What kinds of rodents are there?
As climbers, burrowers, and scavengers, mice and rats are some of the most common pests that people face. According to the Government of Canada’s ‘health’ page, there are four main types of mice and rats. These include the house mouse, the deer mouse, the burrowing Norway rat, and the agile roof rat. Each of these may find ways into a house or building in different ways. For example, the roof rat, as an agile climber, may find its way into attics, and the Norway rat may squeeze through gaps in a building’s foundations. Even in urban areas, the house mouse may scamper its way into an attic or apartment.
What are the dangers of rodent infestations?
Rodents such as mice and rats, while harmless to people in most ways, can carry and transmit a variety of diseases. Diseases that rats carry that can infect humans include the bubonic plague and a bacterial disease called rat-bite fever, along with many others. These diseases are mostly spread through exposure to rat feces. Many of these diseases also apply to mice. Rats also can cause structural damage to buildings through gnawing on things like wood frames, foundations, and wiring.
How can you prevent rodent infestations?
The keyword here is ‘prevention.’ The best method to ensure rodents never become a problem is to stop them from entering your home in the first place. A large part of this is inspecting all areas of the building that might offer possible entry points for small rodents like mice and rats. Take into account all areas of the house including foundations, attics, and basements. Pest control specialists on attic-rat.com suggest considering places like “vents, eaves, roof joints, plumbing stacks, AC chases, the chimney, soffit vents, loose siding, pipe outlets, etc. Any hole the size of a quarter will do.”Rodents are surprisingly good at finding ways in which people may not have thought possible.
Once all possible entry routes are identified, sealing them is the next step to rodent-proofing your home. This may be done with steel mesh and a polyurethane sealant, however, hiring professional help is also an advisable option. ‘Rats in the Attic’ also emphasizes that rats can sense airflows, so they are likely to be aware of any gaps large enough for them to fit through. For mice, because they are so small, it is even more important to ensure that potential entry points are completely sealed. As well as these small renovations, making sure to keep any potential food sources far from the house, or in air-tight containers, will stop rats from being drawn to the property to begin with. This might mean moving or taking down bird feeders, ensuring that all trash cans have lids, and other preventative measures.
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