Why Are Rats and Mice So Active In Northern Virginia Homes ?
When the wintery months start to roll in each year, most Northern Virginia homeowners feel as if a huge burden has been lifted off of their shoulders. They know that this cold season means that they will no longer have to be pestered by the mere presence of such insects as gnats, houseflies, ants and mosquitoes at least until the arrival of spring.
Before you start the first couple steps of your annual victory dance, please keep in mind that you still have to stay prepared for an even bigger pest problem. Ants and houseflies of the summer are not able to come anywhere close to doing the kind of damage that rats and mice can do throughout the winter. Why are these rodents still fully active and wreaking havoc throughout your home, even in the winter?
Unlike other pests, rats and mice are naturally adaptable creatures. Other pests need specific types of food to nourish themselves and keep themselves alive; they are also unable to survive in all different types of weather long-term. Rats and mice, on the other hand, are completely different because there is no type of inclement weather or specific food shortage that can stop them in their tracks.
Rats and mice eat whatever they want, including the foods that we ourselves eat as humans. They will even leave their own trails of excrements, Hantavirus, urine and saliva throughout your kitchen cabinets and pantries to let you know that they enjoyed dining there.
Rats and mice have a higher sense of intelligence than most insects and other smaller pests. They are mentally able to take care of themselves in even the most hostile situations, because they are experts when it comes to surviving.
When it gets too hot in Northern Virginia, they know that they need to go find shade and when it gets too cold, they know that they need to find shelter. That is primarily why they can be found in all different types of areas and climates around the world throughout the year. Sadly, their top choice for shade and shelter throughout the year is more than likely going to be your house.
They Are Hard to Kill
Another downside about rats and mice is that they are very hard to get rid of when they have found a new home for themselves and for their families. Even some of the most high-tech trapping mechanisms prove to be ineffective in some situations, especially if the rodent has already been able to intellectually identify that the device is something that they do not want to go near.
This is why the best thing that you can do for yourself today is to make sure that you invest in quality rodent control. Handling these rats and mice is not something that the average homeowner can take care of throughout the winter, so it is advantageous for them to invest in professional rodent control services so that they will not have to worry about it later.
The exclusion of mice and rats from your home seems to be one of the top priorities for most homeowners in Northern Virginia when it comes to quality pest control. In the spring and summer months, they are pestered by flying insects that irritate them in more ways than one. However, all throughout the year, rats and mice can find their way into your home and stay there until they are finally forced out.
They are naturally intelligent creatures that are instinctively able to survive the most hostile environments under the most inclement weather conditions, so once they have been able to successfully invade the perimeter of your house, there really is no easy way of getting rid of them at that point. The key, then, is to focus on prevention. How can you keep these four-legged, tailed rodents away from your home?
Do Not Leave Them Any Food
You need to remember that rats and mice are fighting to survive and keep themselves nourished. Thus, they are going to naturally be drawn more to environments that can provide them with shelter and food so you want to make sure that you do not leave out any for them. Your garbage needs to be tightly wrapped and stored in covered containers. Clean up any remaining food that you give your pets, because an old meal for your dog can quickly become a new meal for rats.
Eliminate Their Hiding Spots
Another exclusion step is to make sure that your house is kept clear of anything that a mouse can use as a hiding place in order to stay undetected from you and your family. This includes such things as old trash, weeds, old wooden boards and even junk cars that you have stored in your yard.
Make sure that you keep your attic cleaned and cleared regularly; if you have any cardboard boxes in there, keep them tightly sealed and covered because mice love to sneak their way in when no one is there to catch them. Once they are there, they can leave more than just trails of rodent waste and urine; they can even infect your stored belongings with the Hantavirus so you need to make sure that you stay on top of this consistently.
Do Not Leave Any Doors Open for Them
The vast majority of rats and mice are not going to create their own holes in your home; they are just going to find holes that are already there and use them instead. Another effective method of exclusion is to make sure that you patch up any holes that you may have in your window screens, doors and walls. Your floor drains need to always be tightly sealed. Do not be mistaken by the size of any hole, because as long as you are able to slip the tip of your pinky finger into it a mouse will be able to squeeze their way through it.
You can successfully keep your house guarded through these exclusion techniques and minimize the risk of being infested by mice and rats by following these steps. Just keep in mind that these are things that will need to be done all throughout the year and not just in certain seasons.