Once you have a rodent problem, you are past the point of no return, and reactive measures must be taken. But once that problem is under control, or before you have any issue at all, it is time to think about preventative measures to keep those rodents out for good. Exclusion, the process of finding and eliminating openings for rodents to enter through, is extremely important if you want to avoid future calls to your local pest control company. This is especially useful for mice and rats.
At first, even during reactive treatments, blocking openings and travel routes helps to keep populations confined to certain areas for better control. Eliminating openings can be as easy as stuffing steel wool into small holes in a residential home, or as labor-intensive as installing metal rodent guards on overhead piping in a commercial building. It is imperative that a complete inspection is done on the property to ensure the success of the exclusion.
A mouse or rat can penetrate even the smallest gaps, cracks, and holes, down to ¼ inch. These cracks and holes can be sealed up using various methods and materials, including caulk, masonry grout, concrete, steel wool, sheet metal plates, and welded wire mesh just to name a few. Steer clear of any soft material, wood, or plastic, as rats will chew right through it. Close inspection of pipes and vent openings is also key during the exclusion. Special attention should be paid to doors, as too large of a space between the door and the ground could be easily accessible for rodents. Especially in commercial environments, doors may need automatic closers to keep a space rodent-free. Sewer entries and roofs are main target areas as well.
As you can see, rodents have multiple methods of entry into your home or business. On top of cracks and holes in a building, human habits unintentionally tend to invite unwanted pests in as well. By taking these precautionary measures, you can be part of the solution instead of the cause!
Source: DzSlipping Through the Cracksdz by Sandra Kraft and Larry Pinto, PCT November 2017