The Key To Effective Rodent Control For Your Chicago Home
October 15, 2022
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Chicago is home to a wide variety of pests that find their way into our homes and set up shop.
Of all pests, rodents in Illinois can be a particularly tricky and damaging variety. While they attempt to find their way into our homes all year round, they are particularly fond of inhabiting and breeding in our warm homes when winter approaches, temperatures drop, and outdoor conditions become harsher.
Identifying a Rodent Problem In Your House
A rodent infestation can be very stressful to deal with and is more common than you might think. When rodents invade, they can cause property damage and introduce health risks to you and your family.
Luckily, there are tried and true ways to determine if you have a rodent problem. Keeping a keen eye on the following will make sure that you identify your rodent problem as early as possible, and contact a licensed pest control expert to remediate the problem ASAP:
- Rodent sightings: The most clear-cut way to identify your rodent problem is by seeing them.
- Gnaw marks: Gnaw marks can be smooth or rough. Usually, you will find your wood trim and floorboards falling victim to a rodent's constant need to gnaw.
- Droppings and urine: A rodent's droppings can be soft or dry and are 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch long.
- Damaged food and food containers: This damage is common due to chewing.
- Tracks: Rodents leave 4-toed prints from their front feet and 5-toed prints from their hind feet.
- Rub marks: Mice leave oily marks throughout a home.
- Burrows: House mice, in particular, utilize insulation, among other household materials, as nesting materials.
- Runways: Mice tend to use consistent paths while they make their way throughout the home. These pathways result in noticeable rub marks that create visible runways.
- Odors: Rodent urine has a specific, very noticeable smell.
The Dangerous Diseases Rodents Are Known To Spread
In addition to property damage that rodents cause by urinating and defecating throughout your home, rodents also spread diseases whether or not they make direct contact with you. There are over 35 diseases associated with rodents, some of which are:
- Cowpox virus
- Rat-bite fever
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV)
- Salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and other food-borne illnesses.
In addition, fleas, ticks, and mites feed on rodents (dead and alive) and can contract and spread many viruses and bacteria to people inside the home.
Why Traps Won't Get Rid Of The Entire Rodent Infestation
While rodent traps, be they baited, electronic, or otherwise, can sometimes be quite effective at capturing and exterminating single rodents, they rarely offer the complete extermination that homeowners are looking for.
Reasons getting rid of rodents can be difficult:
- Subpar installation of traps: Placement, bait level, and trap escalation are all integral parts of maximizing the efficacy of the traps.
- Quick breeding times: A female mouse can have 10 litters per year, each of which can produce 14 pups, resulting in upwards of 140 mice produced each year by a single female. No trap will eradicate that population, let alone the total population that stems from multiple mice.
- Not correcting the initial problems that allowed them in: Until a proper plan is devised and carried out to eliminate home access points, your home is susceptible to all kinds of rodents.
As a result of the various shortcomings with traps, traps themselves may be part of the solution but are by no means a cure-all. In order to prevent a rodent infestation from continuing, there are a variety of things you can do to make home conditions far less hospitable for mice, rats, and the like.
The Most Effective Rodent Control For Your Home
While early detection and eradication are integral parts of the remediation process for the extermination of all types of rodents, here is a checklist of ways to set yourself up for maximum success in making your home rodent-free:
- Seal up cracks and gaps in your house, everything the size of a dime or larger.
- Install and maintain window screens and door sweeps
- Reinforce or replace weatherstripping and compromised mortar.
- Screen vents and chimneys.
- Trim back shrubbery adjacent to the home and remove ivy from the exterior structure.
- Remove trash quickly.
- Remove clutter from storage areas such as basements and attics.
- Ensure that attics, basement, and crawl spaces are dry and well-ventilated.
- Have pest experts inspect your home to ensure that these precautions are in effect.
- Eliminate rodent access to food by storing it in airtight containers.
All these steps can help keep rodents away, but if you want to make sure of it, or are already dealing with an invasion, contact Sleep Tight Pest Extermination for pest control help.
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