As a homeowner, you know that a mouse or rat infestation on your property can be a frustrating and even hazardous problem. However, you may not know how much impact that a rodent infestation can have on your home’s physical structure and safety.
In this blog, we discuss how a rodent infestation affects the structural soundness of your home, the steps you can take to prevent rodent infestations, and how to reduce the risk of structural damage from a current infestation.
How Do Rodent Infestations Affect Houses?
When you picture a rodent infestation, you may imagine the unpleasantness of spoiled food, scratching sounds in the walls, and a persistent, distinct odor. However, rodent infestations can cause far more serious problems when these infestations occur inside of a building, specifically an occupied house.
An infestation could cause the following structural problems:
- Foundation holes that may cause shifting and encourage water damage
- Increased fire hazards caused by damaged wiring
- Insulation reduction or elimination
- Sheetrock damage
- Undermined load-bearing structural elements, such as wood beams
The effects that mice or rats may have on your home depends on where the infestation occurs and how long the nest is allowed to remain before being addressed. For example, an infestation in your utility closet could affect your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, whereas a nest in your home office could simply result in property damage.
How Can Homeowners Prevent Rodent Infestations?
Rodents have natural talents for finding small entrances into man-made structures. This innate ability is one of the reasons that mice and rats remain a health and safety threat, even with today’s modern construction methods.
As a homeowner, you may need to take precautions to prevent potential infestations, as well as quick action, to reduce the risk of permanent structural damage to your home should an infestation develop. Whether your home has a history of pest infestations or you simply want to be prepared, you can take the following steps to reduce the risk of rodent infestations in the future.
1. Close Potential Entrances Immediately
Rodents, especially mice, can pass through surprisingly small spaces. Any crack, gap, or hole in the exterior of your home can potentially let rodents inside. When you perform routine indoor or outdoor home maintenance, look for any potential rodent entrances and close them immediately. Spackle, caulk, or cement can close many holes, but you may also need to repair doors and windows that have gaps.
2. Create a Pest Control Contract
One of the most proactive steps you can take to protect your home from rodents is to get a regular pest control contract with an experienced local company. Many pest control companies offer packages that include treatments one to four times a year.
In addition to reducing the risk of rodent infestation, these treatments can also help prevent other potentially hazardous infestations.
3. Make Your Home a Hostile Environment
Rodents nest where they find food, water, and shelter. To a lesser degree, most rodent species also prefer the dark and quiet. As you work to make your home hostile to potential unwanted pests, think about where these characteristics are found together.
For example, if you store pet food in your basement near a leaky water heater, the available food and water sources encourage infestations. Use repairs or logistics to make your home seem less appealing to mice and rats. You may also want to employ traps, audio deterrents, or scent deterrents to drive rodents away from your home.
How Can Homeowners Prevent Structural Damage From Existing Infestations?
If you think or know that rodents have started to make a nest within your home, you must act quickly in order to prevent any structural damage. Use the following steps.
1. Schedule a Professional Pest Removal
Because rodent infestations often occur out of sight, they can be difficult to remove on your own. Schedule a professional removal to ensure that the nest, droppings, and all rodents leave your property.
2. Seal All Food and Water Sources
While you wait for your professional removal date, eliminate as many food and water sources in your home as possible. This step should include putting all of the food in your kitchen into airtight containers since most rodent species will travel throughout a building to supply their nest.
Early detection is often crucial in reducing the structural risks associated with rodent infestations. If you suspect that mice or rats have infiltrated your home, reach out to a pest control company right away.
For recommendations based on your climate, region, and home architecture, schedule a consultation with a reputable pest control company representative. They can assess your property’s specific needs and help you be proactive in preventing infestations and the damage these pests can cause.
For expert rodent infestation prevention and treatment, trust the experienced team at Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management.