With the colder months upon us, there is one unwelcome house guest in particular that is waiting to get into a nice warm home to raise their families. Rats and Mice will attempt to enter homes from now and continue throughout winter. This time of year is what the Pest Control industry refers to as ‘Rodent Season’. The fact is, rodents are breeding all year around – they breed just as much in summer as they do in winter. The difference in the colder months is that now our homes provide a fantastic warm place for rodents to continue to live during winter.
External conditions are starting to become less attractive for Rats and Mice. This image shows a Norway Rat (often simply called a brown rat) about to enter a home. These rats prefer to burrow, but have actually started to nest within the home due to the weather getting colder. These are warm blooded mammals, and the warmth of an insulated roof space or cavity is much more appealing than a hole in the ground outside in the cold.
Just like humans, rodents like to live in warm environments. Rats and mice find their way into a structure through small holes, make their way through the wall cavities and exploit almost any area inside your home. The roof void, wall cavities and other confined voids in and around your home make excellent nesting areas. Apart from being a nice warm place to nest this time of year, once in your home food and water is more easily accessed, often directly from your very own kitchen.
Apart from the obvious threat of disease, rats will also cause a lot of damage. Rodent’s teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime, and if they do not continuously gnaw to keep them in check, their teeth will become too large and essentially useless to them. Interestingly, the name Rodent comes from a Latin word which basically means to gnaw.
Some of the damage caused by these pests will be noticeable and repairable, like this hole made in a wall by rats, giving them further access to wall cavities and other areas of your home.
Some damage, however, is a lot harder to spot, like these internal electrical wires that have been chewed back to bare copper.
In cases like these, you will most likely not notice anything at all until there are problems with your power, or even worse, a potential fire. Remember, rats and mice will always be gnawing on something, and it’s well documented that they have been the cause of many fires.
There are things that you can do around your home that will help make your property less attractive for rodents to live.
- Ensure all of your household garbage is in tightly sealed bins which rats and mice cannot access. This helps to restrict their access to food as much as possible. Rodents are opportunistic feeders – while they have their preferred food sources, they will still eat almost anything.
- Alter your building so that Rodents cannot gain entry. Look for access holes that rats can use, such as where pipes enter buildings, gaps under external doors, etc. Sealing these and other similar points will make it harder for rodents to enter. Using a gutter guard can also be helpful to stop them entering the roof via the gutters.
- Trim excess trees and shrubs from around the perimeter of structure especially trees that overhang the roof. This will both take away harbourage areas and make accessing the roof a little bit harder for them.
When all else fails, other control measures will need to be implemented. Here at Amalgamated Pest Control, we are the experts at assessing all of your options and presenting the available solutions to you.
What can you do for me?
If we are called to your home because you suspect or know you have a rodent problem, the first thing we will do is conduct a full rodent inspection. We look at all areas of known activity, internally and externally, including the roof void and the sub-floor. This inspection allows us to identify the rodent species, any nesting areas, travel routes, and where they are getting food and water from.
With this crucial information, we can than implement a control strategy best suited to the problem and the property. We will also provide you with important recommendations on things you can alter or fix to manage the environment and make it less appealing to rodents. Once management has been implemented, we will keep coming back to check the bait/trap placement until the problem is controlled. We will also point out all the proofing measures that can be undertaken to keep rodents out in the future.
Remember – if the rodents come back, so will we.
If you even think you may have a rodent problem, call us here at your local Amalgamated Pest Control today.