Pest Control: Defense or Offense?
During cooler months, it is common for wildlife to want to move in to a home for warmth and shelter. Teams of mice and rats, squirrels and other animals can do damage to insulation and wiring, create unclean living situations, contaminate food, and keep people up at night with scratching and scampering. Carefully inspect possible sources of entry in the fall months and seal up any places where pests might gain access to the home.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has vast information about preventing and resolving rodent infestations. They recommend looking for any evidence of uninvited guests and possible access from inside the home in the following locations:
- Inside, under, and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves
- Inside closets near the floor corners
- Around the fireplace
- Around doors
- Around the pipes under sinks and washing machines
- Around the pipes going to hot water heaters and furnaces
- Around floor vents and dryer vents
- Inside the attic
- In the basement or crawl space
- In the basement and laundry room floor drains
- Between the floor and wall juncture
The CDC also recommends checking the following areas outside the home:
- In the roof among the rafters, gables, and eaves
- Around windows
- Around doors
- Around the foundation
- Attic vents and crawl space vents
- Under doors
- Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines
Defend the home by filling holes with steel wool, held in place with caulk. Squirrels and raccoons require larger holes and do even more damage, so cover larger holes with lath screen, metal, cement or hardware cloth to stop entry into the building.
Assess the perimeters of buildings, inside and out, sweeping and raking debris away from walls. Remove woodpiles and leaves from around buildings. These areas are prime habitat for rodents and other pests, including termites and carpenter ants. In areas where problems persist, take the offense. Trapping or baiting with poison may be advised. Larger infestations may require the attention of trained professionals for control and cleanup.
Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
The Dinsmore Real Estate Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com