After a long, hot summer in Vancouver, Washington, it is jarring how quickly the cold weather came in. Just two weeks ago, we had temperatures across the Portland Metro area that were hovering in the mid 80’s and now we are lucky if it gets above 60 degrees. As a Pest Control company in Vancouver, Washington, we understand that there are seasons for everything, pests included. During the summer, we dealt with our fair share of sugar ants and carpenter ants, while also having more wasp treatments than I can ever remember. Now, with the cold weather finally upon us, mice and rats that have been happily nesting outside are now looking for a warmer place to live. This is the time of year when rodents work there way into your attic or crawlspace. So, how do you prepare to make sure that they don’t make your home, their home?
What is the most common entry point for rodents?
It really is not a mystery how most rats and mice get into your home. All it takes is a quick walk around your house and you will usually find the answer. By far, the most common area rodents gain access to your home is through broken or missing foundation vent screens. These are the openings along your foundation that allow your crawlspace to be ventilated. This opening in your concrete foundation should be equipped with a 1/4 inch mesh screen, supposedly to keep pests out of your home. However, many contractors use these openings to run wires or pipes with little concern about leaving openings. Most commonly, the cable guy will punch a hole through the screen to run coaxial wire. Plumbers and electricians often do the same. Even when a contractor is careful to keep the opening only large enough for a pipe or wire to fit through, all a mouse needs is a very tiny hole to squeeze thru. In fact, if you can fit your pinky through the hole, a mouse can fit through.
So, check your foundation vent screens and pay special close attention to the areas where pipes and wires come through. If you can see or feel a gap, it needs to be sealed. There are many ways to accomplish this, but the easiest is probably to just stuff in some steel wool into the gap.
What are the holes around my foundation?
The other thing to look for is burrow holes. Mice make a burrow hole roughly the size of a quarter and rats make a burrow hole about the size of a tennis ball. if you see holes like this around the foundation, you might have a rodent infestation under your home. Collapsing the tunnel holes is a good place to start, but they will likely just dig another one. Pea gravel is useful for the larger holes to keep them filled up, but the truth is that rodents that are tunneling need to be exterminated. They will just keep burrowing and keep reproducing.
How do I get rid of mice and rats?
There are a couple of approaches to rat and mice control. Some like the idea of traps or glue boards. Although this method can effectively kill rodents, it is very tedious and time consuming. Plus, some people are a bit grossed out or freaked out about seeing a dead mouse or rat. In my opinion, baiting is the only way to go to effectively exterminate a mouse or rat population. Store bought products can sometimes get the job done, but to get it done right, you have to call an exterminator. That is where New Leaf Pest Control comes in. We offer an online coupon for $98 to do a basic rodent treatment.
So, if you are dealing with a rodent infestation in Vancouver, Washington or Portland, Oregon and need a little help, please give us a call today.
Photo Credit on Foter.com