Last week, we talked about the threat that autumnal pests pose in and around homes. This week, the Clark Man and pest management professionals across the United States are promoting National Rodent Awareness Week to place a spotlight on winter’s most commonly encountered pests – rodents.
According to the National Pest Management Association, almost one-third of Americans have experienced an invasion of these furry, unwanted interlopers in their home at one time or another.
Why is winter the time when rodents tend to be an issue? Like humans, rodents look to keep warm indoors as the seasons change. They scramble to get out of winter’s elements – cold temperatures, rain and even snow.
The National Pest Management Association states that nearly 21 million homes across the country are invaded by rodents each year, and that the kitchen is the most susceptible area of your home to rodent incursions.
Rodents don’t need much space to get inside your home. Once inside, they are capable of breeding at alarming rates. For example, mice produce as many as a dozen offspring every three weeks and are capable of dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, or an estimated 70 times each day!
Rodents are also capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood, and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. Rats and mice are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella
, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever, and the potentially fatal hantavirus.
When you add all this up, a small, seemingly harmless rodent problem can quickly grow in to a full-blown infestation.
To prevent rodents from gaining access to your home, the Clark Man offers the following rodent prevention tips:
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly
- Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry
- Replace loose mortar and weatherstripping around the basement foundation and windows
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags, and other packages for evidence of rodents before bringing them indoors
- Regularly check under the hood of the car for signs of rodent infestation
If you have questions about rodents trying to gain access to your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.