At first glance, the house mouse
does not appear very threatening, but don’t let looks deceive you. Mice are the number-one rodent pest for homeowners in United States, and it’s estimated that mice and their rodent brethren invade more than 20 million homes each winter across the country.
How do these furry little creatures, which consume approximately 1/10 of their body weight – two to four grams of food – on a daily basis, gain access to your home? And what areas are most vulnerable to a mouse infestation?
According to research conducted by the National Pest Management Association, the kitchen – the hub of activity in many homes – is the number-one area where rodents are likely to be found. Let’s be honest: Rodents, while not Rhodes scholars, know where their bread is buttered, so to speak, and kitchens offer abundant sources of food, water, and shelter for these unwanted visitors.
What other areas of a home are susceptible to hosting a rodent infestation? The research revealed the following:
- Kitchen – 50%
- Basement – 27%
- Living Room – 25%
- Bedroom – 22%
- Bathroom – 11%
- Other – 9%
In addition to spoiling food with their droppings and urine, and transmitting dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, rodents also can pose a significant threat to the structural integrity of your home.
A house mouse or roof rat infestation can destroy insulation in attics, and can chew through wallboards, cardboard, wood and electrical or computer wiring. In fact, rodents cause up to 25 percent of house fires in the U.S. every year.
The keys to any successful rodent-prevention program are exclusion and sanitation. If you don’t “build” rodents out of your home and follow good sanitation practices on a consistent basis, the benefits of the Clark Man’s rodent-prevention measures will be lost, and rodents will reinvade faster than a New York minute.
Keep counters clean. Eliminate clutter. Make sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently. Also, make sure all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers, indoors and out.
The Clark Man’s Top Five Rodent-Prevention Tips
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside your home – pay special attention to areas where pipes and utility wires or cables enter the home, even those up high; mice can squeeze through a ¼-inch opening.
- Replace loose mortar and weatherstripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and five feet off the ground.
- Keep basements, attics, and storage areas free of clutter, and eliminate moisture sources – including leaking pipes, faucets, and clogged drains.
- Keep food – especially pet food – in sealed containers.
Remember, if your home has a problem and you need a rodent exterminator, we can help! Call 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.