Rodents are wanting a free ride this winter and your home might be the perfect vacation spot. Each winter in Seattle we get hundreds of complains on rats and mice crawling around our customers homes. We have decided to come up with a handy guide on how to prevent these pesky rodents from coming in to your household.
Clean the crawl space
If you have a rodent problem, you will start seeing your crawlspace insulation hanging down and droppings in your vapor barriers. Rats and mice alike love to nest in these comfy warm spaces. Once they nest you might have a huge rodent infestation in a matter of months. If you think both areas are crawling with rodents, best thing to do is to get rid of both problem areas. Once you clean this area you can truly see the extent of the rodent problem. You might want to wear high quality respiratory protection as sometimes rodents carry some nasty diseases.
Look inside and outside your crawls pace
Examine both the inside and the outside of your crawl space for any openings 1/4″ or larger. It is important to close off any crawl space door with and actual door instead of just covering the opening with a piece of wood or a rag. If the opening is very small you should stuff it with some steel wool. A medium sized opening can be covered with a hardware cloth stapled over the opening. Also as a precaution make sure you check where plumbing, heating and electric enter and exit your house. You want to protect these vital areas so that you don’t have a repair bill of thousands of dollars in the future.
Inspect outside of house thoroughly
Make sure to fill in any gaps where the house meets the ground to prevent entry.Fill in hole on the roof where vents exit the roof and where two roof lines intersect. Bring the hardware cloths mentioned earlier and fillers used during the crawl space check. It is important that you cover these gaps because rats have no problem finding their way in to your home for food, water, heat and shelter.
Check the attic
Always remember to go to your attic and put traps and check for opening where rats can get in through. Rats love to hang out in the dark and the attic is a perfect habitat for them. Do not let them think they are in a five star resort.
Trim the trees
Make sure you trim any tree with branches near the roof. This will slow down rats from jumping on the roof and trying to gain access to your lovely home.
Minor rodent infestation problem
If you think you have a minor infestation of rodents you should set up a few traps throughout the problem areas mentioned above. The secret to catching rats and mice is to first pre-bait the trap. This means to put food on the trap without actually setting the trap. This way the rat or mouse will think the little wooden platform is safe in the future. Peanut butter makes good bait. After prebaiting, set the traps and make sure to check them at least once a week and replace them if necessary.
Bad rodent infestations
If you believe you have a bad infestation and the rodents are in the walls, leave a few exit points so that they can get our and don’t die inside the house. Once you think they are all gone, seal up the holes in the walls.
To rats clutter is like Disneyland it’s where they find happiness. They love it because it’s an undisturbed place to live. Garage doors are hard to exclude because of small openings around the outside of the door. There is also the fact that from time to time you need to open the door. Make sure you have a clean garage so that rodents do not have a place to call home.
Finally when you think you have fixed your rodent problem make sure to replace the failed insulation and vapor barrier in the crawl space. If you pull insulation in the winter time make sure to watch out for freezing pipes.
If all this seems to tedious call one of our rodent and insulation experts and we will take care of the problem for you.