How Rodents Break into North Carolina Homes

If you've caught a rodent scurrying across the floor and disappearing under something in your home, you probably have questions. Many of those questions are likely to be related to how you can get rid of it. But, if you've never had the displeasure of having a rodent infestation or you need some tips on how to exclude rodents once they've been completely eliminated from your home, you've come to the right article.

mouse hiding in basement
rat in bathroom

When it comes to rodent infestation, there are many factors to consider:

  • Why rodents come into your yard.
  • Why rodents explore your foundation perimeter.
  • Why rodents get in.

If there were no rodents in your yard, you would never have to worry about an infestation. Makes sense, right? So why do those rodents come into your yard?

  • Rodents may enter a yard because it feels like nature. Grass that has not been trimmed, bushes that are overgrown, weeds that fill in empty spaces. All of these make a rodent feel at home. Keep things neat and trimmed to resist rodents.
  • Rodents are skittish. Because of this, they will pick yards that have objects they can hide in or under. Remove clutter to make your yard less interesting.
  • Sometimes rodents come into your yard because they are driven in. New construction sites can drive them out of nature and into a neighborhood. Unfavorable conditions in your neighbor's yard can drive them into your yard. Flooding and other challenging weather conditions can drive them out of their holes and into your yard. You can't do much about these factors but being aware of them will help you take extra precautions when it is appropriate. It is also important to consider that cold weather and other bad weather conditions can drive them into your home.

The spots that rodents choose to break in through are usually in areas near your home that they prefer to explore. Here are a few examples:

  • Spots around your home that are hard to get into will be the perfect places for rodents to explore such as under your deck, patio, or porch.
  • Dense landscaping near your foundation wall provides great cover.
  • Underneath or behind stairs is nice and secluded.
  • Roof-soffit intersections give protection from flying predators.

As rodents explore in the ideal locations around and on top of your home, they will find ways in. Mice will typically get into your home from a low location. Norway rats prefer low locations as well. Roof rats, as their name implies, are more likely to get in through high locations. Here are some ways rodents get in. Keep in mind that high locations are entry points used by roof rats.

  • Cracks in your foundation.
  • Gaps around the outside of your window frames, particularly windows in your foundation wall.
  • Broken screens on windows or doors. Once inside, if it is secluded enough or the rodent has the cover of darkness long enough, it will chew through the window frame to gain access to the voids within.
  • Gaps around doors, particularly below-ground-level doors. If damaged weather stripping or door sweeps provide a gap the size of a dime, most mice can squeeze right in. If they provide a gap the size of a quarter, most rats can squeeze in. If a gap isn't quite big enough, rodents are more than capable of making those gaps bigger.
  • Flimsy aluminum soffits can easily be chewed through. These give access to the roof trough and the voids beyond.
  • Gaskets around exhaust pipes. Rubber isn't much of a barrier for a determined rat.
  • Vent covers that are made from plastic.

Some of these entry points can be protected by doing routine inspections and sealing any holes, gaps, or cracks as they develop. Some can be protected by adding stronger building materials.

If you consider and apply measures to make your home less of a target for rodents, you may be able to keep them from getting into your home. Rodents don't know how wonderful it is inside your home until they get in. But, when rodent pressures are high, more control will be necessary. When this is the case, an ongoing rodent control program is the best way to go.
 
Rodents are a serious health threat for a family and they are destructive guests when they get into a home. If you suspect that your efforts to keep them out are falling short, consider investing in a residential pest control plan that has a rodent control program included. No home should be without a pest control plan, especially one that tracks and remove rodents "before" they get in. Contact us today for more information. 

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