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RODENTS IN AND AROUND BUILDINGS

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Rain and wind can flood and damage rodents' natural nesting spots which forces them to seek higher ground including into your home. Damaged household goods, cut tree trunks and limbs, and other storm debris that are left piled on the property or fall into culverts, drainage ditches or streams quickly become nesting sites for displaced rodents. Loosened soil around holes left by fallen trees create ideal burrowing sites. Damage to your home's exterior can provide animals with easier access to relatively sheltered areas, such as your crawlspace, basement, attic or even wall voids. People involved in cleanup and repairs may carelessly discard food and beverage items, which quickly attractive rodents searching for food.

  1. Watch for signs of rodent activity:

      Rodent burrow in drainage ditch
    • Norway rats (our most common species) usually nest in underground burrows (right). However, in flooded areas, they will move to higher ground and may even nest indoors. Roof rats typically nest aboveground including in trees and mice will nest almost anywhere.
    • Mice and rats can chew through many materials including siding, walls, cardboard boxes, etc., to gain entry to an area.
    • Fecal droppings will often be found in indoor nesting or feeding areas.

  2. As soon as possible:
    • Clear debris that provide protective cover for rodents around houses and buildings. Debris that cannot be removed from the site immediately, should be placed as far as possible from the building.
    • Keep lawn and field vegetation mowed near buildings to eliminate protective cover for rodents.

  3. Remove or contain potential food sources such as household trash, spoiled or discarded food, bird feed, or grass seed in a storeroom, etc., that might attract mice and rats.

  4. Do not leave bowls of pet food outdoors overnight. They attract rats and other animals, such as raccoons, skunks, and opossums to your home.

  5. use hardware cloth and foam insulation to exclude rodentsDepending on their age and size, rats can fit through openings as small as a quarter and mice may fit through openings the size of dime. Seal gaps around water pipes, utility line entry points, vents, crawlspace accesses and doors. Rodents can chew easily through foam and dried caulk to gain entry. Use sheet metal or 1/4-inch mesh galvanized hardware cloth to close large openings.

  6. rat in snap trapSnap traps and glue boards can be used to capture rats and mice indoors. Bait the trigger mechanism with a food item such as corn (or another grain), peanut butter or oatmeal. Never place traps in areas where children and pets may be able to reach them. Check the traps daily and dispose of carcasses quickly and appropriately to avoid problems with flies. When handling traps that have caught rodents, wear gloves (preferably ones that can be rinsed in bleach). If you don't want to reuse the trap, you can pick it up with an inverted plastic trash or grocery bag, seal the bag and dispose of it properly.

  7. pest management professional checking rodent bait stationRodent baits are usually effective for mouse and rat control; however, they must be used with great care. The disruptions that take place during and after a storm, as well as during subsequent clean-up activities, may disrupt normal rodent behavior and make them less likely to visit bait locations. It may also make it difficult to place and maintain bait stations. Do not use baits indoors because the rodent may die under the house, inside a wall or in another inaccessible area that prevents you from removing the carcass (and subsequent odor). If you use baits outdoors, never place them in areas accessible to children, pets, and wildlife. Do not use "place packs" of rodent bait where they can be removed and/relocated by rodents because they may be dropped and accidentally ingested by pets or wildlifecan be effective for mouse and rat control, but must be used with great care. The disruptions that take place following a storm and during subsequent clean-up activities after storms may disrupt normal rodent behavior and make them less likely to visit bait locations. It may also make it difficult to place and service bait stations. When using baits outdoors, never place them in areas accessible to children, pets, and wildlife. Do not use "place packs" of rodent bait where they can be removed and/relocated by rodents because they may be dropped and accidentally ingested by pets or wildlife.e process become sick from the anticoagulant chemical in the bait).

    Always follow the instructions on rodenticide labels carefully.



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