Being prepared for Winter Pests such as Rodents
By Ralph H Maestre
It has been thought of that as winter sets in rodents such as mice and rats will try to make their way into our homes. The most typical rodents to be found within human structures are the House mouse, Deer mouse, Norway rat, and occasionally the Vole.
The House mouse and Norway rat are commonly found in urban and rural environments. The House mouse and Norway rat are common in the New York City urban and suburban areas. We don't find the roof rat here in New York City. On occasions we do find voles invading our structures in the suburban neighborhoods such as Nassau County. Both the House mouse and the Norway rat are commensal rodents which means that they "share the table" with humans. Deer mice and Voles are non-commensal although they may hoard food within our homes.
Rodents tend to have poor vison with a great sense of touch, taste, and smell. They memorize their runways between shelter and food. This is called Kinesthetics. They know exactly how many steps it takes to get from one place to another.
Rodents rely on gnawing as a means of survival in the wild. Rodents use their incisors and powerful jaws to gain access to harborage, obtain daily resources such as food, water, and nesting materials, assist in climbing and as weapons against enemies (Corrigan 2001). This ability to gnaw is what allows rodents to enter our structures. But to do so they require some sort of edge on the material they are going to gnaw on and only need a size less than a quarter opening to enter. So, what are we to do?
- First perform an inspection to find possible entry points such as doorways, windows, pipe penetrations, etc. Use a pencil as a guide, if the pencil fits into the opening, then seal it.
- Seal these entry points with the proper materials such as door sweeps, screens, a labeled sealants that will expand and contract with changes in the weather (outdoor use).
- Sanitation is very important, making sure garbage pails are not overflowing and have proper fitting lids.
- Reducing the natural nuts that fall from trees around the property.
- Garage doors are particularly prone to rodent entry, so a very good garage door sweep such as the ones sold by Xcluder and properly installed will prevent entry.
- All door thresholds should have a space that measures less than 0.25" or 6mm wide.
- Crawl space vents covers must be tight.
- Dryer vests must be well sealed.
- It may be necessary to use cement to level off uneven floors so that the sweeps fit accordingly.
As with all of our rodent exterminating techniques, we recommend hiring a pest control professional to inspect, diagnose and perform all exterminating services to ensure a successful outcome. Contact Magic today for a free onsite estimate.