Mice and rats bring many problems into our Tennessee homes. They chew on exterior points and create holes that allow water to get in, and those holes can be used by other pests to gain entry. Once inside, rodents chew on interior building materials and also the belongings in a home. As they move about, they spread harmful bacteria and parasites, such as ticks and fleas. Their constant urination and defecation creates secondary health problems and unwanted smells. That is why it is so important that you understand what brings rodents into your yard and what can allow them to get into your home.
1. Food Sources
We don't have to tell you that mice and rats will come into your yard in search of food but do you know what mice and rats eat? It is important that you do. One big mistake homeowners make is leaving food out for rodents to eat.
- Fruits, seeds, and grains are on the top of the list of foods for rodents to eat. Of the three, seeds are the most important to consider. If you have bird feeders near your home, spillage can draw rodents in close and give them a reason to want to stay in your yard.
- Rodents are omnivores, which means they eat sweets and meats. But they're not as picky as you. They'll dine on food found in your garbage. Make sure all trash bags are put into sealed containers when placed outside.
- One food source that is often overlooked when considering what lures rodents into a yard is bugs. Rodents eat all kinds of bugs, and they have a particular fondness for cockroaches. If you've seen roaches in your yard, don't be surprised if you start seeing signs of mice. A good residential pest control plan can help you control rodents and the bugs they eat.
- Mice love worms. If your yard becomes saturated, worms can come to the surface. This will give mice all the food they could ever want. There isn't a whole lot you can do about this, except have a rodent control program in place.
2. Hiding Places
Rodents are skittish creatures. They will not just walk into an open yard. They need places to hide as they move around. A common mistake homeowners make is giving those rodents a place to hide.
- Tall grass and overgrowth can make rodents more comfortable as they encroach on your property. Keep things trimmed and neat to resist rodent pressures.
- Toys left by children are often used by rodents. Mice and rats will go from object to object to get closer and closer to your home.
- Objects stored in the backyard like old appliances, automobiles, building materials, and such are perfect hiding places for rodents. Norway rats will not only hide in these objects but create a burrow in the ground underneath them.
- Brush piles, leaf piles, wood piles, and other organic debris piles are ideal as hiding places and locations for rodents to find food because bugs live in these places.
- Plants in your landscaping can give rodents safe places to explore. Put space between plants to make your landscaping less inviting.
- Exterior structures such as decks, porches, and stairs can provide dark voids where rodents will feel safe to explore and chew on the wood of your home.
3. Entry Points
There are many ways a rodent can get into a home. Leaving openings for rodents to exploit is perhaps the biggest mistake a homeowner can make.
- Weatherstripping, door sweeps, frames, and frame seals are common vulnerable spots on a home. Check your exterior doors routinely to make sure no gaps or holes are developing.
- Screens, frames, glass panes, and the seals around the frames of ground floor windows, especially windows in basement walls, are perfect for entry. Mice can jump a foot vertically and scale many surfaces. If they get up on a window frame, they may find a way in.
- Gaps around pipes and wire conduit. Inspect your utilities regularly. Rodents don't just get in through damaged seals, they also work to damage those seals.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep mice and rats from infesting your home. If they ever do find a way in, remember that the team here at Russell's Pest Control is standing by to assist you with industry-leading rodent removal. We also help homeowners keep rodents from entering in the first place. With Russell's, you'll get the control you need.
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