The lower temperatures of fall and winter mean our furry friends will start looking for their winter home. Nobody wants to share their home with rats, mice, or squirrels. They’re terrible roommates, causing damage, stealing food, and keeping you up all night with their scratching and scampering. In the fall and winter, rodents can become a real problem. Here are a few fall rodent control tips to keep your attics, walls, and pantries rodent-free,
Rodent Identification: Know Thy Enemy
The first step to fall rodent control is to get to know the pests you’ll be dealing with. Once you know your enemy, you’ll be able to plan your defense.
Common Rodents in North Carolina:
- House Mouse: 2-3 inches long, gray, with pink pointed noses. Commonly found in the kitchen.
- White-Footed Mouse: 6-8 inches long, white feet and underbelly, big ears and eyes. Commonly make their nests in basements and attics.
- Cotton Mouse: 7-9 inches long with a long (2-3 inch) tail. Commonly found in basements or crawl spaces.
- Brown Rat: Up to 11 inches long with a tail that’s slightly shorter than that, brown or gray, with small ears and big black eyes. Commonly found in basements.
- Eastern Gray Squirrel: 9-12 inches long with a 7-9 inch tail, gray or black in color, and extremely common. Commonly found in attics.
- Eastern Fox Squirrel: The largest squirrel at 18-28 inches long with a tail up to 14 inches long. Brown or red in color with an orange underside and a big bushy tail. Commonly found in attics.
- Red Squirrel: The smallest squirrel at 11-14 inches including their tail. Reddish fur with a white underbelly. Commonly found in attics.
Make sure you’re keeping an eye out around your home for common signs of a rodent infestation. Identifying a problem early can make control much easier.
Common Signs of a Rodent Infestation Include:
- Nesting material like shredded paper or fabric
- Signs of chewing
- Stale smells
Cut Off Their Potential Food Supply
One of the best ways to prevent rodents from infesting your home is to cut off their food supply. Mice and rats will commonly snack on food that has been left out in the home. That’s why signs of these rodents can be found around the kitchen.
An excellent fall rodent control tip is to remove any opportunities for an easy meal. Clean up any food that’s been left out, remove any crumbs, and properly seal your food. Avoid leaving pet food out overnight to prevent rodents from getting a midnight snack from your dog or cat bowl.
Try to extend this philosophy to the outdoors. Make sure trash is kept away from your home and is properly sealed. Try to avoid feeding animals outside as this can invite unwanted guests. Rodents are opportunistic creatures so eliminating easy sources of food will do a lot to reduce their numbers and prevent a potential infestation.
Seal Off Their Entrances
Once you’ve dealt with their food supply, it’s time to seal off your home. Mice and rats are incredible at fitting into tight spaces. A mouse is capable of squeezing through a 7mm hole while a rat can fit through a 20mm hole. The general rule of thumb is that if their head can fit, then their body will fit. Keep this in mind when safeguarding your home.
Check around the exterior of your home for any gaps, cracks or holes as these are a perfect entrance for rodents.
Common Entrances for Rodents Include Gaps Around:
- Attic and crawl space vents
- Plumbing and electrical lines
Seal any gaps with steel wool, hardware cloth, and caulk to help cut off any easy access points for those opportunistic rodents. Turning your home into a virtual Fort Knox will keep rodents from infesting your home.
Invest in Rodent Control From Cramer Pest Control
Ultimately, the best fall rodent control is calling in professional help. Here at Cramer Pest Control, we specialize in many forms of pest control. Whether you’re controlling rodents, insects, or bats, Cramer Pest Control has you covered.