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How to Keep Rodents from Entering Your Home

With more than 1500 species of rodents cataloged, rodents comprise more than two-thirds of all the mammals on earth. Many of them, such as groundhogs, are true hibernators while others, such as chipmunks, spend time in a semi-dormant state and revive occasionally to feed. The vast majority of rodents,  though, do not hibernate.

Mice, rats and tree squirrels are three common pests that do not hibernate. These rodents nest and gnaw and will dig their way into almost any soft material, like insulation or upholstery, which will supply a warm comfortable environment for their young. This can be destructive to your house and belongings.

If not prevented, these animals can cause damage to your home. However, rodents do no gnaw on hard surfaces to be malicious. For them, it is a matter of survival. In the wild, a rodent uses its powerful incisors as a way of gaining food, digging a nest and defending itself. Because of this, nature has equipped them with teeth that never stop growing. If they do not constantly wear their teeth down by gnawing, the teeth will grow to the point of becoming useless.

This means that rodents, once inside your home, could attack your joist, beams, pipes and wiring in order to stay alive. This can, over time, cause severe structural damage. Rodents gnawing on pipes and wiring can also lead to flooding and fires.

How to prevent damage
Unfortunately, there are only two ways of preventing or minimizing the damage that rodents can cause to your home. The first way is to prevent gaining entry. The second is to eliminate rodents if they have already found their way inside.

Tips to keep mice, rats, and squirrels out
The key to avoiding having rodents as roommates is to make your home as inhospitable to them as possible. Here is a list of preventive measures to help keep rodents from gaining entry into your home this fall and winter.

  • Clean your home regularly, paying special attention to areas like under toasters and refrigerators that can create a food source.
  • Clear any refuse garbage or garden plots close to your home.
  • Cut back any tree limbs or ivy vines that would allow them to reach the roof or eaves of your home.
  • Fix any dripping faucets inside and out to deny rodents an easy water source.
  • Inspect the outside of your home, especially around the foundation, and plug any gaps.
  • Keep all food (including pet food) in sealed metal, glass or plastic containers.
  • Keep your yard free of fallen limbs, leaves, fruits and nuts.
  • Make sure your garbage can lid fits securely.
  • Stack firewood away from your home and only keep as much as you need.

If you do see a rodent in your home or find their droppings, contact a professional extermination service. immediately.