I just read an interesting article and I am now acutely aware that I possess way too much knowledge about rodent control.
I should first point out that I talk a lot about rats. Pests are my job, and my job is keeping me busy. So I have an inordinate amount of knowledge concerning critters that I would like to share with our limited readership. So here we go.
It seems like the rodents are taking over this year. I can’t tell if rodent issues are increasing or has peoples tolerance just gone down. Hard to tell, but rodent have been keeping us busy this year. For real.
First lets ask ourselves “Who lives here?”
Hopefully we can all agree that living with rats or rodents is not an option. They are intruding on our living space, they are not a part of our living space. In fact, I bet they would all be just as happy living… oh, I don’t know outside?
So having said that, let talk solutions. Bait is the standard “quick fix”. Many exterminators will put out some bait and call it a day. You can’t really blame them, it is a quick partial solution with quick results. It also used to be the industry standard. Rodent work was inexpensive and had no guarantee. An exterminator who was providing rodent control would run inside, pop open the attic, throw some bait out and collect a check on the way out.
This is a valid service that many providers are happy to offer, but this does not solve the problem. This is a quick partial fix that will result in another phone call in a couple of weeks or months.
Bait not always enough. It is certainly not enough if you have a real rodent infestation. Bait is a part of the solution but not yet. First we need to address the low lying fruit and then incorporate bait into our plan of action. Listen carefully young grasshopper, this is about to get real real.
Vegetation management. Commonly know as yard work. Kind of a big deal. I’m not sure what that means to you, but let us all expand our definition and include trimming back bushes, shrubs, and trees off your roofline and back away from your house.
The extent of work needed will differ depending on the type of building. New structures are different from old structures. Structures that have a slab cement foundation are less work than a pier and beam foundation. Shingle roof is easier to deal with versus a tile roof. Listen to the inspector and get a second opinion if you are unsure.
Sanitation comes next. Close off and get rid of areas that provide food and water. They will move on to easier grazing. Not feeding them will go a long way. Just think about a dirty restaurant, places like that have pest problems because there is an abundance of resources for critter to live off of.
Caulk guns and flashing make the world go round. Close up holes. You need to find out where rats are getting in. A common area of entry is on the roof, thats why they are called roof rats. They climb trees to your roof and get in through construction deficiencies or vents. Either way a professional exterminator’s eye will be able to indicate areas that should be closed off.
Keep trash taken out and protected. Close the lid to garbage cans etc. Raccoons have been know to make a feast out of your garbage bin.
Try a proactive approach. Even if you have rodents right now, an inspector may recommend closing off areas where rodents might be able to re-enter in the future. This makes sense, even if the entry point isn’t currently being used. A proactive approach will take care of future problems. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.