a tree in front of a house

How to Prevent Rodent Infestations This Fall

Every year autumn brings the welcomed sights of changing foliage and the feel of cool breezes. The ideal season for outdoor enjoyment is also one that should put homeowners on guard. Household pests of all types are notorious for seeking indoor shelter in the wake of seasonal shifts. This means preparing to battle cockroaches, squirrels, mice and spiders in full force.

Weatherproofing your home's doors and windows is not just for the sake of energy-efficiency as even the smallest gap is enough space for a determined critter to get through. Pest-proofing your property early will help avoid Fall pitfalls and potentially prevent you from needing to call a licensed exterminator. Keep in mind that rodent infestations cause multiple forms of destruction. In addition to chewing electrical wiring, devouring furniture for their nests and leaving behind trails of urine and feces, almost all mice carry disease. 

These critters can instantly turn an otherwise healthy home into an unsanitary living space. Children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory illnesses such as asthma are at a heightened risk of becoming sick. The rate at which rodents breed and multiply is staggering, which is why it does not take long for a small intrusion to escalate into a full-blown infestation. 

The longer the problem goes unattended, the harder it will be to thwart the threat. Fortunately, implementing comprehensive, preventative control measures is all it takes to stop human-animal contact from occurring. The National Pest Management Association advises homeowners to start simple and move their way up. Before anything else, garbage containers should be sealed shut and all exposed food should be instantly discarded. Rodents have a keen sense of smell and pick up scent trails from far away. Neutralize the source of their interest, and you have handled a majority of the problem.

The next step is blocking all possible entry points. Depending on the size of your home, this may take a while. However, it is much less time-consuming, stressful and costly to keep rodents out than it is to get them out once they have nestled inside! Seal any and all cracks and crevices, and install a mesh screen near chimney outlets and roof vents. Do not underestimate the power of squirrels — if your house is situated near a tree, you can be sure that these animals will scale the roof. The end goal is to make the property unattractive and uninhabitable. Once a rodent discovers it cannot get inside, it will move on to the next spot.