4 Reasons You May Have a Rat or Rodent Infestation

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Eeeek! Rats in the rafters and mice in the munchies. What attracts these rodents to our homes and how can we prevent them from settling in? Here are 4 reasons you might find yourself playing host to these unwelcome guests.

Reason 1: Rodents seek food

One of the biggest reasons that rats and mice will make your home their home is access to food. If they can find a nice supply of fuel for their bodies, they will settle in. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a dirty home. You might be surprised at what things rats and mice consider edible. (Hint: it isn’t always found in the kitchen). 

While rats and mice will definitely take advantage of pantry items, they are also interested in pet food (often left out in the open), indoor plants (especially if you have fruit plants), and even pet waste! Rats are also excellent swimmers and can follow their noses through your pipes. Food disposables can be one way rats are attracted to your home. 

Rodent Prevention Tip: Keep food in sealed containers, and sweep/wipe floors and counters. Don’t leave pet food out and seal waste containers as well. Clean sink/food disposables to wash down food scents. 

Reason 2: Rodents seek water

Another reason that rodents are attracted to your home is a steady source of water. Living creatures need water to survive and if your home provides a nice source of clean water, it can attract undesirable consequences. 

Water leaks and standing water can be reasons that rats and mice make their way into your home. If rodents can get a nice steady source from a dripping pipe, exposed pet bowl, or even a bird bath, they might just stick around.

Rodent Prevention Tip: Drain standing water in and outside your house, check for and repair leaks or dripping pipes, and replace leaky sprinkler heads. 

Reason 3: Rodents seek shelter

If your house provides a nice climate-controlled option for shelter, then rodents will take advantage. You can often find mice making their way inside during season changes as they seek cooler or warmer conditions, depending on the time of year. 

Like all animals, rodents are looking for a safe, comfortable spot to make a home. If your house provides a place to lay their head, they will take advantage. Unused storage spaces, basements, attics, garages, behind appliances, and inside wall spaces can all be prime locations for these commensal animals. As long as humans have been building homes, rats and mice have been living in them, too.

Rodent Prevention Tip: Keep an eye out for evidence of a rodent infestation. You might not always see these critters as they are sneaky and nocturnal. Check for droppings, gnaw marks, sounds of scurrying, and even greasy tail marks or paw prints. 

Reason 4: Rodents seek easy entry

If you give them an inch (or rather LESS than an inch), they will make their way inside. Rats and mice are opportunistic. If they see a way to get their needs met, they will jump at the chance. 

Pipes, small holes (½ inch for rats, ¼ inch for mice), cracks, uncovered vents, and soffits & eaves are all an open invitation to your home for rodents. And don’t just think about ground floor entry. Rats, in particular, are very good climbers and if you have trees and poles close to your home, you could quickly find yourself with unwelcome visitors in your attic.  

Rodent Prevention Tip: Regularly do a perimeter check of your home. Seal up entry points, repair cracks, cover vents with wire mesh, and trim back trees / bushes.

No one wants to discover a furry invader in their home, so work to keep them out with the rodent prevention tips above. And if all else fails, call the rat and mouse control experts at Cascade Pest Control. 

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