There are numerous reasons rodents may end up in your home or business. If they do, they will likely contaminate your pantry and other living spaces. Mice and rats are pests that you definitely don’t want to have around, as they can carry infectious diseases, damage personal property, and reproduce rapidly. Here’s what you need to know about what causes them to infest structures and homes.

1. They’ve Found a Food Source

Rodents are attracted to food, like any other pest. However, mice and rats aren’t picky about what they eat, as they are omnivorous, and they will eat just about any human food or scraps. They will gravitate toward any environment that contains food, from your pantry to your trashcan. Every type of rodent prefers different kinds of food, but generally, they are attracted to grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and other sweet-smelling edibles that they can nibble on. They’ll even eat pet food if it’s available.

Rodents have keen senses of smell and will gnaw through just about anything to get access to a food supply, including metal, plastic, and electrical wiring. Fortunately, their gnawing behaviors are usually a good giveaway of their presence that can help homeowners catch infestations before they get worse. While rodents don’t eat common materials around the home, they certainly will chew through them to access a food source.

2. They’ve Found a Place to Reproduce

Rodents of all kinds—but especially mice and rats—are known for their ability to rapidly reproduce and achieve large numbers in a short period of time. A Norway (sewer or street) rat can give birth to three to six litters per year, with several young in each litter. Depending on the availability of food and safety of the nest, this means that a rodent infestation can get out of control quickly.

Rodents are attracted to cluttered spaces, because they usually use cardboard, paper, cloth, cotton, insulation, and any other material that can be molded, gnawed, or shredded as nesting materials to create a safe, out-of-the-way home. This is why you’ll most often find rodent nesting sites in walls, in attics (especially where roof rats are concerned), in basements, or storage rooms and sheds. They live in colonies or families and mark their territory with their urine so other rodents won’t try to invade their territory. Rodent urine and feces contain many pathogens that can lead to allergic reactions and other health risks in people in the home. These kinds of problems only grow as a rodent colony expands.

3. They’re Seeking Shelter

Mice and rats usually live outside before coming inside a home or structure. They’re often either drawn in by the possibility of food and shelter or forced in by changing seasons and weather patterns. Certain kinds of rodents may infest wood piles and brush, so if those sources of outdoor refuse or firewood are close to your home or business and set directly against the ground, the chances that a rodent will make its way inside will increase. If you allow trees to grow too close to your roof, rodents like roof rats can easily find their way into your attic or rafters.

Mice and rats can also fit through tiny gaps in walls and will chew away at these openings, crevices, or wall cavities in order to fit through. This makes them even more of a nuisance because their persistence at getting where they want to go on your property can make preventing an infestation difficult.

Common Times for Infestations

While rodents will infest your home at any point during the year, you’re especially likely to notice an infestation during the winter as they seek shelter from the cold. Rodents are even known to infest vehicle engines because of their warmth, and because a hungry rodent will even eat wire insulation.

In addition, if a house or business is left vacant for extended periods of time, it’s more likely that a rodent or two will set up camp. If you’ve recently bought a home or business, it’s a good idea to find out from your realtor if the property has been unoccupied between closing and your move-in date.

Tips for Keeping Mice and Rats Out

Mice and rats are notoriously difficult to keep out of the home. They’re incredibly nimble, able to squeeze through holes about the size of a dime. Not to mention rodents are notoriously intelligent — and when they have their sights set on a potential food source, they’ll use their smarts to get to it. But with the right preparation, you can keep rodents out of your home. 

  • Keep food sources properly stored in air-tight containers.
  • Seal any potential entrances rodents may use to sneak inside.
  • Maintain landscaping near your home.


Rodent Control

If you discover a rodent infestation in your home or business, putting out traps may help, but may not solve the problem since they aren’t targeting the source of the problem. Contact us today for a free inspection and rodent pest control solutions!

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