Welcome to the first blog post of Exclusive Pest Control!
Fall is right around the corner here in North Texas and with the cooler temperatures comes the invasion of our homes and businesses by rodents. Squirrels, rats, and mice are all shopping for a place to live this winter rent free. In this article we will be discussing entry points, signs of infestation, and methods of removal.
Rodents are physically gifted creatures for their size. It's amazing really that they can fall 10+ feet unscathed, climb straight up the brick wall of your home, or squish through holes as small as 3/8 of an inch in diameter. It’s important to understand what they are capable of to better comprehend how to protect your own house. Humans have a million different things to worry about, but rodents only think about finding food, shelter, and making more rodents. Rodents will do whatever it takes to get into your attic or garage if that is how they think they will survive. There are multiple places that a squirrel, rat, or mouse can find entry into your home; these locations include: between the garage frame and garage door, through the AC perforation in the wall, or any spot where the soffit lands on the roof.Squirrels can gnaw big holes in the middle of a soffit or fiber board siding.
Despite the many ways rodents can gain entry, the active entry cannot always be picked out at quick glance. The number one identifier for knowing a rodent is in your attic is hearing them. Generally speaking, if you hear noises in the middle of the night, then you have rats or mice, but if you’re hearing noises in the morning or evening daylight hours, then you have squirrels. Once you have an idea for what you’re looking for, the exterior is examined for any openings or chew marked holes while the attic or garage is scanned for droppings. Additionally,the insulation in the attic is inspected. Rats and mice will leave winding trails and tunnels through blow-in insulation; squirrels tend to tamp down insulation all the way out where the roof and soffit meet. Rats and mice will also leave behind sebum marks where they are traveling. Sebum is an oily substance secreted through their skin. Sebum looks like a dirty brown stain or in extreme cases, it is almost black looking.
Once rodents have made their way into your home whichever way they found, they are not so easily removed. Rodent infestations, no matter how mild, are not quick fixes. For squirrels, all the holes on the house have to be repaired with the exception of the active hole. This hole has an excluder attached to it. Excluders are simply rectangular, hardware cloth tunnels with a spring-loaded gate in the middle of it that the squirrel is capable of picking up and leaving through. Squirrels cannot pick them back up to re-enter due to the design. Squirrels are given about a week’s time to find their way out and then the final hole is repaired. Mice and rats require trapping to remove them in addition to excluding all the entry points around the home. Trapping takes a good two weeks but can require more time depending on the severity of the infestation or shrewdness of the rats (mice are naturally curious and much easier to trap).Rodenticide baits are another way to deal with rats and mice but there’s no telling where the rodents will pass. Rodenticide baiting inside a structure is not a method we practice or recommend.
Identification and prevention are the keys to protecting your home against rodent invaders. It is never a bad time to inspect your house especially as we look towards the colder months ahead. It is better to repair potential entry points before you have a problem. Adding a removal service on top of repairs can become costly.
We hope that you found this article useful!