In our area, we have a few rodents that often become household pests. They are house mice, roof rats, Norway rats, and squirrels, respectively. The most common home-invading animal in the world is the house mouse. These mice love living with humans so much that there are currently no known populations of wild house mice on the planet. They're always found near human settlements, whether it is a cabin in the middle of the woods or in an apartment on the 45th floor of a skyrise. Roof rats are also common home invaders. Their cousins, Norway rats, can get into structures and remain but they are far happier living in a ground burrow. Squirrels are abundant animals that only rarely get into structures. Whether you're trying to get control of super annoying house mice or a mildly annoying squirrel, the secret to effective control is the same. Here's what every Mooresville resident should know.

mouse on floor
rats on roof

Don't Feed The Animals

If you put out nuts for squirrels, you will attract attention. You may actually want to draw their attention. Squirrels are fun. Unfortunately, they stop being fun when they tear up your porch, window, and door screens, or get it into their heads that living inside your home would be a great idea. It is best that you don't feed them. This also applies to mice and rats. If there are food sources around your home, you'll attract unwanted attention from these animals.

  • Remove bird feeders or move them away from your exterior. All rodents love seeds. Mice are particularly attracted to seeds because they are a staple of their diet.

  • Make sure all garbage is bagged. This holds the scent of decaying food inside. Put your bagged trash in covered containers to keep rodents out and routinely deodorize your containers to remove smells that draw rodents to your property. As gross as it may be, the disgusting trash smell is like ringing the dinner bell for rodents.

  • Rodents love fruits, nuts, and vegetables. If you have vegetation on your property that produces a food source, it will attract the attention of rodents. Clean fruits and nuts up from the ground and put fencing around food sources to protect them.

  • Urban mice and rats can take to feeding on the feces of domesticated animals. While certainly not a preferred food source, dog waste can draw rodents to your property.

Remove Hiding Places

Mice and rats are a particular challenge. This tip is targeted at these small rodents that like to hide. They'll get into and under clutter in your yard. They'll hide in wood piles. They'll hide in leaf piles. They'll hide in dense vegetation within your landscaping. You can reduce rodent activity by removing hiding places.

Seal Gaps And Holes

A rodent can get into your home from the ground to the top of your chimney (if you have one). You can deter them by sealing openings. There are two important factors to consider when sealing your exterior walls:

  • Rodents can chew through caulking material, but they're not likely to do so. Mice and rats are attracted to openings and are drawn to explore tight spaces. Filling in a hole or sealing a gap removes this enticement. You don't have to use a material that rodents can't chew through.

  • Fill in every opening, no matter how small. A full-size mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and a big fat rat can get through a hole the size of a quarter. If a rodent can get its head through, it can fit its body through.

Protect Vulnerable Spots

It is often enough to fill in holes or seal gaps, but more protection might be needed. If you're noticing that rodents are chewing on an area, use metal flashing or hardware cloth to keep them from getting inside.

Limit Access

Mice, rats, and squirrels can access your home from your roof. You can deter them by trimming branches away from your roofline and by putting wire mesh inside your downspouts. 

Protect Indoor Food Sources

When mice or rats get into Mooresville homes (and it's likely to only be one or the other) they're going to explore every floor of your home, looking for food to eat. Hard plastic containers can prevent these animals from chewing through cardboard or paper packaging to access your foods.

Keep Things Clean

Mice and rats have no trouble eating food that is rotting. If you want to remove all of the food options in your home, you need to clean and deep clean. Also, be sure to properly manage all of your trash and recycling.

When Rodent Control Is Needed

Sometimes, it can be difficult or impossible to remove food sources, address entry points, and alter exterior conditions that promote rodent activity. If control products are needed, it is best to have a licensed pest management professional handle this task. It is possible to make your rodent problem worse by improperly deploying baits or traps. Reach out to us here at Lake Norman Pest Control for assistance. Our technicians have the experience and training to give you the best results. 

 

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