We don’t like to think about any pests inside our homes. Creepy crawlies occupying our place of solitude? No, thank you! While most people have an aversion to all of them, we certainly have an unintentional hierarchy, and nothing quite elicits the same reaction as a mouse or rat inside a home. If you’ve read any of our previous pest content, you may be familiar with the ideas of integrated pest management and the pest triangle. Those simple tools can be utilized in the case of rodents, too, but first, let’s discuss why mice are in your home and then we’ll explain how to get rid of them.
Why Are Mice or Rats In My House?
Rodents, like all pests, tend to be opportunistic, and they go where they can survive. They’d prefer to be outside where their typical food, water, and harborage locations are, but when weather conditions change, their interests turn to survival. The most common seasons for rodent populations to encroach on your home are fall and winter because they need the dry warmth. Likely, your house was convenient and vulnerable when the mice or rats were looking for a dry, warm place of refuge.
The Rodent Pest Triangle: Strategy and Solutions
The pest triangle is a strategic, graphic method used to strategize and find solutions for the control of pests. Each of the three sides represents a requirement for an infestation to occur: the presence of the pests, a vulnerable host, and conditions favorable for infestation. Here is a closer look at each side and the solutions for each component.
- The presence of a pest — The pest in this case is a mouse or rat (a rodent). Rodents are fuzzy, vertebrate mammals. Identification and knowledge are important for strategizing control. The solution for this leg of the pest triangle is removal or prevention of the pest.
- A vulnerable host — The host is your home or building. If there are rodents in your property, there are vulnerabilities, such as cracks and holes in and around your house. The solution for this side of the pest triangle is correction of these vulnerabilities.
- Favorable conditions — The conditions favorable for infestation vary by the rodent and their habits. They can also be influenced by the property and its occupants. The solution for this side of the pest triangle is identification and remediation of factors that make your home interesting or sustaining for a population of rodents.
How Do I Get Rid of Rodents in My Home?
Combining cultural and mechanical methods with the use of control products is the basis of Integrated Pest Management. Controlling and eliminating rodents requires a combination of strategies, only a few of which require any sort of control products. Let’s address each side of the pest triangle and how Nature’s Turf’s Pest Division can aid in each strategy.
- Controlling the pest itself — This is generally an action taken after the rodents are present or the threat in an area is known. As an add-on to our Quarterly Pest Program, we use a combination of strategically based exterior bait boxes and interior traps to control populations of identified pests.
- Correcting vulnerabilities in your home — This is generally handled by giving the homeowner a list of suggested remediation measures while we are at your home doing our routine quarterly visits. The list may include pruning overhanging trees, correcting structural voids like cracks or holes big enough for pests to get through, eliminating unexpected food sources, and fixing any number of correctable weaknesses that may open your home to mice or rats.
- Addressing conditions adequate for a population — This generally means making your house less hospitable for the rodents. Simple ways to attack this side of the pest triangle are: sealing food containers so the rodents can’t gain access to the food, limiting or eliminating free-standing water they can use for hydration, and clearing clutter that they can use for harborage. As with the suggested list of vulnerabilities to correct, your pest professional may make remediation suggestions for making your home less hospitable as well.
Why Partnering with an Experienced Pest Professional Is Beneficial
Teaming up with our pest professionals at Nature’s Turf gives your home access to the tools, resources, and knowledge required to create the best possible defense against rodents or any other unwelcome visitors. If you have seen mice or rats in your home, reach out to us for an inspection so we can offer the services that will fit your exact needs. For more information, if you have questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to add rodent bait boxes to your plan, give us a call at 770-461-4156 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.