rodents in their house. They are creepy, they can carry disease and they can also do a lot of damage. And, as much as we don't like them, there are a few things that we do that literally invite them into our home.
We inspect crawl spaces all the time that are infested with mice or rats without people even knowing about it. Rodents would rather you are blissfully unaware while they are using your home for shelter and making babies. Contamination caused by rodents is the number one cause for a home needing a crawl space restoration. So, let me tell you some simple, no-brainer things you can do that dramatically decrease the odds of you getting rodents in your home.
#1- Stop feeding them!
If you have a bird feeder out in your yard, you also have a rodent feeder. You are giving all of the rats and mice in the neighborhood a free meal and making it likely that they will move in with you. If you just have to have the bird feeder, at the very least, install some kind of tray underneath to keep seeds from falling on the ground (Click here for more tips on keeping rodents away from bird feeders). Secondly, keep an eye out for any other food sources. Do you keep pet food outside, do you have a composter, is your garbage secure? Ask yourself these questions and be sure to remove the food sources.
#2- Do some lawn maintenance.
If you don't cut your grass and trim your shrubs with any regularity, you might have some rodents hiding out around your home. They seek out places that provide shelter from predators and your lawn just might be it. So, break out the lawn mower.
#3- Check for holes around your foundation.
Rodents really want to get into your crawl space. It is kind of the perfect place for them to live. They have shelter, it is pretty safe and your insulation provides warmth and an ideal place to nest. They can actually get into the crawl space by digging underneath your foundation, so look for the obvious signs. A mouse will dig a hole about the size of a quarter and a rat hole will be about 3 to 4 times bigger. If you are seeing these holes around your foundation, you might have a rodent problem. So, what do you do about it? Keep reading...
#4- Check for more holes in your vent screens.
Think of foundation vent screens as the door to your crawl space. When your screens are damaged or missing altogether, you are leaving the door open for unwanted pests. If you were to walk around your home right now and find just one vent screen missing, I would be willing to bet that you have something living under your home (rats, mice, raccoons, etc.).
What should you do?
All of these things are easy fixes that you can do yourself. However, you might want to be sure that you don't have a rodent problem first before you start plugging holes and fixing vents. You would not want them to die in the walls trying to get out and stink up your home. You should call a pest control professional and have them do an inspection of your crawl space. If you need a pest control company in Seattle or a pest control company in Portland, you can click on the links. Both of these companies provide free inspections and their treatment costs for rodents are reasonable.
If you have any questions on taking care of these simple fixes or if there is anything obvious that I missed, please free to comment below.