Home and property maintenance is no easy task and your monthly household to-do list likely never seems to end. Yet between re-painting the trim, cleaning the kitchen and fixing that hole in the roof, you can't forget about home pest control. You and your family members aren't the only ones who find your cozy four-bedroom ranch inviting and if you're not careful, you could have an infestation of mice or other pests taking over your basement.
While that cute little mouse in your yard may seem innocent, that's not exactly the case. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents such as mice and rats can spread up to 35 kinds of diseases. Throughout regions of Canada and the U.S., rats and mice are common invaders, able to live off the food, debris and mess left behind by homeowners. That is why it's so crucial to practice effective prevention methods.
The two most important forms of prevention are sanitation and rodent-proof construction. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that while good sanitation may not be able to fully prevent rodents from invading, poor sanitation will certainly help to attract them. Ensuring that your home, shed, garage, basement and attic are as clean as possible is one of the best ways to decrease your risk of an infestation. Never leave food or dry goods open, always be sure to store products in sealed air-tight containers. Frequent vacuuming, scrubbing and general cleaning are good habits. Moreover, the source advised "building them out" with rodent-proof construction from the beginning, by sealing off all openings, holes and cracks bigger than 1/4-inch wide to your home.
Signs of infestation
No matter how many prevention methods you have tried, sometimes rodent infestations are inevitable. The National Pest Management Association stated that there are several telltale signs that mice or rats have invaded your home. One of the most common signs is coming across pest droppings. Homeowners are likely to find long pellets near kitchen cabinets, pantries, inside chewed boxes, along baseboards and even under sinks. The CDC advised using the utmost precaution and safety measures when handling the droppings, as they can spread several harmful diseases.
Gnaw marks is the next most common indicator that there is a problem, according to the NPMA. Norway rats, common throughout Canada, and house mice are even able to chew through wires. Strange noises, rub marks and nests are further indicators of an infestation. If you see an actual rodent, it is best to call your local professional commercial pest control agency.