Fuzzy, cute, three to four inches in length and weighing about an ounce, mice don’t often look threatening. Nevertheless, don’t underestimate the detrimental impact these unwanted rodents can have on you and your family.
Oakland’s dry, warm conditions are forcing pests, including mice, to do more “window shopping” as we approach the summer season, seeking alternative water and food sources inside homes and businesses. While mice don’t require as much water as their rat brethren, they still have to eat, and your home is a prime target.
Mice that forage aggressively not only can spoil it with droppings and urine, but can carry dangerous bacteria, including salmonella and several others, by crawling on countertops and food making areas, and can contaminate that food by chewing through packaging.
In addition to ruining food, mice also pose a meaningful threat to the structural integrity of your house. They can destroy insulation in attics and can munch through wallboards, cardboard, wood, and even electrical or computer wiring. In fact, rodents of various kinds cause up to 25 percent of house fires in every year!
Good sanitation is one key to keeping rodents out of your home successfully. Keep counters clean, eliminate mess, and make sure to gather and empty garbage, trash, and garden clippings frequently. Also, be positive that all garbage receptacles have tightly fitting covers – indoors and out.
But the first and most critical step to make sure your house remains rodent-free is by preventing them from getting in in the first place. Mice (and most rodents for that matter) are opportunists that spend most of their life seeking a way inside a home or other building in search of food, water, and shelter.
Here are the quick steps you can take to avoid making an emergency call to the residential pest control in Oakland:
- Seal holes and cracks on the outside of your home – pay attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, even those up near the roof. Mice are able climbers, and can jump up to 12 inches and squirm through an hole the size of a dime.
- Replace loose cement around the basement foundation and windows.
- Store firewood well away from your house and a few inches above the ground.
- Trim plants, shrubs and trees close to your walls, cut the grass often, rake up fallen leaves, and pick up yard waste piles where mice like to hide.
- Look over the weatherstripping on garage and entry doors to make sure it has no breaks.
- Make sure the screens over dryer and utility vents have no tears or openings.
Manage that, and you’re doing well.