Oregon Winter and Not Sharing Your Home with Rodents
With the rain season officially making its presence known in Oregon, rodents such as mice, rats, shrews, and even moles begin to navigate to warmer shelters. This means your basement, attic, garage, and foundation are prime targets. These structures are not frequented by humans as much as the rest of the house and provide a place to stay warm while feeling secure in small secluded spaces.
But animals like rodents come with several strings attached; increased waste, significantly increased harmful bacteria, and the chance of procreation in your home, leading to a much larger problem. To combat this rodent migration, think of the following areas and don’t wait to address them until it’s too late!
Did you know that an adult mouse can fit through holes the size of a dime? Mice are expert contortionists, moving vital organs and even bones out of the way in order to escape heavy rains and cold weather. One of the biggest problem areas for mice will be detached garages and sheds, but attached garages don’t fare much better!
Be sure to check the seal around your garage doors – these can often wear faster due to the movement of opening and closing. A missing seal is a large enough space for a mouse to slip through even when the door is fully closed.
Under The House
We’ve covered this in our previous blog, but vents and pipes that provide air underneath the house are common targets for mice and rats. A rat’s teeth are particularly capable of cutting the mesh on vent covers, but pipes intended for drainage are often large enough for rats to slip through. Rats only need a quarter-sized hole to fit through, and once inside, they wreak havoc on basements and under foundations.
Rats can be very destructive, often chewing on support beams. Additionally, rats breed very quickly. They often find that the shelter under your house, in and around the foundation, is the perfect place to raise young, away from predators and prying eyes. When the young ones are born, they instinctively start to chew and dig. To prevent this, consider calling the professionals to rodent-proof your home.
In the Garden
After covering your home and garage, begin to move out toward the rest of the property. Do you have flower boxes or food and vegetable gardens? Many rat species see these elements as a home (digging underneath the boxes for warmth) and a buffet (they’re not picky).
There are rodent-resistant containers for plants, but that doesn’t mean gardens can’t be homes for them. Make sure to use liners and non-toxic sprays, or leave the job to the professionals.