When mice and rats get in, they can cause damage with their teeth, contaminate foods and surfaces with their fur and feces, and spread dangerous parasites such as ticks around your home. No Tennessee home should ever be allowed to have rodents in it. The more you know about rats and mice, the better! So here are a few prevention tips and why it is important to know them.
If you're not familiar with the term exclusion, as it relates to pest control, it means "sealing entry points" in your home. Of all the rodent prevention tips we can give you, this is the most important because rodents don't just walk up to your home and decide to chew a hole to get in. They are usually encouraged to create a hole in your home when they sense heat or notice a small hole that they could easily make large enough to fit through. Some common areas they target are:
- Gaps around your plumbing. Pipes that pass through your foundation walls have a gap around them. If this gap is not properly sealed, mice and rats will take quick advantage of them.
- Damaged or missing door sweeps. It only takes a hole about the size of a dime for a rodent to get into your home. If your door sweeps have a small hole that can quickly be made larger, you could be in trouble. Replace or fix door sweeps that are damaged.
- Gaps in weatherstripping. Around all of your exterior doors there should be a rubber barrier. This weatherstripping does just what it says; it keeps the weather out of your home. But it also keeps rodents out. Examine your weatherstripping closely for damage or gaps. If you find any, replace the strip. You'll get the side benefit of keeping the heat in your home this winter.
- Holes created by pests. Rodents aren't the only creatures that can make holes in your home. If carpenter ants, termites, or some other wood-damaging pest makes a small hole, mice and rats will be more than happy to make those holes bigger. Find and fill these holes, especially before the dropping temperatures of fall drive rodents into your Tennessee home.
There are many objects you may leave in your yard. Some of them will be attractive to mice and rats as hiding spots or locations for establishing underground burrows beneath them. Less clutter means fewer rodents. It is a simple equation.
- Put firewood or building materials at least 20 feet from your exterior.
- Remove toys from your yard.
- Refrain from storing appliances in your backyard.
- eep wooden boxes stored in a shed or garage.
If you have a food source in your yard, it is going to be attractive to rodents. A typical mouse will eat 15 to 20 times a day. Keep in mind that rodents aren't as picky as you are and that they eat some things you wouldn't expect.
- Bird feeders leave seeds on the ground that are highly sought after by mice, especially when food resources begin to dwindle in the fall.
- Don't allow any trash to sit in your yard and keep trash receptacles sealed.
- Keep your grill as clean as possible.
- Never leave food outside after a cookout.
- If you have a garden or fruit trees, make sure items that are on the ground are protected by fencing. Make sure fencing extends 1 foot underground to prevent rodents from tunneling under.
- If you have pets or livestock that live in your yard, put food down only during meal times or install a barrier to protect the food.
Rodents need water more than they need food. If you have a water source in your yard, you'll be attracting rodents. Here are some examples:
- A puddle caused by an obstructed or damaged gutter system.
- Water captured inside an overturned frisbee or some other toy.
- Water accumulated on a tarp or some other covering.
- Bird baths that do not have a one foot open space all the way around them. Mice and rats can jump.
Year-Round Rodent Control in Tennessee
There are many ways rodents can make you sick and damage your belongings. If you live in our Greater Knoxville service area, reach out to Russell's Pest Control. We offer year-round solutions for rodent control as part of our residential pest control plans. There is no better way to keep Tennessee rodents out.
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