How to Safeguard Your North Dakota Home from Winter Rodent Intruders
As the snow and cold move into the region, we are working hard at our transmitter sites to make sure things are buttoned up and ready for winter. This includes rodent prevention. Mice anywhere are no fun at all, and the little pests can really cause issues at a transmitter site! So, we started talking about what can be done to keep mice out of our buildings.
According to Orkin, each year, around 21 million homes in the United States become hosts to rodents, with their invasion typically peaking between October and February. Seeking shelter from the cold, rodents enter homes in search of food and water, posing a threat to both residential and commercial properties.
Rodents, such as rats and mice, are more than just a nuisance; they can cause health issues and significant structural damage. With their strong jaws and burrowing skills, rodents can chew through various materials, including electrical wires, water pipes, and gas lines. This not only creates potential safety hazards but also leads to costly repairs.
Recognizing a Rodent Infestation
To address and prevent rodent infestations, it's crucial for homeowners and business owners to identify the signs. Common indicators of a rodent problem include:
- Droppings: Rodent droppings are often found in areas where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets, pantries, and under sinks. They may also be discovered inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards, and on top of wall beams.
- Gnaw Marks: Mice are known for biting through walls, wood, and wires. This can lead to damage within walls and an increased risk of house fires.
- Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where they're less likely to be disturbed. Shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials, and fabrics are often used for nest building.
- Rub Marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards as they follow their routes between their nest and food sources.
- Strange Noises: Scurrying in walls or attics may indicate the presence of a rodent family. Attics, in particular, are favored by rodents due to their insulation, making them ideal locations for nest building.
Preventing Rodent Infestations
The good news is that homeowners and business owners can take proactive steps to prevent rodent issues. To minimize the potential health and safety risks associated with rodents, Orkin offers several tips to keep rats and mice at bay:
- Store Away Food: Small crumbs and garbage are attractive to rodents. Dry goods like grains and cereals should be stored in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.
- Declutter: Rodents find cardboard objects appealing, often chewing them for nest material. Take advantage of your time at home to clean and organize cluttered spaces.
- Maintain Landscaping: Tall grass and woodpiles next to the house provide ideal harborages for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer easy access to upper levels, such as attics, where rodents may enter.
- Inspect Inside and Outside: Regularly check for rodent droppings, burrows, and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The sooner you detect rodents, the better.
- Seal Entry Points: Identify and seal any holes and cracks around your home. Install weather strips, especially under doors, to prevent mice from entering.
By implementing these measures, homes and businesses across the nation, including North Dakota, can better protect themselves against rat and mouse infestations. For comprehensive control of rodent issues, it's advisable to consult a professional pest control expert who can assess the situation, implement tailored solutions, and monitor progress over time.
The battle against rodents is a shared challenge, but with proactive steps and professional assistance, residents can enjoy pest-free homes and facilities. To learn more about rodent prevention, click here.
2023 – 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac Winter Weather Forecast
Gallery Credit: Mary K