Rodent Prevention Tips for Homeowners

Rodent Prevention Tips for Homeowners

With the arrival of cooler temperatures across the country, rodents will begin to seek shelter from the elements – often in people’s homes. To promote public vigilance against the hazards rodents can pose when they invade structures, McCloud Services and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), recognizes Rodent Awareness Week. 

“Each winter, rodents invade an estimated 21 million U.S. homes, bringing with them threats to human health and property,” said Patricia Hottel, technical director. “Rodents are most likely to cause problems in the Chicagoland area this time of year, so it’s important for homeowners to take steps to keep them out before they become an issue.” “We encourage homeowners to keep an eye out for signs that rodents may have taken up residence in their home, including droppings, scurrying noises at night, gnaw marks, damaged food packaging and burrows in secluded areas,” added Hottel.

Mice and rats can spread a vast array of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice and rat-bite fever. A buildup of rodent droppings can cause indoor allergies and since mice tend to urinate constantly, the risk of contamination of food surfaces and equipment is high. Rodents are also capable of chewing through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires.

McCloud Services and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following rodent prevention tips:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages for evidence of rodents before bringing them indoors.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.