Even given the mildness of central Florida winters, pest activity generally decreases toward the end of each year as most animals seek a cozy spot to overwinter until springtime. But some pests are more likely to be seen during the cooler months. One of the more notorious of these wintertime invaders is the rodent. There are three main types of rodents: Roof rat, Norway Rat, and the House Mouse; all three of which continue their search for food and shelter all year-round. During this search, they’re attracted to warmth which occasionally leads them into homes. Once inside, they can spread disease, contaminate food, damage items in storage, and even start fires by chewing on electrical wires. Let’s take a look at some of the most common entry points for rodents, and how you can help reduce their access.
Stand inside your garage with the lights out. If you see light coming under the seal, measure the area. A 1-lb rat can squeeze into a ½” hole. A house mouse can fit into a hole only
¼” in diameter! If the gap is too large, replace your door seal immediately.
Chimneys, dryers, exhaust fans, and crawl spaces all have vents that allow air to escape. Be sure that these are protected by an appropriately-sized metal mesh material, and be sure it’s secured year round.
Exterior Utility Lines
Utility lines entering your home are sometimes run with plenty of room to spare. Patch any such holes with the appropriate medium to keep rodents from taking advantage of this opportunity for easy access (steel wool works well until a permanent fix can be made).
As proficient climbers, the appropriately named roof rat can make it up a tree and into a damaged eave without breaking stride. Inspect your home’s roof and have any damaged areas repaired. Also, trim back any nearby tree branches to reduce this arboreal rodent’s access.
A brief inspection can go a long way, but if you should ever hear a strange scratching in the night, don’t worry...Deans’ General Home Pest program includes rodent eradication at no extra charge. If you don’t have our GHP service yet, call us at (352) 787-5300 for more details.