Noted consumer advocate Clark Howard recently declared Chicago the number 1 rat infested city in North America. If you have been downtown at night you may have seen them on the sidewalks or crossing the street. They really are everywhere.
What’s that? You don’t live in the city? Well, they are in your neighborhood, too. Norway and Roof rats and common house mice are commensal rodents. That means they live in close association with humans. We create an environment that provides food, water and shelter for them and they move right in. Your first sign might be droppings in the pantry or the sound of chewing. By the time you are aware of a problem they may have chewed through the wiring of your home – which can be a fire hazard. It’s estimated that 20% of undetermined fires are caused by rodents.
And it’s not just your house. Cars, motorcycles and even lawn tractors can go up in flames due to rodents. Some car manufactures are coating the wires in their cars with an environmentally friendly substance that rodents can’t seem to resist! And repairing that damage is expensive. In the winter, field mice move inside and like to reside next to electrical components for the warmth and chewing opportunities. The point I’m trying to make is that in addition to the diseases they carry, and the mess they leave behind, they might cause your expensive possessions to go up in smoke. It might be worth a look around to see if you have a problem. Here are a few steps to take:
- Walk around the outside of your home and look for cracks or entry points where rodents can enter. This would include your garage door sweep. Is there a gap where critters can get in? Seal it up.
- Keep pet food, bird seed and grass seed in sealed containers.
- Clean up after your pets. As bad as it sounds, pet waste can be a food source. Ugh.
- Cut back tree limbs so they don’t touch your house and roof – and keep bushes cut back too.
Maybe a good resolution for this year would be to take really good care of what we already own and make sure we are keeping our families safe by being observant and proactive. That’s a good resolution anytime!
For more info on rodents check out our site: Rodents