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How To Keep Rodents At Bay: Tips For Effective Rodent Control For Cookeville Properties

two rats

What would you say if someone asked you, "How do you keep rodents away?" What would you say? Would your answer have something to do with using traps? If so, there are a few things you should know right off the bat. Traps aren't the way to keep rodents away. The job of a well-placed trap is to collect rodents for removal. But, if rodents keep coming and coming, there is no end to the number you can trap.

The real secret to keeping rodents away is knowing why they seem attracted to your property and how they find their way into your home. You need to be able to answer questions like, "What do rodents eat?" Rats and mice are highly motivated by available food sources. If you know what they eat and you get rid of the food, those rodents won't have a reason to stay long on your property.

In today's article from Midstate Termite & Pest Control, we'll look at these and other factors that motivate rats and mice and use what we discuss to keep rodents at bay. If you're in Cookeville and you're past the need for rodent prevention, remember that your Midstate team is here to provide advice and service options. Contact us for professional rodent control near you.

Rodent Behavior Insights: Navigating The Habits Of Mice And Rats

When trying to determine how to keep rodents away, the first thing you should know is that there are only a few factors that motivate them; they're simple animals. However, it is important that you don't underestimate them. While their motivations are simple, their behavior patterns are quite complex. Here's what you need to know if you hope to keep rodents away.

Food is the primary factor that determines where rats and mice will attempt to raise their families. It makes sense that little rat and mouse moms would want an environment rich with sustenance. So, what do rodents eat in your yard? Here are a few "meals" they'll indulge in:

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Insects

  • Left cookout food

  • Garden vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Berries

  • Food items in garbage

  • Pet food

  • Domesticated canine waste, though it is not a preference

Take steps to guard these food sources. When rats and mice scamper around in your yard, you want them to feel frustrated that they can't find easy access to food. Here are some tips:

  • Rake nuts up early in the season and stay on top of it.

  • Remove bird feeders.

  • Reduce exterior light to reduce insect populations.

  • Clean up after cookouts.

  • Use fencing to protect vegetables, fruits, and berries.

  • Install guards around the base of fruit trees.

  • Keep trash covered and containers clean.

  • Feed pets indoors.

Also, make sure to stay on top of cleaning up pet waste in your yard.

Water is the next essential every animal needs, but it isn't a top priority for rats and mice. They can get the moisture they need from many of the foods they eat, like juicy fruits. It is, however, a factor to consider to some extent. Take steps to avoid having puddles in your yard. You can do this with proper irrigation and clean gutters.

Habitation requirements are also important to rodents. Rats and mice need a place to live. If you offer one, they might take you up on your proposal. You can deter rodents from causing problems by putting out the "no vacancy" sign. Here are some tips:

  • Use fencing materials to protect voids under structures, such as under your deck or shed.

  • Remove junk piles as Norway rats like to dig tunnels in the ground underneath junk piles.

  • Remove stacked wood. Mice love living under piles of wood.

  • Trim your plants and remove weeds so rats and mice can't easily nest or hide in your landscaping.

  • Put cloves in any vehicle that sits in your yard unused.

One last prevention measure is to pest-proof your exterior to keep rodents out of your home and stop them from creating nests in your walls or attic.

Clutter is next on the list of favorite attractions. Rats and mice do not have good eyesight. But they make up for this failing by using their other senses to their fullest. One sense they rely heavily on is touch. When you pick the stuff on the ground in your yard, you make it harder for rodents to move across your property. They don't like open spaces because they can't see where they're going and feel exposed.

These are the basic factors you can use to help control rodents. With diligent effort, you can find attractants and remove them. But there is more you should know about why it's necessary to manage these pests.

Health Risks And Property Damage: The Importance Of Rodent Control

It isn't easy to keep rodents at bay, so it is helpful to understand why you should. If you think of rodents as friendly woodland creatures, you may not do anything to stop them when you notice activity. Here are a few things you can expect from rats and mice on your property:

  • Rodents tear things up to gather soft materials for their nests. They'll rip up a seat cushion or rip out the stuffing inside a mattress. They'll tear up insulation in your walls. They'll get into your vehicles and rip up the heat cover over your engine or destroy the seats and carpets.

  • Rodents are known to chew on wiring and gas lines. While mice are little rodents, they can cause a big problem. A cut wire can spark a flame inside your home.

  • Rodents climb in unsanitary spaces and pick up bacteria and parasitic worms. They spread these around as they explore your interior.

  • Rodents leave their excrement and urine as they explore. They are health hazards.

  • Rodents pick up ticks and other harmful pests and bring them indoors.

Believe us when we say you don't want these critters in your Cookeville home. There are far too many ways that can cause trouble. So, along with removing attractants, what can you do to prevent problems with rats and mice?

Rodent-Proof Your Property: Key Steps To Keep Unwanted Guests Away

We touched on this already, but it deserves its own section. Pest-proofing is key to rodent control. It prevents these critters from getting into your home and creating nests in your walls and attic. Let's go down through a quick list of practical tips for rodent-proofing your house:

  • Block access to the hiding places rats and mice can use as a staging area before they get into your home, like the space under your deck or a crawl space under your house if you have one.

  • Use expanding foam to create a seal around pipes or fill in holes in wood. Keep in mind that mice are tiny rodents that can fit through a gap the size of a dime, and they can make smaller holes larger.

  • Make sure all of your sweeps are in good condition on your exterior doors and garage door.

  • Patch or replace screen material on your exterior doors and windows.

  • Cut tree branches near your roof.

  • Put guards on power lines that connect to your roof and pipes that run up the side of your home.

  • Make sure all of your vents are covered and protected.

  • Use hardware cloth to protect your downspouts so water can run out, but rodents can't run up.

If you follow the steps in this article, you can keep rats and mice from gaining access to your home. But, we realize that rodent control isn't easy. If you need help keeping rodents out or want to know what works to get rid of them if they find their way indoors, professional rodent control is the way to go.

Professional Pest Control: The Most Effective Rodent Control Solution

There are many reasons that professional pest control is the right solution for rodent control and management. Let's start with how your Midstate Termite & Pest Control technician can keep rodents from getting into your home in the first place:

  • Pest control reduces insect populations in and around your home. Since rodents eat insects, reducing them helps to control a food resource.

  • Pest control comes with exclusion work. Your technician will seal key points of entry rodents use.

  • During your pest control service visit, your technicians will catalog conducive conditions and factors that promote rodent activity and share this data with you.

  • Your technician may suggest and implement a baiting program to reduce rodent populations if warranted.

If rodents find their way into your house, a multi-pronged strategy is needed to remove them and prevent further entry. Your technician will use test methods for locating activity, capturing rodents, monitoring activity, and sealing off routes the rodents are using to enter the home.

Do you need a residential pest control plan for your Cookeville home? We'd love to speak with you and help you find the right fit for your home and family. We can customize a plan that enables you to get control of general pests and rodents at the same time.

If you need professional rodent control in Cookeville, contact Midstate Termite & Pest Control; we are here when you need us most!

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