Home Inspections

How to Tell If Rats Are Getting Into Your Home

Mother Nature took us from a very mild summer to a freezing cold winter without much warning. In doing so, she forced all of her warm-blooded creatures to find nice warm places to live — our homes. “As Pest Management Professionals (PMP’s) we turn from all the creepy, crawling insects that seem to vanish this time of year, to their four-legged, furry friends called rodents,” said Al Bachman, IPM Specialist of Eden Advanced Pest Technologies.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How big does an opening have to be for rodents to get inside my house?” Bachman recently attended the Seattle Rodent Academy with Bobby Corrigan, an international rodent control consultant, who told the audience that there are three key size comparisons to remember when looking for openings big enough for rodents to enter a structure: a dime, a quarter, and a #2 wooden pencil.

Corrigan emphasized that rodents are survivalists. The house mouse and rat are listed as number 2 and 3 respectively on the adaptability list. We as humans are #1. The house mouse can enter openings as small as a #2 pencil, a rat — the size of a quarter. So if a rat can get in, so can a mouse.

How to use your new measuring tools:

Bachman says, “When you are doing things around your home always be a ‘keen observer’. Sherlock Homes was always looking for the clue that would solve the case. Most of those clues seemed insignificant at the time. It is the same principle when searching for rodents.

For example, when you shut the door to the garage after taking out the trash you notice a gap under the door. It doesn’t look big enough for a rat but could a mouse get through it? Take your #2 wooden pencil and see if it will slip under the closed door. If it does, then it is big enough for a mouse to enter.

Now you are wondering if there are other avenues for this rodent family to enter your home. Begin walking around your property and soon you discover a circular hole in the siding near the foundation. Instantly, your keen-observing-self will ask, which rodent might fit through this opening? You pull out your pencil, your dime and your quarter. You can see by its size that it is much larger than a pencil, even a dime is too small, so you try and push the quarter into the opening. It loosely fits the hole. Now you know that a rat can enter your home.”

Each time an Eden Pest Rodent Control Professional visits a home, they are looking for these very things. They will recommend actions you can take to reduce the chances of a rodent infestation. With their ‘keen’ trained eyes, they are not only searching for openings, but for conditions (tree branches touching the roof, shrubs needing to be trimmed back, broken vents, etc) making it easier for rodents to access your home. Trees make great natural ladders to areas that are hard to see from the ground.

Happy Hunting!

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