The severe drought in California is making an impact on how homeowners maintain their lawns, plants, and gardens; how farmers tend to their crops; and now, rodent behavior. The dry, warm conditions are forcing rodents, especially Norway and roof rats, to seek water sources aggressively inside structures where water from a leaky faucet looks to them like an oasis in the desert.
Norway and roof rats both consume one to two ounces of water daily, which they find at dripping faucets, broken irrigation systems, bird baths, and water features (i.e., ponds). Pet water bowls, clogged gutters, and over-watered gardens are also prime sources of liquid sustenance for these most unwelcome visitors. The house mouse, however, requires less water and can go longer periods between filling up.
Rodents present multiple threats to homes and their occupants: they spoil food, transmit dangerous bacteria, and chew on electrical and computer wires that can start a fire – all good reasons why rodents must be denied access to your home.
Good sanitation practices are one key to keeping rodents out of your home successfully. Keep counters clean, eliminate clutter, and make sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently, and make sure all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers – indoors and out.
But the first and most important step to ensure that your home remains rodent-free is by preventing them from gaining access in the first place. Rodents (and most pests, for that matter) are opportunists that spend most of their lives looking for a way inside a structure in search of food, water, and shelter.
The Clark Man bases his rodent management programs on excluding them from homes and other structures. Here are the Clark Man’s Seven Helpful Rodent Exclusion Tips for homeowners:
- Seal cracks and holes on the exterior of your home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the structure, even those up high – roof rats and mice are willing climbers, and can jump up to 12 inches and squeeze through an opening the size of a dime.
- Since roof rats are adept climbers, trim shrubs and tree limbs close to your home to deny them access to your roof.
- Cut the grass regularly, rake up leaves, and pick up debris piles in the yard where rodents like to hide.
- Replace loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and five feet off the ground.
- Check the weatherstripping on garage and entry doors and make sure it has no gaps.
- Make sure the screens on screen doors and windows, along with dryer and utility vents, do not have holes in them.
Remember, if your home as a problem with rodents in your home, call 800-936-3339 or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.