Charleston is one of the most historic towns in the country, and it’s also, unfortunately, home to one of the most historic pests in the world: rodents. Mice and rats may have plagued the ships that arrived in Charleston hundreds of years ago, but they still are quite a troublesome presence in our coastal city. While Charleston homeowners understand that getting mice and rats out of their homes can be a pain, they might not understand how severe the problem really is.
Dangerous Home Invaders
Seeing a mouse or a rat running around your basement is definitely a scary feeling, but your skin crawling is by far the least of your worries. Mice and rats are not only a nuisance within your home, but they’re also a dangerous health hazard. Since mice and rats spend most of their time in places like sewers, landfills, and dumpsters searching for food, they are known to carry a variety of harmful bacteria. Once in your home, this bacteria can lead to diseases in humans such as salmonella, E. Coli, and more. Even their feces are toxic when left sitting around in your house.
Another troublesome quality of mice and rats is their large, sharp teeth. Their front incisors are constantly growing, encouraging them to chew and shave them down incessantly. This puts anything that winds up in front of them in jeopardy, including your walls, linens, laundry, cardboard boxes, and electrical wiring. Rodent infestations have been known to cause homeowners hundreds of dollars in damage due to chewed up materials. This might be the time to call in the professionals from Anchor Pest Management.
How Do They Get In?
Because of their sharp teeth, keeping rodents out can be an incredibly difficult task. Mice are the smaller of the two, able to squeeze their bodies through small openings in order to gain entry. They’ll use their sharp teeth to open up existing cracks in your walls and foundation to make their way in. Rats, on the other hand, are much larger and much more intelligent. They may not be able to squeeze as well, but they’ll seize the opportune moment to find their way inside your house and infest the most cluttered areas of your home (since these provide the most places to hide).
As your focus shifts to prevention, you’ll realize how frustrating it can be to keep them out. Since rats are so aware of their surroundings, however, they get frightened by change easily. If you move the lawn decorations around every few weeks, they’ll get very uneasy and move to another property.
As far as mice prevention goes, you’ll need to seal up those cracks as best you can. Any vents on the roof or side of the house need to be sealed up, and you can use silicone-based caulking to seal up cracks in the foundation before mice enlarge them. Exterior doors should have weather-stripping, and you should consider trimming back any branches or bushes that would give mice and rats easy access to your roof. Once on the roof, they can chew holes or remove damaged shingles to gain entry.
Another way you can reduce their attraction to your property is by properly storing your pet food, whether it’s inside or outside. When your pets eat, they’ll leave crumbs lying around that can attract rodents, so make sure to clean up after their meals. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your bird feeders outside, as even birdseed is an attractive food source to a variety of rodents, including mice and rats.
The good news about mice and rats is that they almost never invade the same homes at the same time. However, in either case, an infestation can be incredibly hard to get rid of. You see, both mice and rats reproduce at alarmingly high rates, so you can try to get rid of them yourself, but you’ll struggle to keep up. Capturing one every couple of days when there are dozens more within your walls doesn’t do you a whole lot of good. The health risks and potential for damage will still exist, so why waste your money on traps or hazardous poisons? For guaranteed rodent control and prevention, contact the professionals at Anchor Pest Management.