Avoiding Summer Rodent Infestations

rodent in basement

Many people think that rodents, like mice and rats, only break into homes in the fall and winter months when it is cold outside and the food is scarce; in fact, it is usually quite surprising to see a mouse or rat scurrying across your floor in the summer. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like; rodents are in search for same three things: food, water, and shelter from harm.

There are many reasons that you may find mice in your home during the summer months. One of those reasons is that you may have actually had a rodent infestation all winter long, and just not noticed it; As the weather warms up, those rodents that have been hiding away in your attic for the winter are now becoming more active and are looking for a cooler place to relocate to, like your basement or garage. Rodents may have been living outside your home as well, tucked away in shrubbery, leaf piles, mulch beds, or stacked wood, just waiting for an opportunity to get inside. They will look for a propped open doors, damaged window screens, broken vents, cracks, and holes to gain access to your home and the food source it provides. Mice can squeeze through entry points as small as a dime to get inside your home, and will even gnaw their way inside, if necessary.

It is important to be aware that rodents are dangerous to have inside your home at any time of year; you will want to keep them out at all costs to keep your family free from harm. The biggest problem these pests present is the bacteria and parasites that they carry on their bodies and in their feces and urine. They spread these germs throughout your home, contaminate food and food preparation surfaces, and leave odorous trails of urine and feces throughout your home. They are also incessant chewers and can damage wood, clothing, paper, and personal items inside your home. Rodents also have the potential to start a fire by gnawing on electrical wires which could cause a spark to ignite. In short, rodents can be dangerous to your family’s health and cause devastating damage to your home.

To help prevent rodents from gaining access to your home, try implementing the following tips:

  • Don’t feed the rodents: Store all food items in either the refrigerator or in sturdy, air-tight containers. Clean up food and drink spills immediately and keep counters and food preparation surfaces clean at all times. Take out the trash on a regular basis and keep tight-fitting lids on all outdoor trash bins.
  • Eliminate rodent water sources: Make sure that all of your rain gutters are in working order. Pick up overturned toys, tools, and buckets in your yard that collect water. Fix leaky faucets and pipes to eliminate moisture.
  • Avoid ideal rodent environments: Clean up your basement and other storage areas, removing cardboard boxes and clutter. Keep materials on shelves instead of on the ground or floor.
  • Make your yard less attractive to rodents: Remove debris and other clutter in your yard, trim back vegetation, and keep your grass mowed regularly.
  • Exclude rodents from getting indoors: Seal off all entry points, including cracks and holes in your exterior walls and foundation. Use weather stripping on all exterior doorways to prevent gaps. Plug holes around utility wires and cable that enter your home securely, and make sure your chimney is capped.

If you find yourself with a rat or mouse infestation, it is always best to let an experienced professional pest control company eliminate the problem and help you prevent future infestations. American Pest Solutions can help! Give us a call for more information about effective rodent control in your home.