Why Do Rodents Come Inside Your Home?

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

The where and why of a rodent infestation are closely linked. Where you find a twitchy nose also reveals why they are there. Found a mouse behind the water heater? Likely, he was looking for warmth and shelter. Saw evidence of a rat near the garbage? She was probably looking for food.

Rats and mice come inside your home for a couple of primary reasons.

  1. Food
  2. Shelter

Yep, these furry creators love your house for the same reasons you do. If it is homey for you, it likely is for them as well. So, once you know their motivation you can work on preventing them from finding a hospitable environment.

Why Do Rodents Enter Your Home?

To Eat & Drink. . .

One way to keep rodents from seeking your home is to keep it clean. Rats and mice are looking for food and they can find it in surprising places. Besides your cupboards and cabinets, food can be found in pet bowls, garbage cans, bird feeders, indoor/outdoor fruit trees, and more. It is impossible to keep a completely sanitary house at all times but there are a few tips and tricks you can use to reduce the attractiveness of your house to rodents.

  1. Keep food in sealed, plastic containers
  2. Sweep and mop frequently
  3. Feed pets on a schedule instead of leaving food out
  4. Clean up dropped fruit/nuts from trees quickly
  5. Pick up after your pet as well.  (Rats and mice can be attracted to digested food too!)
  6. Keep tight lids on garbage cans
  7. Eliminate water sources by sealing leaky pipes, emptying water bowls, and covering outdoor pools.

To Nest. . .

Rats and mice are always on the lookout for a safe place to nest and have their young. Outside that might be in piles of leaves and mulch, piles of lumber/firewood, discarded furniture, seldom used tubs/boxes/storage units, and even shrubs and flowering bushes. However, if they have access to INSIDE your house, even better. Rats and mice can gain that access through holes as small as a quarter (for rats) and a dime (for mice).

Gaps in windows, ceilings, foundations, garage doors, gas lines, and sewer lines can all be access points. Rats can also chew through wood – making older homes more susceptible. Rats are also great climbers so they can access your house through the roof. Reduce access to your house with these tips.

  1. Seal cracks, gaps, and holes
  2. Remove piles of debris outside the house
  3. Inspect storage units regularly and use plastic, sealed tubs over cardboard
  4. Trim trees and bushes away from the house, to prevent a runway for rats
  5. Repair pipes and lines quickly 

To Escape. . .

Even if you do all the above, there might be unexpected reasons that rodents are drawn to your home. They might be trying to escape predators, hunger, or even environmental changes.

Rats and mice might flee to your house because of construction projects that compromise their habitat or create noise. Season changes might drive rodents to escape the cold or heat.  A new predator or lack of food might drive these furry pests to seek asylum in your home. There are a number of factors that might make your home more attractive at one time or another.

When you find factors outside your control, look to the professionals at Cascade Pest Control.

We offer safe, effective, mouse and rat control in Seattle and its surrounding areas. Call Cascade at 888-989-8979 today!

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