When rodents get into Lewisville homes, they can present a threat. Rodent chew holes to get in. They chew holes to gain access to food storage areas. They chew holes in stored furniture and boxes, and they damage stored items. They tear up wallpaper, insulation, sheetrock, and other building materials as they build their nests. They chew holes in food packages. But the ability and propensity rodents have for chewing on everything is only the beginning of the dangers they present when they get in. They spread ticks, fleas, lice, mites and parasitic worms. They contaminate areas with their feces and urine. They transmit human pathogens and are mechanical vectors for harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. We could go on but, hopefully, you get the point. It is not a good idea to leave a rodent infestation untreated. That is why we've put together this guide to keeping rodents out.
There are several common rodents in Texas and each has its own set of behaviors. Knowing how they behave can help with detection and control.
- Norway rats are prone to enter through low points on your home because these are rodents that burrow in the ground.
- Roof rats tend to get in through high locations because they are great climbers.
- House mice only need a hole the size of a dime to get into your home. If you see a quarter-sized hole, you probably have a rat problem.
- Field mice, also called meadow voles, will create runways in your grass, eat the bark off the bottoms of your trees, and dig holes in your yard. These mice prefer to live in barns and garages. They rarely get into homes.
Mice and rats rarely infest a home at the same time. Rats prey on mice. Therefore, you'll only have one or the other. Rarely will you have both.
Many species of rodent are drawn to clutter inside and outside of a home. They burrow under it. They hide in it. And they nest in it. Removing clutter from your yard can reduce rodent activity and organizing clutter in your home can make it harder for rodents to explore.
Yard Clutter — Many things can be considered clutter. It may be an old automobile stored in the backyard. It could be a stack of construction materials. It might be garden supplies, discarded toys, or plastic bins. An orderly yard with space between objects is far less inviting to a rodent.
Interior Clutter — Rodents do not prefer to be in open spaces. If you have clear floors, rodents will stay near your walls. But a room that has items on the floor will make exploration much easier for a rodent. If you have clothing on your floor, these can be contaminated as rodents hide in them. Cleaning up clutter can help protect you and everyone in your home from illnesses spread by rodents and also from parasites spread by rodents, such as ticks, fleas, lice and mites.
When rodents get into a home that is clean, they have a more difficult time finding morsels to eat. Sealed interior and exterior receptacles prevent rodents from getting into garbage. An outdoor grill or kitchen area that is kept clean will be far less attractive to rodents. A toaster that doesn't have crumbs under it will not provide a quick meal for mice. Keep your home and yard as clean as possible to resist rodents.
Protect Your Food
If you're able to invest in hard plastic, sealable containers for storing foods that come in cardboard, paper, or thin plastic, this is a good decision. These keep food smells in and rodents out. If you have animals inside or outside of your home, putting food down only during meal times and picking it up after can make it harder for rodents to get a meal. Bird feeders should be put at least 20 feet from your exterior to prevent bird seed on the ground from luring mice in close.
Along with the tips mentioned above, it is important to seal holes in your home and to use traps to control populations outside. If you would like expert assistance with this, we can help. Reach out to us and ask about our rodent control options. Our highly-trained rodent control professionals are standing by to help.