California’s dry, hot summer has depleted naturally occurring food and water sources. This causes rodents to explore their surroundings more aggressively in search of these necessities.
Rodents, especially the house mouse, will readily explore your home. They use wall voids, utility pipes and wires, and heating and cooling ductwork to move around in search of their next meal. And even though they measure a mere four inches in length from nose to tail, don’t underestimate the negative impact these furry little critters can have on your home.
Mice not only can spoil food with their droppings and urine, but they can transmit dangerous bacteria, including Salmonella, by crawling on countertops and food preparation areas, and contaminating food by chewing through the packaging.
In addition to spoiling food, mice also are a significant threat to the structural integrity of your home. Mice 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.
Good sanitation practices are one of the keys to successfully keeping mice out of your home. Keep counters clean, eliminate clutter, and be sure to collect and empty garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently, and make sure that all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers indoors and out.
But the first and most important step to make sure your home remains rodent-free is by preventing them from gaining access in the first place. Mice – and most pests, for that matter – are opportunists that spend most of their life 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 the homes and other structures in which they want to gain access. Here are the Clark Man’s Six Rodent Exclusion Tips for homeowners:
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside your home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, even those up high – mice are willing climbers, can jump up to 12 inches, and can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime
- Replace loose mortar around the foundation and ground-level windows
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home and five feet off the ground
- Trim shrubs and trees close to your home, cut the grass regularly, rake up leaves, and pick up debris piles in the yard where mice like to hide
- Check the weatherstripping on garage and entry doors and make sure it has no gaps
- Make sure the screens on dryer, utility, and chimney vents do not have tears or openings
Remember, if you think you might have a rodent problem in your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) 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.