As the weather turns colder, a variety of pests, including rodents like rats and mice, seek a warm shelter in which to overwinter. The animals want a safe space that is situated near a reliable source of food and water. They gain access to your residence through cracks and holes in the foundation and walls of your house where the siding meets the concrete or fascia boards. Depending upon the size of the rodent, the animal can squeeze through a hole as small as a dime. Excellent swimmers, the pests can enter your house by traveling through sewer pipes. They can also climb trees, utility lines and structural elements to reach vulnerable entry points, including damaged eaves and unprotected ventilation holes. Once they have established a nest, a female may have a litter with up to 14 offspring every few months.
Problems Caused By Rats and Mice
The most common rodents in Michigan are the house mouse, the Norway rat and the roof rat. Along with the unnerving sound of rodents running across the ceiling and inside walls, these unwanted houseguests can cause several other problems. To keep their teeth sharp, the pests gnaw through wood and other building materials, which weakens the structural integrity of your home. They also chew through electrical wire insulation. This can lead to an electrical short that starts a fire. Mice and rats also carry diseases and parasites that endanger the health of your family and pets. Infested with harmful fleas, ticks and lice, these rodents can also spread pathogens like Hantavirus and salmonella. Their droppings contaminate food and food preparation surfaces.
Signs of an Infestation
Mice and rats leave black or dark brown, granular-shaped droppings near their nest, food source and the paths they travel. Another potential sign is greasy tracks along the wall or footprints in dusty areas. Inspect your food packaging for telltale rips, tears or teeth marks. You may also notice gnaw marks on furniture and cabinets. Because rodents are usually nocturnal animals, their scurrying sounds may be more prevalent when they are most active in the evening or early morning. If you believe that your home is infested, you should act quickly to reduce the risks to your family, pets and property.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Team
Many do-it-yourself rodent control techniques are ineffective. You need an eradication plan that quickly eliminates the current infestation and reduces the chances of a reoccurrence. In addition to knowing where these rodents typically hide, our team of trained technicians can identify the offending species and create an effective targeted solution for your specific problem. For more information or a no-obligation quote, contact Terminix of West Michigan.