Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keep out unwanted visitors this winter

It’s that time of year where those pesky, unwanted visitors like to make themselves comfortable in your home. No, not the friends or family members who tend to wear out their welcome. Rodents. Now that it is getting cold, rodents will start to look for warmth. There is a lot we can do to prevent a rodent problem in our homes.

Screen them out.
  • Regularly check your home for cracks or openings larger than ¼ inch. Anything bigger than that, a mouse can get through. Check around foundation, in attics, around windows, and where pipes or wires enter the building. Repair small cracks and holes with wire mesh and spray foam insulation.
  • Look underneath sinks and around plumbing. Seal holes with items available at local hardware stores such as metal pipe collars and metal mesh that has less  than ¼ inch openings.
  • Rodents can also get in from underneath doors, so make sure spaces under doors are less than ¼ inch as well.
Don’t invite them to dinner.
  • Keep food stored away in glass, metal tins, or hard plastic. They can chew through cardboard, plastic bags and cloth. Put food away every night and wipe up the counters. This is especially important if you know you have a mouse or two as current roommates.
  • Pet food can attract rodents. Bring any outdoor pet food dishes in and put the food away at night. Store it in glass, metal tins, or hard plastic.
  • Don’t feed the birds. If you feed the birds, you will likely be feeding some rodents too.
It’s your home, not their habitat.
  • Keep bushes around the home trimmed up and away from the sides of the building. If there are places to hide right next to your home, rodents can make themselves comfortable in them. From their hiding spots, they can look for ways to invite themselves inside.
  • It may be convenient to have firewood stacked up right outside the door, but it is also a convenient little home for rodents. Find another covered area to store firewood.
If you see rodents signs (droppings, holes), take action.
  • The longer rodents are allowed to settle into your home or shed, the more damage they will do and the more time and money it will take to clear them back out.

For more information on rodents, check out the US Centers for Disease Control site at:

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