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Rodent Awareness Week: What Every Homeowner Needs to Know

In the greater Portland metro area, it’s become increasingly common for homes to have rodent issues. In fact, nearly one third of American homeowners have dealt with a rodent infestation at some point. Rats and mice destroy food, cause property damage, trigger allergies, and can carry some serious diseases, so they’re not a pest you want to mess with.

We often find homeowners don’t realize how big of a problem rats and mice can cause in a short time. Rodents spend about 3% of their lives gnawing on objects. A single mouse can have as many as 12 babies every 3 weeks – this kind of reproductive rate, combined with a habit of gnawing, can very quickly spiral to create expensive repairs.

What can you do to help prevent mice and rats from entering your home? Taking a few precautions can be really helpful in preventing rodent infestations, particularly as rodents look for warm places to live during the winter months.

  1. Use airtight containers for food storage.
  2. Inspect the exterior of your home for potential entry points like cracks or holes, and seal any you find appropriately. Steel wool or caulk are simple, effective tools to utilize.
  3. Firewood piles are a common spot for rodents to make a home. Keep it off the ground and more than 20 feet from your home to help prevent problems.
  4. Keep your pet’s food in an airtight, sealed container. Return bowls and uneaten food to the rodent proof container each night.
  5. Keep storage items in heavy duty plastic containers, not cardboard boxes.
  6. Reduce access to food sources by keeping preparation areas tidy, cleaning up spilled food immediately, and washing dishes as soon as you can.

Not sure if you have a rodent problem? Signs to look for include small, dark colored droppings, food storage bags or boxes with holes, gnawed door frames or furniture legs, and darker oily spots on walls. If you hear small sounds in walls, ceilings, crawlspaces, or attics, you may have a rodent issue. If you do find evidence of an infestation, please contact a profession for treatment. A licensed technician will be able to solve your problem in the safest, most efficient way possible.

If you suspect you already have a rodent infestation, please give us a call. Rodent infestations are a serious health hazard in addition to the potential to cause expensive home damage, and it’s best to have a trained, licensed professional assess the situation. If you do need any rodent treatments, make sure you check out our specials page for Rodent Awareness Week special offers!