Here in New England, rodents begin sheltering indoors when nighttime temperatures become cool and cold. We often see an uptick in mouse activity in October, especially in communities like Springfield, Enfield, East Longmeadow and other similar communities in Western MA and Northern CT. Mice infestations can mean a number of problems, ranging from inconvenient to dangerous. Mice and other rodents invading your home can put you at risk for:
- Damage to your walls, moldings, drywall and other structural materials in the home.
- Damage to wiring: Mice often chew on electrical cables, which can lead to increased risk of fire.
- Risk of exposure to bacteria and disease: Mouse do not have bladders and as such they leave urine and droppings (small, brown rice sized pellets) as they run. Their urine can lead to a strong, persistent and unpleasant urine odor. Mouse excrement may also carry bacteria and disease, which they can spread throughout your home.
- NOISE! Persistent scratching and scurrying can be detrimental to sleep!
So, how do you keep these furry critters out? According to the National Pest Management Association, the following 10 steps should be taken:
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
- Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
- Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains that provide the perfect breeding site for pests.
- Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages brought into the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery trimmed and cut back from the house.
- If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.