As summer winds down and fall comes into sight, rodents, particularly mice, become more active in seeking new sources of food, water, and shelter. Why is there a rodent surge this time of year?
California’s dry, hot summer has depleted naturally occurring food and water sources, and this causes rodents to explore their surroundings more aggressively in search of these necessities. And like humans, rodents also look for relief from the elements (i.e., the heat), and they associate cooler locations with water sources.
The house mouse is a curious creature. It will readily explore your home using wall voids, utility pipes and wires, and heating and cooling ductwork to move around in search of its next meal. As the statistic mentioned earlier indicates, wall and cabinet voids near kitchen appliances (e.g., refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves) and the pantry are common nesting sites for mice.
And mice are patient invaders that will wait for just the right opportunity – a door left propped open, a box of off-season clothes brought in from a storage area in which they can stow a ride, an open bag of pet food or a dime-sized opening in the foundation or door frame – to enter your home.
How do you know if you have a rodent problem? Some common signs of a possible rodent infestation include the following:
- Rodent droppings (usually black in color and ¼- to ½-inch long) and urine (best detected using a black light)
- Chewed electrical, computer or cable wiring (a major cause of electrical fires)
- Unexplained chewing or gnaw marks on carpet, upholstery, drapes, furniture, and baseboards
- Chewed-on food product packaging in your pantry
In addition to the kitchen, what areas of your home are most vulnerable to attracting an unwanted rodent infestation? The Clark Man has identified the following rodent hot spots in homes:
- Attached garages, carports, and storage areas above these locations where storage boxes, pet food, and other items are found
- Bathroom cabinet voids
- In utility rooms and areas beneath, and within base voids of furnaces, washers, and clothes dryers
- In wall, ceiling, and floor voids
- In the insulation of attics and in the contents of the attic (e.g., storage boxes)
- In basements and crawlspaces near utility openings
- Firewood stacked next to the house and near a door
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.