Fall is here! Temperatures are dropping, leaves are changing, and rodents will soon begin looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Unfortunately, these pesky rodents may plan to take up residence in and around your home. Mice, rats, squirrels, and other rodents are more than just a nuisance so the National Pest Management Association created Rodent Awareness Week to raise awareness of the health threats these animals pose to your home and family.
They may be small, but they can create big problems. Mice and rats rarely travel alone and may bring a population of fleas, mites, ticks, lice, or other parasites with them. These along with rodent droppings can be linked to the spread of disease. They can chew through just about anything. Rodent incisors are constantly growing so they require a lot of chewing to remain a comfortable length. Their teeth are incredibly strong so they can chew through even the toughest materials with ease. This constant chewing is likely to damage your structure and belongings or even create fire hazards.
This infographic from the NPMA details some shocking statistics on rodent activity in the US. Almost 1/3 of Americans have had a rodent problem in their home, with most of those infestations occurring in the kitchen. Nearly half of infestations occur during the fall and winter months.
Signs of a rodent infestation in your home may include gnaw marks, damaged food packaging, holes or damage along your roof line, droppings, burrows, and abnormal noises. (Many people say that squirrels sound like bowling in your attic!) Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter and mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, so it doesn’t take much for these nuisance rodents to enter your home.
So what can you do to prevent these infestations? Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home and replace any loose mortar or weather stripping. Keep your basement and attic spaces clear and moisture content low. Store firewood away from the home and at least 5 feet off the ground (Bonus: This will also help keep termites away!). Finally, if you notice any signs of infestation, let American Pest Control complete a free estimate to catch the issue early before it becomes a threat to your home or health!