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You’ve found some nesting material like fabric or shredded paper tucked into crevices and corners and wondering how they got there. Well, this is one of the signs of rodent infestation.

Rodents such as mice and rats can infest homes, warehouses, supermarkets, food processing facilities, farm fields, among other places. Food and shelter are the two main aspects that attract rodents to any space. When temperatures plummet, they want to keep away from the worst of cold, and that’s how they find their way to your home.

One study conducted in the US found that about 3 in 10 homes have rodents. In most cases, the infestations occur in the winter and fall months. So, how do you get rid of these small unwanted animals? Here is your guide.

Signs of Rodent Infestation

Rodents have an instinctive fear of humans. This is why they scurry away immediately they notice human presence. And since they are nocturnal, they smell your scent and quickly take off when you’re around. If you see a rodent, perhaps a rat that doesn’t scurry away when they notice your presence, there must be something wrong with the rodent.

Since it’s difficult to set your eyes on rodents, some signs indicate rodent infestation in your home, warehouse, or office. They include;

• Pellet-like rodent droppings around sinks, cabinets, food, and other places

• Squeaking noises from parts of the house. This indicates a family of rats or mice in a wall, cupboard, or somewhere close by.

• Nesting material tucked into corners.

• Chew marks in pantry goods,

• Holes or pathways in walls or floors: rodents use them to access your house from the outside or travel from room to room.

• Foul smells from vents or behind walls coming from urine or feces.

What Damage Do Rodents Cause?

In the US alone, rat damages to homes, agriculture, and businesses are estimated to be $20 billion every year. Rodents breed at a rapid response, and this makes them more destructive. If not treated in time, rodents will reproduce, multiply and cause a lot of damage to your property. Here are some of the damages rodents cause.

Structural and Property Damage

Mice and rats can cause structural damage to homes, offices, apartments, and any building. They do this through nesting, gnawing, and defecation. Rodents like to build their nests in the attics, walls, and insulated areas of your home or office. The disturbance causes structural damage to buildings. Also, they create entry points for pests and other unwanted organisms to the structure.

Additionally, rodents gnaw and burrow into upholstered seats or furniture to create a hidden nest, thus damaging the furniture. They tunnel into insulation inside attics and walls to collect soft materials for their nest or make a home. They also chew insulation around wires which poses a fire threat. Rodents cause around 20% of undetermined fires in the US every year.

Therefore, it’s essential to watch for infestation signs and control the rodents before the damage occurs.

They Spread Diseases

Rodents like rats carry dangerous diseases that could spread and affect you. The diseases spread through their feces and urine and are a real danger to one’s health.

Leptospirosis and Weil’s disease are on the list of common diseases transmitted by rodents, specifically rats. Also, some rodents transmit diseases by biting humans. Since there’s no price tag for one’s health, it’s essential to get rid of rodents before they affect your health.

Although they do not eat a large portion of food, rodents can contaminate food and drinks with their feces, hair, or urine. And as you all know, contaminated food and drinks are unedible and unfit for humans and even pets. Rats are a primary cause of bacterial infections like Salmonella poisoning.

Rodent Control Strategies

In addition to the property damage and spread of diseases, rodents are just a nuisance. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to get rid of these small stubborn animals before they cause damage. If you’ve come across rodent droppings or nests, below are effective ways to eliminate rodents.

Seal All Entry Points

When temperatures drop, rodents, including mice, will use any opening to access your home, office, or warehouse without your knowledge. Their small bodies allow them to squiz even into the tiniest space. And before you know it, you’ll have a family of mice and rats running up and down your house.

Luckily, you can prevent this infestation by sealing up all entry points. You should regularly check for gaps and holes inside and outside your house. The most common entry points for rodents include;

• Under, inside, or behind kitchen cabinets, stoves, and refrigerators.

• Around the fireplace

• Inside the attic

• In the basement or crawl space

• Between the wall and floor juncture

• Around doors

Outside, you’re likely to find holes and gaps around windows, doors, under doors, around the foundation, in the attic vents, in the roof among the gables, rafters, and eaves. Once you’ve discovered the holes and gaps, seal them up.

Use steel wool to seal small holes and apply caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place. If the hole or gap is large, a lath screen/lath metal, hardware cloth, cement, or metal sheeting will do the trick.

• Trap Up

Even after all efforts to seal up all entry points, some rodents might still make their way into your house. Trapping up the rodents will help reduce the population of rodents in your home, warehouse, or office.

It’s essential to use an appropriate trap depending on the type of rodent in your home. Traps for catching rats are different from those for catching mice. Also, you should follow the instructions that come with the trap while setting it up.

You should set the traps in areas you suspect frequent rodent activity, like the attic and basement. It’s worth noting that some rodents like rats are very cautious and are likely to escape the trap.

• Clean Up

Clean up rodent nesting sites and food sources to prevent infestation. Keep food in metal containers or thick plastic with tight lids to prevent contamination. Wash cooking utensils and dishes right after use and clean up spilled food immediately.

Cover or put away pet food to avoid rodents’ droppings and urine contamination. Keep grass short around your compound as this could be hiding places for rodents. If your home is clean, there’ll be nothing to attract rodents.

Rodents are a nuisance and can cause structural and property damage. They are also a danger to your health as they carry and spread various diseases. Therefore, you should identify and seal all entry points to prevent rodent infestation. Avista has the tools and experience to eliminate your rodent problems. Call today to connect with one of our customer service members who can help!

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