National Pest Management Association wants homeowners to protect homes
Temperatures are dropping here in Southeast Florida and rodents are heading indoors. Each winter, rodents invade approximately 21 million U.S. homes. To help the public understand the health and property risks associated with rodents, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has designated November 16 – 22 as Rodent Awareness Week.
“The speed with which rodents reproduce, coupled with the fact that they can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime should be of major concern for every homeowner during the colder months,” said Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs for the NPMA. “Not only are rodents notorious carriers of disease and bacteria, they can gnaw through wiring, putting homes at risk for electrical fires.”
A 2013 NPMA survey of consumers found that nearly one-third experienced a rodent infestation, with more than half reporting the infestation occurred in the kitchen. “Considering mice urinate constantly, the thought of them contaminating kitchen and food surfaces alone should spur every homeowner to conduct a thorough inspection in and around their house- especially to help prevent food-borne illnesses including Salmonella,” added Henriksen.
While conducting your inspection you should be on the lookout for:
- Droppings (dark in color and the size and shape of grains of rice)
- Rub marks (grime rodents leave behind)
- Strong smell of urine
- Piles of soft shredded materials
- Gnaw marks
In addition, hearing noises at night may be an indicator that you have a rodent problem. There is nothing worse than snuggling into bed only to hear scratching noises and the pitter pater of little feet coming from inside the walls or attic.
When it comes to rodents, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some things that you can do to rodent-proof your home:
- Keep foods in sealed containers
- Make sure outdoor bins have secure lids
- Clear up pet food and bird feed when not in use
- Compost bin should be fastened tightly, or food waste kept to a minimum
- Install weather stripping brushes to bottoms of exterior doors
- Fill holes in exterior walls, roofing cavities and eaves
- Seal any holes around pipe work with wire wool or professional sealant
- Inspect your garage door and seal to make sure rodents cannot gain access into the garage
- Remove items stored outside up against the foundation wall so rodents do not have a place to hide
- Cut back bushes, trees and overhanging branches limit access to the roof
- Install rodent bait boxes around the perimeter of the structure
Of course, you can always call Hometown Pest Control at 561-483-4333. We offer a FREE RODENT INSPECTION, which includes the attic and the roof. We would be happy to do the preventative work for you. On the other hand, if you do get a problem with rodents, then it is important to catch it early and allow Hometown to deal with the infestation before the population grows.