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How to find rodent entry points

Do you have a rat problem? How about mice? Are they in your crawlspace? How about your attic? Have you found droppings? Are you hearing noises in the walls? Whatever the case, rodent infestations are never fun, and can often be a serious hassle. 

Inspection: 

The first step in dealing with rodents is performing a thorough inspection. If you find droppings in your crawlspace or attic space this likely indicates that there is rodent activity (or at least that there was at some point. Rodents don’t tend to go away by themselves so unless the problem was previously dealt with there is a good chance that rodent droppings indicate a current infestation. In this case it would be good to set traps to check for rodent activity and to catch any that are present. 

Trapping:

Be careful with the use of poisons to rid a home of an infestation. Not only do poisons risk a secondary poisoning of another non-target animal, but they risk the rodents dying in places like wall voids, under insulation, etc. that can cause smell over time if not removed. Now sometimes poisons are the only way to go and it’s worth the risks involved, but you should count the cost seriously and we do not recommend using poison as a primary measure unless it is absolutely necessary. 

So, set some traps where you see activity. Set the traps in primary runways where you see concentrated activity, rub marks, scratch marks, etc. 

Sealing Entry Points:

Next you will want to seal up any entry points. Now, some companies say that you shouldn’t seal up entry points until after the infestation has been removed and some say that you should seal up entry points first. Whatever the case, you MUST seal up the entry points at some point in the process and here’s why: Rodents communicate via positive and negative sets of pheromones. Anytime you see rub marks, urine, droppings, (and much that you can’t see) there are pheromones present showing that a place is good (safe, has food, shelter, etc) or bad (dangerous, no food, poison, predators, etc). So, if you successfully trap out all of your rodents (congratulations!) And you fail to seal everything up… you will quickly find that a future generation of rodents will find that same spot perfect for their own nesting purposes and the problem will be right back where you started.

Checklist for entry points:

1). Vent screens (especially around AC lines)

2). Behind the HVAC or similar units in garage (anywhere where lines/tubes go into crawlspace) 

3). Underneath sewer mainlines (Yes, this happens… it’s worth checking)

4). Tunnels going underneath the home foundation from outside

5). Crawlspace doors that don’t seal right (mostly for exterior doors)

6). Garage door weather seals (check the left and right sides for excessive wear/chew marks)

Maintain: 

Once you’ve gone through all of the hard work to seal everything out and trap the rodents there are a few further things to consider. First, is the crawlspace in bad enough condition to consider a renovation of the insulation/vapor barrier to remove infested material? The same can be true of attic insulation. And second, do you have a good plan in place to maintain a low population of rodents around the exterior of your home? Keep a couple bait boxes outside along fence lines, etc. with snap traps or bait blocks in them can help keep pests from creating a problem in your home in the future. 

If any of this seems overwhelming or if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or via call/text at 503-985-6523.

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