Though often kept as pets, rats and mice have a definite “ick” factor about them, and most health professionals warn that they present serious risks for disease and illness. The threats come in the form of diseases from rat or mice bites, as well as viral infections from their droppings and urine. Inhaling air containing elements of their nesting materials, droppings, urine, or dander can also lead to health problems.
No one should have wild rats or mice inhabiting their homes, but many property owners unknowingly welcome or attract these furry pests to their residences, storage areas, or businesses. Below are five ways that you might be doing just the same, and a few tips for overcoming the struggle:
- You’re a Good Source of Food – Rats and mice are not what might be described as finicky eaters, and they are attracted to all kinds of food (even if you don’t think of it as edible). Whether that means leather or fur, specific building materials (think hay, wood, and also insulation) or actual food like grains, vegetables, and so on, they may be drawn to it. Taking an in-depth look around the home and tossing those things that are might appeal to furry friends can be an excellent way to cut back on problems
- Composting – Rotting food is still food to many rats and mice, and your beautiful efforts at reducing and recycling by composting all kinds of waste might also be attracting some unwelcome household inhabitants. Eliminating a compost pile is never a desirable solution, but it may be necessary to invest in sealed composting bins or tumblers if you discover that rats or mice make frequent visits to the area.
- Water – Did you know that leaking pipes become key watering holes for rats and mice. If they are unable to get potable drinking water outdoors, and you have a conveniently small leak somewhere inside, they are going to find it and use it.
- Enter Easily – You may not realize just how easy you have made it for them to gain entry to the home. Tall trees abutting the house, holes, and cracks of an inch or two in the foundation or lower level of the home, problems with the soffits in the roof…these are all accessible areas of egress, and a rat or mouse population will quickly find and exploit them.
- Showing Them It’s Warm and Cozy – Energy audits are ideal for showing you where heated and/or cooled air leak from your home. It is also an excellent way to find out if improving your energy efficiency can also help eliminate mice and rat issues. After all, if your winterizing requires a boost, it also means rats and mice will find all that warm air and then find a way in!
While these five tips can help you to begin thinking like a rat or mouse, you can also always call on experts to help address the issues. The team at SWAT Wildlife can come out and help you determine just how and why you have unknowingly set out a welcome sign for rats, mice or other pests.