November 2, 2012 4:22 am
As the weather starts to cool, rodents and other pests move inside to overwinter and breed. A pregnant female mouse can produce an average of eight pups in a litter, and a rat, seven pups on average, and there are typically four to five litters per year. Their gestation period is about a month, so before you know it, one mouse can turn into a major problem for homeowners.
Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, so it is important to fix any cracks in and under siding, doors and windows. In addition to warmth, rodents enter homes looking for food and water. They prefer cereals and grains, but will eat just about anything.
As you prepare your home for winter, here are five recommended tips:
• Make sure all holes, gaps and cracks larger than a quarter of an inch are sealed.
• Replace door sweeps and make sure doors and windows close tightly.
• Clean out gutters and install gutter guards to prevent leaves and debris from accumulating.
• Store firewood as far from the home as possible.
• Trim branches, plants and bushes that hang over the home.
With the recent increase in the number of vector borne diseases caused by Hantavirus and Bubonic plague, it is extremely important to be proactive in protecting your home this winter against mice and rats. Both diseases tend to occur more frequently in rural parts of western states, which are where rodent activity is higher this year.
Published with permission from RISMedia.