If you ever saw a mouse scamper across your kitchen floor, you probably felt dread or disgust and immediately sought a solution. Did you kill it on sight? Maybe you set up traps or called a rodent control specialist, but you probably didn’t forget about it.
You would probably be thrilled if you never saw another mouse for the rest of your life. There is a long-term solution available. Using exclusion to keep rodents out of your Pearland, TX home could be the answer you seek.
What is Exclusion?
Rodent exclusion is a form of pest control that removes conditions that draw critters to your property and prevents them from returning in the future. It’s an effective, proactive approach that seals off entry points and essentially keeps rodents out of your home.
Nobody wants to deal with a rodent infestation, and many people don’t want to have chemical agents and toxins in their homes to eliminate them. Instead of messing with baits, traps, and poisons, exclusion cuts off all access to your premises so that they never become a problem.
Why Are They Entering Your Home In The First Place?
Rodent infestations are a year-round issue facing many homeowners. These are wily critters who can enter buildings through the smallest holes and openings. Mice and rats are especially talented at finding openings around utility pipes, tiny crevices in the wall, or gaps around doors and windows!
When they are hot, cold, hungry, or thirsty, mice, rats, and other pests seek shelter in any home or business where they can gain entry. Any hint of food is like an invitation to rodents, including open garbage, grease, and empty food containers. Weather extremes also motivate rodents to seek shelter, like extreme heat, cold, or the elements.
The Exclusion Process for a Rodent-free Home
Exclusion is not a new concept in the pest management industry, but it remains popular because it’s effective. Most rodent exclusion methods follow a similar process with several steps to eliminate all access points.
Locate Possible Entry Points
Mice and rats are curious creatures because they can squeeze through tiny openings. If their head fits through, the rest of their body can as well because they can collapse their rib cages. Mice can squeak through holes as small as a ¼-inch!
Rodents also chew a lot to maintain their continually growing teeth, so you may find small openings become much larger when you have an infestation. If a crevice isn’t quite large enough and the rodent can bite through the material, they will do just that! Popular entry points include:
- Utility entry points for plumbing, cables, and wires
- Cracks and crevices along the foundation
- Gaps along the roof
- Openings around doors and windows
- Attic and crawl space vents
Pest control professionals using the exclusion approach know what to look for and will inspect your entire exterior. Expect them to explore all internal pathways and any shared walls to make sure they don’t miss anything.
Seal All Gaps
Once the rodent control professionals assess your home, they seal the gaps. Effective pest exclusion requires the use of proper materials that rodents can’t chew through, like concrete, sheet metal, and hardware cloth. It’s important to use materials that effectively seal the potential points of entry.
One of the key aspects of rodent exclusion methods is that they provide a permanent solution, not a seasonal one. It’s best to trust a rodent control specialist with the job because many of the do-it-yourself solutions work temporarily or not at all.
For example, weatherization items work wonders at keeping many bugs out of your house, but mice and rats can chew right through them. Unfortunately, expanding foams and high-density brush sweeps you can buy at home improvement stores sound good and look cool but don’t work. They are no match for a single rodent on a mission to get inside.
Pest control services utilize more permanent solutions to withstand the elements, alienate critters, and blend aesthetically with your home.
Think of Permeability
Rodent exclusion methods involve a delicate balance of sealing gaps without blocking airflow, water drainage, or natural building movement. Completely sealing a home could lead to moisture problems that could ultimately upset the integrity of your structure. Certain areas, like soffits, ridge vents, and weep holes, require specific materials that allow them to function correctly.
Before you start, it’s necessary to inspect the premises for signs of a rodent infestation. If you perform exclusion first, then you could trap existing rodents inside, leading to more damage. Instead, it’s best to handle population reduction and exclusion simultaneously.
Experienced pest control professionals approach exclusion systematically by sealing less traveled pathways first. At the same time, set traps to eradicate the existing population. If you don’t want to kill a rodent on contact, you could try a multiple-catch live mousetrap in a high-traffic area to capture several live mice at once.
Cut Down Access “Bridges” and Pinpoint Hard-to-Reach Rodent “Ladders”
Bushes and trees look beautiful around any home, but they often contribute to rodent problems. Wherever the plants or trees connect to the house, they create “bridges” or “ladders” for rodents. Those connections give mice and rats access to places they couldn’t usually reach.
To resolve the issue of “bridges” and “ladders,” it’s necessary to prune vegetation back to create a buffer zone that the rodents can’t breach. Pest control professionals suggest leaving a two-foot band around your home that you keep vegetation-free. Further, you should keep branches at least six feet away from the house.
Benefits of Exclusion
Exclusion is a popular method because it doesn’t just work on rodents; it keeps many invasive pests at bay. Additionally, this method eliminates cracks and crevices and reduces site inspection time should you want to sell. Exclusion makes all levels of pest management more effective. However, this method takes more money and time than other methods.
You can take several steps to help the effort by rodent-proofing your yard and the exterior of your home. Think about all the things in your yard that could (and do) attract rodents and eliminate them.
- Clean your grill and the area around your grill because food bits and dripped grease are sources of food for many rodents.
- Stack firewood off the ground whenever possible.
- Establish compost piles as far from your house as you can.
- A bird feeder may seem nice, but it’s a source of food for rodents too.
- Dispose of clutter in your yard.
- Ivy is pretty in any yard, but it also attracts snails and slugs, a favorite food source for rodents.
The Old-New Technique in Pest Management
Exclusion is not a new advancement in pest management, but it’s a high-level routine service that presents a new paradigm in pest management. Rodent exclusion services are the most efficient, long-term solution for pest problems. To maintain effective pest exclusion, it’s a good idea to have regular inspections to check your home’s status.