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Rodent Control Tips for Winter

myopic rodent's eye view of christmasNot a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… or so you thought. Unfortunately, winter is a common time for rodents to nest inside homes, where it’s warm and dry. Because the winters are chilly in Seattle, rodent control and infestation prevention are important for the health of your family. Seattle pest control companies state that it’s never too late to make your home less attractive to rodents. The following is a look at how to keep these pests at bay during the winter months.

Eliminating Entry Points into Your Home

When it comes to cold weather and rodents, Seattle homes and buildings become a safe haven to pests wanting to find protection from the harsh outdoor conditions. Rodents aren’t usually polite enough to enter a home through the front door. Instead, Seattle rodent control companies find that these pests run up textured vertical surfaces and fit into cracks as small as a quarter-inch on outside walls, drains, gutters and basement vents.

Mice and rats also take advantage of holes inside homes and buildings in order to find their preferred accommodations. Because rodents are good climbers, trim tree branches that hang over your home so it’s harder for rats and mice to enter your home from above.

In addition to sealing cracks and holes in your home, it’s worth hiring the services of a Seattle pest control company to inspect the building. The professional who comes to your home can point out all of the methods a rodent can use to enter and offer advice regarding the prevention of such an occurrence.

Eliminating Access to Free Meals

The perfect home for a rodent is one that offers complimentary meals. For rodents, Seattle homeowners who leave garbage cans open provide an invitation to move-in. Therefore, always close the lid on your garbage can, especially if it’s outside. Always use lidded receptacles for trash cans used for food waste, even if it’s inside your home. Because it’s difficult for rodents to jump higher than 12 inches, elevate your outside garbage cans with cinderblocks.

Never leave food out in the open for extended periods, such as overnight. Rodents have sharp, strong teeth that easily gnaw through cardboard boxes and plastic bags. When you store food that doesn’t need refrigeration, like pet food or flour, place it in lidded plastic containers unless the food already comes in a lidded metal or glass container. Seattle pest control companies often find signs of rodent infestations in home pantries, basements and garages – areas where you are most likely to store food. Additionally, if you enjoy gardening, keep your seeds and bulbs in sealed plastic containers.

Cleanliness

While having a pristine home alone won’t necessarily eliminate rodents, Seattle buildings that are not clean will surely attract pests. When your home is clean, you make it less inviting to rodents because there are fewer hiding spots and food sources. As you clean your home, eliminate the places rodents may consider a good nest. For example, keep seasonal clothes you store in your attic in large plastic bins, and tackle those organization projects you’ve been putting off.

Landscaping

Rodents hate manicured and maintained landscapes, especially those that are weeded and debris-free. Some individuals line the perimeter of a home with gravel to prevent rodents from burrowing, which can also give the building a nature-inspired look. Seattle rodent control businesses often find signs of rodents or their nests in stacked firewood and compost bins outdoors, so it’s best to keep such items well away from your home. Furthermore, keep your compost container and woodpile dry and at least 12 inches off the ground by placing them on a platform.

As soon as there are any suspicions or signs of rodents, Seattle residents should immediately call a Seattle pest control company. Signs of rodents can include small droppings, a musky odor, crumbs or bits of packaging around stored food and sounds that may resemble a toy remote control car. Expert Seattle rodent control services are best because it can be dangerous to use poisons to get rid of a rodent problem by yourself, especially if you have pets or children. A Seattle pest control company will use the safest, most effective techniques to eliminate rodent problems and prevent their return so you can focus on your wintertime festivities with peace of mind.

[ photo by: filtran, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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