Can Rodents Cause Damage to Your Home?

The problems with pests taking up winter residence in your home

Winter is prime time for rodent problems. Once temperatures start dropping, no home is immune from a potential infestation.

Cold Weather, Warm Homes

Just like people, rodents such as rats and mice don’t want to be cold. They’ll seek out the best places for shelter that include safe areas to nest and easy access to food. Unfortunately, the walls, attic and crawl spaces of your home are all prime rodent residences. Once pests have found a place to stay, they’re not likely to leave without intervention.

Problems with Winter Pests

Mice and rats can do serious damage while spending the winter in your home. Rodents are known for chewing, and they will chew literally everything they can get their teeth on, leaving behind holes that need to be fixed. This includes wood or sheetrock walls, pipes, insulation and even bricks. The resulting damage can be costly to repair and may even lower your property value if it’s extensive enough. Damage to wiring inside the walls or even in appliances can result in a potential fire hazard or set the stage for an unexpected short-out.

Rodents also love insulation. They chew on it, nest in it and use it as a restroom. In fact, mice and rats will go to the bathroom just about anywhere, leaving behind a mess that can spread diseases to humans who inhale urine fumes or come into contact with feces. Some of these diseases, such as Hantavirus, can be very serious and cause long-term health complications.

Preventing Rodent Damage

A hole as small as a quarter-inch wide can be all a rodent needs to get into your house. That makes closing gaps both inside and out of prime importance if you want to prevent winter rodent infestations and damage. Look around the foundation, in the walls, in pipes and ducts and even inside areas such as closets and cabinets for potential entry points and fill them with caulking or insulation. Also make sure that all food sources including pet food and birdseed are stored in rodent-proof containers and that nobody leaves food sitting out in the kitchen overnight.

If you discover that mice and rats have made your home their castle this winter, contact us at Burns Pest Elimination. We offer a variety of rodent control methods executed by trained specialists to ensure that rodents aren’t only removed but also stay away in the future. Serving homes in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, we’re always there when you need a hand controlling the winter rodent population.