One of the best parts of living in Maryland is the varied wildlife and beautiful natural settings. Unfortunately, there are times when wildlife gets a bit too close for comfort. Mice and rats that are common in wooded areas and fields can work their way into a home, and then the serious problems start. Here’s some information on mice and rats that can help homeowners prevent an infestation.
Both mice and rats tend to live in wooded areas or in fields that conceal them from predators. Rodents commonly enter buildings in order to access food and water sources, seek shelter from adverse weather conditions or hide from predators. One type of rat, the Norway rat, is particularly known to stay close to human dwellings. The urban rodent can be found in basements, sewers, granaries and retail establishments.
Dangers of Mice and Rats
One reason preventing mice and rats from entering a home is important is because these rodents cause damage to electrical wiring and building materials. When rodents chew through wiring, they may create hidden fire hazards inside walls. Rodents are also known to carry dangerous diseases that may be spread through bites, scratches and droppings. They often enter homes in search of food and may contaminate any food sources that they access.
To determine whether a rodent problem is present, look for these signs:
- Clawing or shuffling sounds coming from the walls
- Nests in basements, attics or crawlspaces
- A musky odor that’s associated with mice in particular
- Visual sightings of rodents during the night
- Small droppings in pantries with uncovered food sources
Follow these tips to protect homes from mice and rats:
- Walk both the exterior and interior perimeter of the home to find any holes that rodents may enter through, and be sure to seal them up.
- Cover all food kept in the pantry to keep mice and rats from seeking them out. If food isn’t easy to access, rodent populations are easier to keep in check.
- Set traps to get rid of a rodent problem before it becomes an infestation.
- Promptly clean up any food or beverage spills.
- Keep lawns well-manicured.
Even if homeowners are proactive about keeping mice and rats out of their homes, there are times when the rodents will still manage to find a way in. For anyone dealing with a pest control problem, the best way to get rid of them for good is to contact us for a treatment plan.