If you’re spotting rodents in your Brentwood home, it’s usually one of two culprits: mice or rats. Most of the time, you’re dealing with one of the two types – because rats will hunt and eat mice as a food source, you’re unlikely to find them in the same place. Rats emit their own unique odor, which usually scares off any nearby mice. Telling the two apart can be tricky, but their size is the most significant difference between mice and rats. Mice tend to have smaller and rounder bodies, while rats have bigger, heavier builds. Mice will also have hairy tails, while a rat’s tail is hairless and covered in scales.
Regardless of which rodent you’ve got in your Brentwood home, these pests are nothing but bad news. Here’s what you should know about how and why rodents get inside homes, five simple prevention tips you can use to keep them away, and how Brentwood pest control can help deal with an active rodent infestation.
How & Why Do Rodents Come Inside Brentwood Homes?
Rodents don’t need an open door to get inside your Brentwood home. Given their size and agile bodies, mice and rats only need a small hole or gap in your home’s foundation or walls to climb through. Mice, for instance, can fit through a gap that’s the size of a pen, while rats only need an opening the size of a quarter. Depending on where the hole is, rodents can use their powerful teeth and jaws to chew through the sides until it’s big enough to climb through.
Some rats, like roof rats, will even use low-hanging tree branches or vegetation on the side of your home to climb onto your roof and get inside your chimney or attic.
Once they’ve gained access to your home, rodents only cause trouble. They can cause property damage by chewing through materials in your home or even electrical wires. And, while they’re looking for food, rodents have the potential to spread dangerous diseases or pathogens too. Mice and rats are frequent carriers of salmonellosis, hantavirus, and tularemia. Even if they’re not carrying disease or bacteria, rodents living outside can also be infested with fleas that can spread to your pets.
5 Rodent Prevention Tips For Brentwood Homeowners
Great rodent control means taking steps to ensure you don’t get rodents in the first place, such as:
- Store your trash and food properly: Rodents are always looking for food, and they tend to be attracted to homes that give them easy access. Be sure to keep your trash can completely sealed, store your leftovers in airtight containers, and don’t leave food sitting out for any length of time.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes or spills: Even if you’ve stored food properly, dirty dishes that are left in the sink can attract rodents. Try to wash dirty dishes as soon as possible after meals and clean up any spills or crumbs you leave behind.
- Seal off entrances where rodents can get in: Rodents can use tiny holes in your foundation to get inside, so you’ll want to seal off these entrances. Keep in mind that rats and mice can chew through most materials, like wood, vinyl, and rubber, so it’s important to use a rodent-proof material (like steel wool) to block off gaps and cracks.
- Trim low-hanging tree branches near your home: Roof rats may use low-hanging tree branches to get on your roof. Regularly trimming back branches near your home can help prevent this.
- Deal with moisture and drainage issues: Rodents need moisture to survive and may stick around homes with leaky faucets or other plumbing problems. As soon as you notice moisture and drainage issues on your property, you should address them.
These tips are a great place to start for preventing rodent infestations, but if rodents manage to move into your home, you'll need other strategies.
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