Rodent season has arrived in Houston, and, now that the weather is cooling down, lots of homeowners have started to notice an increase in the number of winter rodents running around on their property.
Are you in this situation right now? Are you eager to do whatever you can to avoid these pesky creatures?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve dealt with infestations in the past or just want to do whatever you can to keep your property pest-free. Either way, we’re here to help you.
Listed below are eight ways to prevent a rodent infestation that you can implement today.
Signs of a Rodent Infestation
Before we dive into the specifics of keeping your home rodent-free, let’s touch on the warning signs that an infestation is already in place. Here are some of the most common signs to be on the lookout for:
- Unpleasant smells
- Bite marks on furniture, walls, electrical cords, etc.
- Strange pet behaviors
- Rodent droppings
- Footprints in high-dust areas
- Strange sounds (especially at night)
Knowing the warning signs is the first step to getting rid of them.
If you’ve picked up on any of these signs, there’s a good chance that mice, rats, squirrels, or other rodents are wreaking havoc on your home.
Preventing a Rodent Infestation
As you can see, rodents can do a lot of damage. It also doesn’t take them very long to start ruining your home and freaking out your pets.
That’s why proper rodent prevention is so important.
Here are eight ways you can keep these pests away from your property:
1. Seal Up Your House
Often, folks who end up with rodent infestations in their home have this problem because they provided the pests with easy access to the house.
As the weather gets colder, rodents are going to be looking for a place to escape the dropping temperatures.
Don’t make it easy by having unsealed holes in your walls that they can crawl through.
Remember, a mouse can fit through a hole that’s as small as seven millimeters. They can also chew around these tiny holes to make them larger. To avoid running into this problem, take a tour of your home and, if you notice any cracks or holes, seal them up as quickly as possible.
2. Check Your Pantry
Make sure you haven’t accidentally turned your home into a feeding ground for rodents. If food is easily accessible, they’re going to find a way in and be more inclined to stick around.
The pantry is a common location for homeowners to find rodents.
Not only are pantries typically full of cardboard that they can chew and use to bulk up their nests, but pantries also contain plenty of delicious, easily accessible food.
Make sure all of the containers in your pantry are properly sealed. Consider getting rid of cardboard boxes and paper bags and replacing them with sturdier storage containers that seal fully.
3. Clear Clutter
A cluttered house is going to be more appealing to a rodent than a clean one.
Rodents look for places to burrow and hide out when they move into a home, so don’t make it easier for them by providing them with lots of cluttered spaces full of nooks and crannies.
Clear out areas that don’t get a lot of human traffic, in particular.
Get rid of clutter in closets, basements, or storage areas where rodents might be tempted to hide.
It doesn’t matter if you host a yard sale, donate items to your local charity shop, or throw them out altogether. Whatever you do, do your best to make your home as clutter-free as you can.
4. Address the Exterior
Don’t forget that the exterior of your home can be inviting to rodents, too.
Do you have clutter outdoors that might attract rodents?
Do you have tree branches or shrubs that are too close to your windows?
If left unattended, these issues can provide an on-ramp for rodents and make it easy for them to get into your house.
5. Install Screens
Consider installing screens on certain areas of your house to keep rodents out.
For example, placing screens over chimneys and vents will make it harder for rodents to use them as an entry point into your home.
6. Eliminate Moisture
Moist areas are extra inviting to pests, including rodents.
If you know of any areas in your home that might have leaks or water buildup, address them as soon as possible.
Eliminating moisture will help to prevent mold growth and other issues that can damage your home, too, so it’ll pay off in more ways than one for you to tackle them right away.
7. Store Firewood Properly
Improperly stored firewood can increase your chances of dealing with a rodent infestation.
Make sure firewood is kept at least 20 feet away from your house. It’s best if you keep the wood off of the ground, too.
Rodents like to make nests in stacks of firewood.
If the stack is too close to the house, it’ll be easier for them to sneak inside.
8. Call a Rodent Control Expert
If you notice any signs of a rodent, or if you have had rodent issues in the past and want to be extra cautious, reach out to a rodent control expert sooner rather than later.
Rodent control professionals can come out and inspect your home to help you identify any existing rodent issues and point out problems that could lead to rodent infestations in the future.
They can also trap and remove any rodents that have already made their way into your home and take steps to prevent more from coming back.
It’s Time to Prevent a Rodent Infestation
Nobody wants to deal with a rodent infestation on top of all the other stressors that come with being a homeowner. Keep the strategies outlined above in mind and you’ll be far less likely to have a rodent issue on your hands this winter.
If you need professional rodent control assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Third Coast Home and Commercial Services. We offer a wide range of pest control services, including rodent control.