Next week, pest management professionals across the country will be recognizing Rodent Awareness Week. In light of that, the Clark Man would like to share some important information on how to rodent proof your home from the biggest rodent offender we know of in homes – the house mouse.
The house mouse is an inquisitive, sneaky, and very unwelcome presence in any home. These harmless-looking creatures not only spoil food and spread harmful bacteria, but their gnawing can also fray wiring and cause a fire.
The Clark Man has long battled this cagey foe in homes across California, and we have learned a lot about them and how to prevent them from becoming a problem.
Homeowners are often the first line of defense when it comes to making sure mice and other rodents can’t gain access to living spaces.
Here are a few things you should know about a pest that, annually, invades an estimated 21 million homes in the United States:
Despite their tiny bodies (and even tinier stomachs), mice eat between 15 and 20 times a day. Because of their frequent eating habits, they prefer to build their nests near food sources.
Mice are good jumpers, climbers, and swimmers. Mice can jump a foot into the air, allowing them to easily climb onto kitchen counters or into pantries to access food. They also can squeeze through openings as small as the size of a dime.
You know that mice can spread diseases like hantavirus and Salmonella, but that’s just the beginning. In fact, mice can actually carry as many as 200 human pathogens.
A female house mouse can produce as many as 150 offspring in a single year. If you spot a mouse in your home, it is safe to assume there are more – or there will be soon.
How do you prevent your home from falling victim to an unwanted rodent infestation? The two most important steps are sanitation and exclusion.
If good sanitation practices aren’t followed, the benefits of any rodent-control measures will be lost, and the rodents will quickly return.
Keep firewood, boxes, and other household goods off the ground to help reduce the suitability of the area for mice to hide.
Collect garbage, trash, and garden debris frequently, and ensure that all garbage receptacles have tight-fitting covers.
Store pet food in rodent-proof containers.
Store all pantry items in hard plastic containers with a tightly sealed lid.
The most effective form of rodent control in a home is exclusion. Physically sealing off your home to deny rodents access is the way to go.
Seal openings on the exterior with a silicone caulk, and fill gaps and holes inside your home with steel wool, wire screening, or lightweight sheet metal.
Because rodents are excellent climbers, openings above ground level (e.g., along the roof line and gutters) must also be plugged.
If you are experiencing a problem with rodents, 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.