be near the ground. Norway rats go one step further and actually tunnel into the ground to make a burrow in which to live. If you have a Norway rat problem, it is likely that those rats will live in their burrows outside of your home rather than establish a nest on the inside. This is good and bad news. The good news is, you don't have to worry about nasty, contaminated nests inside your wall voids, attic spaces, and other secluded areas. But, as a Norway rat goes in and out of your home, they can cause ongoing damage.

Some of the entry points you can expect a house mouse or a Norway rat to exploit are:

  • Door sweeps. As mice and Norway rats explore areas of a home that are near the ground, they may chew on the door sweeps at the bottom of doors, especially if they sense warm air leaking out. This often happens in the fall.

  • Weatherstripping. The rubber around a door that keeps the heat from escaping can be an easy entrance for mice. All a mouse needs is a hole the size of a dime to get inside. This is easy enough to create in soft, rubber weather stripping.

  • Door frames. These are areas of high humidity on a home. While frames are made of hardwood, constant exposure to moist weather can make them ripe for rodent attacks. This is especially true of door frames in foundation walls that give an entrance to basement areas.

  • Window frames. Just like a door frame, ground (or below ground) window frames can be a target for mice and Norway rats. If a window frame is behind a bush or has some other object that offers seclusion, there is a greater chance of damage and possible entry.

  • Plumbing gaps. If there is a gap, or the seal around plumbing pipes is eroded, it can give rodents an entry point.

  • Vents. Mice and Norway rats are good jumpers. If they can reach an open vent, they may use it to get inside.

  • Foundation cracks. Chipped mortar and a cracked foundation wall is an open invitation for a mouse.

High Entry Points

When roof rats come near to a home, they are more likely to target high entry points because they are excellent climbers. But they aren't opposed to getting in through the points already mentioned above. Some specific entry points for roof rats are:

  • Soffits. The materials that most soffits are made of aren't difficult for a roof rat to chew through. Once inside, those soffits give the rat a perfect route to get into the attic.

  • The edge of a roof where it meets the gutter. Rainwater can soften this area of a roof and make it a good location for roof rats to chew through.

  • Gaskets around exhaust pipes. Rubber isn't much of a match for a roof rat. Beyond the gaskets around exhaust pipes is a large gap for these rodents to climb in through.

  • Vents. The flimsy plastic covers that are on most roof vents can be chewed off by a roof rat.

  • Chimneys. Roof rats will get in between a chimney and the side of a home and chew a pathway in. They can also climb up onto the top of a chimney, climb in and chew on the damper to gain entry.

If you ever have trouble with rodents in your South Carolina home, the team at Aiken Pest Control has the training, technology, and teamwork to get those rodents out and keep them out. Get started by requesting a free inspection.


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