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rodent-protection-proofingYou often hear of people winterizing their homes to save on energy costs. But there’s another important aspect of winterization that’s important not to neglect—rodent protection.



Warm weather is ideal for rats, mice, and other rodents. There’s plenty to eat, and they’re comfortable in their outdoor homes. It’s also a time when they rapidly reproduce.



But then the weather starts to chill in the fall, food sources dry up, and rodents begin looking for other options than the great outdoors. That’s when rodent protection for your home becomes more important than ever.



How to Keep Rodents Out



Here are some steps you can take this fall to keep rodents from entering the warmth of your home:

  • Inspect the exterior, looking for any cracks, holes, or other openings that would allow rodents to enter. This includes around the attic and basement. Openings around pipes and utility wires running through the foundation are particularly vulnerable to rodent invasion. It doesn’t take much of an opening for a mouse to get in. If you can stick a pencil through it, it’s definitely big enough. Besides, all openings—no matter how small—should be sealed to protect against insect pests.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back away from your home. Excess vegetation provides cover for rodents.
  • Repair any plumbing leaks or areas near the home where water gathers. If you have water in the basement, rodent protection is one of the many reasons it’s critical to fix that problem. Rodents need water, so cutting their supply is an effective way to discourage them from taking up residence in your home.
  • Don’t leave out food. If you have food that’s not sealed in glass or hard plastic—including pet food—you’re essentially saying to rodents, “Come on in if you’re hungry.” If you leave dirty dishes and food scraps out overnight, you’re saying, “Welcome to the buffet; it’s all you can eat.”
  • Keep your home free of clutter. Rodents are most comfortable when they can stay out of sight, and clutter allows them hiding places they otherwise wouldn’t have.



How to Get Rid of Rodents



Sometimes rodents can find their way inside, even if you’ve taken rodent protection steps. And some people, of course, don’t think to take the steps before the rodents have already infested the home.



In those cases, a pest control specialist can remove the rodents and also provide advice on further rodent protection measures you should take. Then the specialist can return on a periodic basis to treat your home with preventative pesticides to be sure the unwelcome rodents never return.


Photo Credit: Cheese