Rodent Control 101: Essential Tips For Keeping Your Plymouth Home Safe

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It is amazing just how many kinds of rodents there are in the world. Some you may not even realize are rodents. For example, what do you think? Is a porcupine a rodent? It may surprise you, but it actually is. Don't let all those prickly needles fool you. There is a rodent hiding underneath. Other rodents are not quite so mysterious. In fact, we have two common rodents that have become almost synonymous with the term. When we say rodent control, you know that we are talking about rats and mice. The reason they're so closely related to the term is that they exemplify the traits of a rodent. Rodents have three things in common. They have teeth that are strong enough to chew through wood, and rats and mice use their teeth to create holes in structural wood. Rodents all have fur (yes, even porcupines). The fur from rats and mice can contaminate food products. Lastly, all rodents give birth to living young. They don't lay eggs. Rats and mice are particularly adept at rapid reproduction, and they often outpace DIY rodent control. What can you do about these uniquely troublesome rodents? One way is to contact Combat Pest Control if you live in Plymouth. We're the company to call when you need professional pest control services Plymouth. Jump to our contact page to connect with us, or read on to learn about DIY and professional rodent control techniques.

Signs Of Rodent Activity: How To Detect A Problem Early

a rat outside a home

Before rodents get into your home, they may start leaving signs in your yard. If you catch these signs early, you can prevent a rodent infestation. Let's start our class on rodent control in Plymouth by discussing how to locate and evaluate the warning signs of a potential infestation. 

  • Droppings: If you have an impending rodent problem, it is likely you'll start to see droppings near your foundation walls. Rat droppings are larger than grains of rice, dark colored, and look a bit like coffee beans. Mouse droppings are smaller than grains of rice and have a similar appearance. The more droppings you find, the larger the population.

  • Ground Holes: One of the rats we see quite a bit is the Norway rat. These are burrowing animals that often create their burrows under junk piles, just like Templeton from Charlotte's Web. You may also find holes next to your shed if these rats are living under it.

  • Wood Holes: Rats and mice gnaw on wood. If you see a hole the size of a quarter, you should know it is large enough to allow a rat to enter. Mice fit through an even smaller hole. A full-grown mouse can squeeze through a gap the size of a dime. Check under your porch and in your crawlspace first if you have either of these.

  • Property Damage: Rats and mice chew on other building materials, such as door sweeps, weatherstripping, screens, soffits, and fascia. Don't underestimate a rodent's ability to get to high entry points, as they are surprisingly adept climbers.

If you see trouble brewing outside of your home, it is time to roll your sleeves up and apply rodent control. Before you do, you may need some motivation. Let's take a look at some of the ways rodents can pose a threat to you and everyone living in your home.

Rodent Dangers: Health Risks And Property Damage

When rodents enter your yard and start leaving droppings near your home, they won't stop on the outside. Once inside your walls, attic, kitchen, pantry, and other indoor spaces, they'll continue to leave their droppings. These present a health risk as they can harbor disease pathogens.

The holes rodents create are also not limited to the outside of your home. Rodents chew holes in building materials to go in and out of wall voids. You'll find most of these holes near the floor and hidden. You'll also find holes in items stored in your attic and food packages stored in your cabinets.

Rodents don't just chew holes. They also chew on wires. If a rodent cuts a live wire in your home, it is going to regret it. But you'll also regret it. A cut wire can turn into a house fire. How likely are they to chew on the wires in your home? More likely than you might expect. Experts estimate that 20 to 25 percent of all structural fires with no definable cause are rodent-related.

As rodents move about inside your home, they contaminate the things they touch with their fur. The reason for this contamination is that domestic rodents commonly get into trash, run through sewers, and come in contact with other unsanitary environments. 

Another thing wild rodents will do is spread ticks and fleas in your home. These two parasites are associated with many diseases that impact human health, including Lyme disease. It is best to quickly address rodent problems to prevent secondary pest issues.

We could go on, but you see the point we're making. Rats and mice are small animals, but they are no small problem. You must understand the scope of the issue if you are to take appropriate measures to deal with these potentially harmful pests.  

Rodent-Proof Your Home: Essential Steps To Keep Unwanted Guests Away

Now that you understand some of the risks, it is time to talk about how to keep rodents in Massachusetts from entering your home. The four basic rodent pests are house mice, deer mice, roof rats, and Norway rats. Use these tips to keep them at bay.

  • Remove bird feeders to get rid of a food source that all rodents love.

  • Remove leaf piles, dead branches, and other organic debris rodents hide under.

  • Remove yard clutters as rats and mice use objects on the ground to help them navigate.

  • Clean your trash receptacles with soapy water to remove odors that lure rats and mice to your home.

  • Keep your trash receptacles covered, as rats and mice can jump and climb their way inside.

  • Trim the plants in your landscaping, particularly at the base of your plants, as this will remove an ideal hiding place for rats and mice.

  • Consider installing fencing material around the base of your deck to prevent rats and mice from getting into this desirable hiding place. 

  • Fill gaps and holes in your exterior to block access.

  • Weatherproof your home to remove tiny gaps that rats and mice will want to make larger.

  • Cut tree branches near your roof or gird your trees with metal flashing so rodents can get a claw hold and climb up.

  • Cover your downspouts to prevent rodents from getting into your gutter system.

  • Apply protective guards on any wires that touch your roofline, as these stop rodents from using those wires to get onto your roof.

  • Keep things tidy inside your home, as food debris and juice spills have a stronger odor than fresh food – and rodents aren't picky.

  • Store food products in sealable containers to hold the smell of food in and prevent rodents from getting into them.

In most cases, you can keep rats and mice out of your home if you're diligent. But there are conditions that can increase the risk of an infestation, such as a nearby construction project, local flooding, heavy rain, etc. When rodents are driven into your yard, you may have trouble keeping them out, no matter how hard you try. Remember Combat Pest Control if you need population control. We use tamper-resistant bait stations to address rodent pressures.

Professional Rodent Extermination: Seek Expert Help

If you apply the rodent prevention tips above, you may never have trouble with rodents inside your home. But, if you do, we want you to know that help is available. It is easy to get overwhelmed by a rat or mouse control issue. These animals reproduce incredibly fast. They live in secret places within your home, such as drop-down ceilings and wall voids. They have behavior patterns and natural abilities that help them avoid bait and traps. Worst of all, they're going to continue to damage your property and make you sick as you work to remove them. 

Are you in Plymouth? If so, you're in our service area. Contact Combat Pest Control for professional rodent control in Plymouth. We are known for going the extra mile and doing the hard exclusion work necessary to prevent continued entry. Our pest control technicians are also highly-trained career professionals. We have the training, licensing, and experience to provide you with the highest level of rodent control. We're also a locally owned and family-run business. What does that mean for you? We don't treat you like a customer; we treat you like family. When you want dependable service and a friendly smile, you can count on our team. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Plymouth. We look forward to helping you say goodbye to rodent problems and hello to peace of mind.

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