As the warmer weather quickly makes way for the cooler, fall-like temperatures, we start to scramble for our jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters to warm up. Rats, mice, squirrels and other rodents also seek shelter from their outdoor nests and look to your home or business for safe refuge. Long Island faces many types of rodent problems when it get cold outside. Despite many rodents notorious for carrying diseases and varying types of bacteria, these little pests can create havoc behind your walls and in your garage or basement. Have you ever asked yourself, “Where did these mice come from?” Or, “How did the squirrels get into my house?” Here are a few tips to help keep your home or business rodent free.Other then carrying diseases or bacteria, rodents have the tendency to eat through insulation and wires. This presents homeowners and business owners with many real concerns that potentially go unnoticed for months or even years. Mice or rats chomping through the wrong wires could create a fire hazard for your family or your patrons. Being that these issues usually take place behind a closed wall or in the ceiling, it is very easy for it to go undetected until the real problem surfaces. Here are 10 preventative tips to keep rodent problems outside in the cold:
- Keep garbage cans tightly covered. Garbage pales that are not covered or loosely covered allow rodents and scavengers to find a food source. When you secure your garbage cans, rodents will be more likely to move on to find an easier source for food.
- If possible, keep garbage cans in the garage, better to not leave them outside. The garage adds one more barrier and hurdle to overcome in the search for food. You may want to consider keeping an air freshener nearby.
- Make sure that all food that is waste and put into garbage cans are placed in a sealed plastic bag. Most rodents have sharp teeth. If they want to get to the food, they will work extra hard to eat through plastic. Metal garbage cans are more of a deterrent for mice & rats.
- Make sure the siding of your house or business is secure and no insulation is visible. This is an open invitation for mice. They consider insulation great for nests.
- Keep your property around your house clean of leaves, twigs and debris. As much as we all dislike picking up the copious amounts of leaves that fall off your trees or your neighbors trees, it is important to pay special attention close to your home. This type of debris is perfect for rodents to build winter homes with while using your house as shelter.
- If your basement is used for storage for blankets, towels or rugs, make sure they are kept in bags (vacuum sealed if possible or plastic containers. What is better for extra warmth during those cold winter months? Soft blankets, towels and rugs. Keep such items out of the open to prevent rodents from finding a home away from home (i.e. your walls or ceiling)
- Food in your pantry or cabinets should be placed in sealed plastic bags, mainly those that have to be kept open. Even the smallest openings behind your cabinets or pantry are no match for mice. You’d be amazed at how small of a whole or opening they could fit through.
- Try to keep fruit, vegetables and candy out in bowls on the counter. If you can cover them, even better. Rodents do not like the open spaces so they will shy away from counters more and try to find such food in cabinets before they venture out.
- Keep the interior of your home free from crumbs. General, clean housekeeping can go a long way. Crumbs attract all sorts of bugs, ants (mostly in warmer weather) and rodents.
- Make sure all entry holes (interior or exterior) are closed up. This is particularly important around pipes, outdoor spigots, cable lines, wood rot, etc. As we mentioned in tip 7, mice can get into the smallest of areas. Using spray foam is one of the best methods to plug or close these openings.
In summary, general basic housekeeping can make the difference between preventing mice, rats and other rodents or leaving them a breadcrumb trail right to the inside of your home or office. Spend a few extra minutes tidying up and adhering to the above tips and you’ll save yourself time and money trying to fix the problem later. The above tips should cost you under $10.
If you’ve encountered a mouse, rat or other rodent problem and need help resolving it, please call (631) 868-7023 for a free, no obligation estimate. Our exterminators are well trained in rodent control. They will identify the problem area, help you rectify the issue and remove the pests for you.