Happy New Year! No doubt that this year will be a challenge for many families and businesses, but, Lord willing, we will all survive and live to experience the fruits of our labor and patience. I refuse to let the others influence my positive attitude with constant negatives and complaining. My grandmother use to tell me, “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control and focus on those areas you can do something about”. Sounds fairly simple…she told her son (my dad) the same thing, but he doesn’t listen so well, still… maybe this year we can all exercise her great wisdom.
Well 2008 sure ended with a variety of excitement … Ike, bailouts, elections, snow coats one day and sunscreen the next… yee ha! For our new out-of-state neighbors…welcome to South Texas Winter. (I had several calls the day before the snow to cancel their service until after “winter”… they called back 6 days later to schedule their service.) I’ve always said that we do not have a winter that effects the pest population, so, yes; you do need yearlong pest management. You may not be annoyed by the flying insects (as bad), but ants, tree roaches, spiders, rodents and termites continue to party on your property.
If you are (still) hearing noise in the attic or walls…it isn’t Santa, he left on the 25th…so you would be wise to further explore. Partying rodents in our homes/offices are not something we should allow. The first indication that you may have a rodent issue will be the presence of their droppings. Everywhere (and I mean everywhere) the rodent travels… it leaves its “calling card”. Depending on the species of the rodent, the dropping size and shape differs. Secondly, rodents are nocturnal. Therefore, if you hear noises at night in the walls or attics this would be another sign of an uninvited “guest”.
Rodent activity in our homes and offices are very common. It used to be considered that only structures with poor sanitation practices were a target for rodent activity. However, sanitation practices will only determine the degree of the potential infestation. I’m not saying that you don’t need to clean the house, take out the trash, remove that pile of debris or stop maintaining your property… cause you do. What I’m saying is that no matter the size or value of your home or how well you “clean” your home, we all have the opportunity for various types of rodent activity.
Some of the more common rodents we encounter are the house mouse, Norway and roof rats. With all of the construction going on these rodents have to establish new territories/shelter and your home or office looks “just right”. Which brings me back to the beginning… when you are outside taking down those decorations, you should also be looking for entry points where rodents could enter your structure. Generally, any gap or opening that is the size of a dime can allow a rodent access to your home or office. Yes, I know… there are many locations on our homes that are “at least” the size of a dime. (Please, don’t shoot the messenger…I’m only telling you what I have been taught.)
Fine and dandy Cary, now that you have created this concern and told me what to look for, what should I do now, especially with all these “dime size” openings? Well, I have only two words… fill them. Fill them with copper mesh, caulk, cover with ¼ inch hard wire mesh, or use the expanding foam. But, be careful with the expanding foam, not only can a poor application look bad it can also be quite messy and short lived. The expanding foam we use has a product in it that will deter rodents from chewing on it in the future because it taste bad. Most over the counter foams do not have this additive. Additionally, don’t forget about those weep holes. If you intend to fill those weep holes, only use a mesh type material so that you don’t prevent your walls from “breathing”. (or else you will create another problem… mold)
Honestly, a professional exclusion service can go along way. Not only will it minimize potential rodent issues, but also insect entry points. This type of service is priced according to the particular job and can range from $100 to $1000, depending on the number of openings and the degree of difficulty. But no matter the price, this service should last for several years providing your home and family or office and employees with a great level of protection from uninvited “guest”.
If you have a particular insect that you would like for me discuss, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit our web site at chasepestcontrol.com for a link to the Texas A&M Entomology Department. As always, if you would like to have professional pest control service for your home or office we stand ready to serve…”Protecting People, Pets and Property since 1997”.