Homeowners can all agree that the idea of having rats inside your home can be very alarming! These rodents can easily sneak into your basement, walls, and even in kitchen cabinets. At first, rats may not reveal themselves to you. However, there are a few clues to look for when you start to suspect you might have rats roaming inside your house.
One sign that you possibly have rats is seeing gnawing marks. Rats are known to sneak behind walls and gnaw on wires. This can be especially dangerous as it can increase the risk of a fire in the home. Make sure to check out any exposed wood inside or around your house for gnawing marks.
Another common sign of rats is seeing their nests. Rats usually prefer to nest underground or in attics and you’ll typically find them in dark secluded areas hidden from any possible disturbances. They commonly build their nests using paper products like cotton, fabrics, wall insulation, or any soft material found in the environment. Rats are also known to leave tracks or rub marks throughout your home while following a trail from their nest to food sources. They will usually leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards.
A major sign you’ve got a rat infestation is seeing their droppings. Rat droppings usually measure around 1/8-1/4” long and are generally left behind randomly, but are often found in places where food is stored, such as cabinets or pantries. You can also find droppings inside cardboard boxes, along baseboards, and even on top of wall beams. Seeing rat droppings could indicate that its time get rodent control help from a professional pest control company. Professionals are able to inspect the home and begin the best method of treatment.
It’s the end of the year and as you put together your list of New Year’s resolutions, some simple home repairs might need to make the cut. What you may not realize is that pests could have been quietly chipping away at your home’s value throughout the year. Here are some things to look for and steps to take to preserve the integrity of your home.
- Decks/Foundations/Roof: Decks can attract wood-boring and wood-destroying insects like beetles, carpenter bees, and termites. Lumber should be pre-treated to prevent pests from compromising the safety of your deck. Inspecting the exterior of your home is essential to keeping your home safe from pest damage. Seal all cracks found and talk to your pest professional about a preventative treatment plan. Branches close to your home’s roof can present an opportunity for pests such as termites and carpenter ants to enter your home. Trimming the branches back will not only help cut off access but also help prevent future damage.
- Wires & Vents: Rodents pose the biggest risk to the integrity of the electrical wiring in your home. According to investigative reports, rodents may be responsible for up to 25% of house fires that end up labeled as an “unknown origin”. Work with your pest professional to locate entry points and seal them. Insects and wildlife will look to make use of ducts that lead to exterior vents. In the case of dryer vents, a damper opens for exiting air and then promptly closes, cutting off access. For an added precaution, caulk around vents to further prevent invasions.
- Chimneys & Gutters: Delaying the cleaning of your home’s gutters could lead to pest harborage sites. Investing in gutter guards to prevent clogs and standing water will help to cut down on breeding sites and eliminate access points into your home. All chimneys need an exit for smoke; while this is good for the health of your home, this exit presents an opportunity for pests and wildlife to make their way inside. Installing a chimney cap allows for smoke to escape and keeps any unwanted visitors from coming in.
Making these adjustments can help you enjoy your home without the pests and the critters. Reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection and to work out a preventative treatment plan to help keep your home safe.