Posted by IKO Community Management on February 20, 2014 at 5:56 AM
The snow and cold temperatures have our furry friends, like rats, mice, and squirrels, looking for food and shelter. These rodents can carry diseases and various types of bacteria and create havoc behind your walls, in your garage, and below your basement.
IKO Community Management has some tips to prevent these critters from setting up permanent residence at your home during the winter months:
- Seal. Did you know a mouse can squeeze through a space as small as a dime? Using steel wool and caulk are great ways to block small holes. Also, spray foam is one of the best methods to plug these openings. For larger holes, use sheet or lath metal, hardware cloth, or concrete. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of your home where utilities and pipes enter.
Screen vents and openings, such as the chimney. Ensure that your home's siding is secure and no insulation is visible. (Mice love insulation for their nests.) Check the windows and screens for holes.
- Dispose of Garbage Properly. Keep the garbage can lids on tight. Rodents are scavengers and look for any food source. If your cans are secure, these pesky critters are more likely to move on to an easier source of food.
If possible, keep the garbage cans in the garage, which adds another barrier. Metal garbage cans are more of a deterrent for mice and rats. Most rodents have sharp teeth and if they want to get to the food, they will work hard for it.
- Clean Gutters. If the leaves build up in the gutters, the rain can keep them wet and squirrels eat right through the soft wood. Repair moisture problems, such as leaking pipes and clogged drains, and fascia, sofits, and rotted roof shingles. Some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood, too, so replace weather-stripping, and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Do Not Feed Wild Animals, as it attracts them to your home. Bring your pets dishes in at night. Pet food should be kept in metal containers with tight lids and should not be left in an outdoor food bowl for more than an hour.
- Trim Trees and Shrubbery. Keep the property around your house clean of leaves, twigs and debris. Rodents find this a perfect way to build winter homes while using your home as a shelter. If you have firewood, store it at least 20 feet from your home and about 5 inches off the ground.
- Once inside your home, pests can cause major problems including tearing insulation, chewing electrical wires, contaminating food and leaving unpleasant odors. Use methods such as snap traps or glue boards to catch these critters. You can also use peanut butter.
- Check indoor pantries and cabinets for small holes. Keep food in sealed plastic bags. For fruit and vegetables, try keeping them in bowls on your counter. Most rodents do not like open spaces and tend to search for food in non-traffic areas. General housekeeping, like a crumb-free home, will discourage small rodents, bugs, and ants from finding your home a smorgasbord.
- Keep the basement, attic, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Storage of extra blankets, towels, or rugs should be kept in containers or sealed bags.
IKO Community Management wants to remind you to spend a few extra minutes on general housekeeping and outdoor maintenance to make a difference in preventing pesky rodents from making your home, their new home.
If a rodent infestation is severe or cannot be handled on your own, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Rodents carry diseases and bacteria and can destroy insulation and wires behind your walls, which creates a fire hazard for your family. For more nifty information, subscribe to our weekly blog: