If you're like the vast majority of homeowners, the last thing you want in the way of uninvited house guests is an infestation of rodents. You probably call a professional exterminator at the first indication that mice or other rodents may have accessed your home interior. However, many homeowners fail to do their due diligence when it comes to preventing rodents from getting indoors in the first place. Following are just three household chores that should be done every fall to help ensure that your home interior doesn't suffer from an invasion of unwanted rodents.
Seal the Home Exterior
Sealing every possible point of entry on the exterior of your home in the fall is a key component in keeping rats and mice from getting inside your house. However, this needs to be done before decreasing nighttime and evening temperatures cause rodents to seek shelter for the winter -- otherwise, you'll just be sealing them up inside your home.
Go through your home exterior in early fall with a fine-toothed comb and making sure that any holes, cracks, and tears in screens are filled and mended. Don't discount any openings you think are too small t be sealed -- rodents can squeeze through some really tiny holes, and small openings have ways of growing larger with the passage of time.
Have Gutters Professionally Cleaned
Failure to clean gutters is another way to attract rodents to your home exterior -- and part of winning the war on rodents is to not provide habitat for them anywhere near your house. Fallen leaves, pine needles, and other vegetative debris make attractive potential nesting materials for rodents, and if they nest in your gutters, they're more likely to find a way to come inside as temperatures become colder.
Besides rodents, clogged gutters are also likely to provide habitat for insects such as bees and wasps as well as mold. Speak to a professional gutter service for help with cleaning your gutters.
Rake Leaves and Remove Yard Debris
Fallen leaves, dead or dying annuals, and perennials in the process of dying back all provide the kind of vegetative debris that rodents love to use to make their nests. Be sure to completely clip back all flower and vegetable beds, and keep leaves and evergreen needles raked up. If you've got fruit trees, keep in mind that leaving fallen fruit on the ground provides an excellent way to invite rodents to partake of a feast. The same applies with most types of vegetables.