Rodent Proofing vs. Extermination
If you’ve had issues with a rodent infestation in your home, you may have noticed that rodent control companies have two very distinct ways of dealing with your rodent issue. Many traditional pest control companies emphasize extermination services, while other companies may offer “rodent proofing” services. Understanding the difference between these two types of rodent control services is crucial to selecting a rodent control company that meets your needs and will solve your rat problem for good.
Extermination Means Poison And Traps.
When a pest control company talks about extermination services they are talking about poison and traps. Simply put, the goal of extermination is to kill off the active rat population in your home using rodent traps and rat poison. Unfortunately, although this sounds like it would be the easiest solution, extermination comes with a long list of cons, including:
- Time Consuming – Extermination is not a “quick fix” for your rodent problem. It can take several days and multiple doses of poison to kill a rat.
- Dangerous For Children And Pets – Leaving poison or active traps around your home can be hazardous, especially to small children and pets. If you are opting to hire an exterminator be sure you know what chemicals will be used in your home and where so that you can set up the proper precautions to keep your children and pets safe.
- Unsanitary – Poisoned rats can die in the walls of your home, leaving you rotting animal carcasses in your attic and crawlspaces. These decaying bodies can cause foul odors and provide a breeding ground for bacteria and disease.
- A Temporary Solution – Rats breed quickly. Trapping and poisoning rats might kill-off some of the current infestation, but it does nothing to protect your home from future infestation. This makes trapping and poisoning rodents a full-time, never-ending job!
Rodent Proofing Is Permanent.
Rodent proofing a home is the only way to ensure that your home will be permanently protected from future rodent infestation. Best of all, rodent proofing can be done without any dangerous chemicals or traps. How does it work? The rodent proofing process is done in 3 phases:
- Phase 1: Inspection – Every rodent proofing job will start with inspection of your attic for rodent entry access points. Rodent infestation is only possible when these holes and gaps are left unsealed.
- Phase 2: Sealing – After identifying all possible rodent access points, these entry ways are sealed with professional grade sealant and steel mesh, denying access to new rodents and preventing infestation.
- Phase 3: Cleanup – Once all the entry points are sealed your attic is cleaned, disinfected and deodorized.
What Is Rodent Exclusion?
When mice enter your home, you will do anything to evict these unwelcome house guests. Setting out dozens of mouse traps can be an effective way to catch a few of the invaders, but unfortunately mouse traps won’t fix your rodent problem. The best way to eliminate a mouse infestation in your home or business is through rodent exclusion. Rodent exclusion is the method used to reduce the conditions that may be attracting rodents to your property, therefore preventing future infestations from occurring.
The first step in rodent exclusion is to eliminate possible entry points for rodents. Rats are capable of entering your property through a hole the diameter of a quarter while mice are capable of wiggling through holes the diameter of a dime. It is necessary to carefully examine the exterior of your property (including attics and basements) to eliminate possible entry points. Check areas around where utility pipes come into the home as well as around windows and doors. When you have eliminated all possible entry holes, your property will no longer allow in nuisance rodents.
Next you must eliminate all food and water sources that may be feeding a rodent infestation. Make sure that all food in your cupboards is placed in heavy duty plastic containers with tight fitting lids; never leave food on your countertops and keep cupboards clean and dry. If you are finding mouse poop in your cupboards, there is a good chance that rodents are feasting on something in the cupboards, so very carefully examine all items stored there.
Finally it is important to remove all possible nesting areas for rodents. This is not entirely possible in most properties, because rodents will find their way into the walls, which can be almost impossible to prevent. But it is possible to prevent rodents from nesting in your storage boxes as well as in areas of clutter. Make sure that all your stored items are in heavy duty plastic containers with tight fitting lids and eliminate piles of clutter to make your property less attractive to rodents.
What causes rodent infestation?
If you own a home, there is always a possibility that it may be at risk for a rat or mice infestation. Any type of rodent infestation can easily turn into an expensive ordeal if not handled properly. Worse, your family’s health will be put at risk by exposing them to a variety of contagious diseases and parasites.
The reality is that everyone is at risk for a rodent infestation no matter how new your home may be. Here are four reasons that you may be experiencing a rodent problem:
One possible reason for an infestation could be a result of poor sanitation. Along with health concerns and other problems, poor sanitation can lead to a situation where rats and mice have easy access to food and water sources, encouraging them to move in and create a nest in your home.
Rats and mice are generally associated with unhygienic spaces, which rings true if there are bits of garbage scattered throughout the house. These rodents are scavengers and will invade any home in search of food and a safe place to raise young, and if your home isn’t clean, it will satisfy both criteria and be at risk for infestation.
Bird feeders and other types of food items that leave residue also attract rats and mice. Likewise, the nuts and fruits that fall from trees can also attract rats and mice to your home.
Rodents are also attracted to water sources. If you have a pet with a water bowl outside or an outdoor pool, you may want to eliminate those water sources by covering your pool, or moving your water bowls inside.
Seeking Shelter Within the Home
Rats and mice are constantly seeking out shelter that can act as a potential nesting site for their young. Outside the home, leaf piles, deep mulch, and any other type of debris pile can act as a safe nesting site for a colony. From there, the rodents will then chew through the siding of the home and get inside.
When looking for a secure place from predators, rats and mice can both squeeze into incredibly small spaces to gain entry. Rats can fit in unsealed cracks or holes the size of a quarter and mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime.
Since mice can fit into small spaces, any gaps in windows, ceilings, plumbing lines, gas lines, or sewer lines also leave your home vulnerable to an invasion in addition to the other health concerns. Rats are also capable of gnawing through wood, so any old homes with wooden interiors may be more susceptible to unwanted houseguests than newer homes.
Identify Rodent Infestations
You may never see a mouse or rat unless an infestation is severe. Look for signs of rat or mouse infestation:
- Rodent droppings around food packages, in drawers or cupboards, and under the sink.
- Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter.
- Signs of chewing on food packaging.
- Holes chewed through walls and floors that create entry points into the home.
- Stale smells coming from hidden areas.
Prevent rodent infestations
The best way to prevent a rodent infestation and contact with rodents is to remove the food sources, water, and items that provide shelter for rodents.
- Seal up
Seal up holes inside and outside the home to prevent entry by rodents.
- Trap up
Trap rodents around the home to help reduce the rodent population
- Clean Up
Avoid illness: Take precautions before and while cleaning rodent-infested areas.