During the colder, wetter winter months, we receive a lot of calls about rats and mice infiltrating homes and making themselves comfortable. At Falcon, while are always on hand to come out and assess the situation and resolve your rodent problem, we also like to stress the importance of prevention and how to stop rodents getting into your home. We take a look at rodent entry points and how these creatures find their way in.
How do Rats Get Into Buildings?
While we refer to rats, this actually applies to mice as well. However, rats are the bigger of the two so if rats can get in so can the smaller rodents such as mice. In addition to rats and mice, you may also find squirrels finding their way in to your home. Usually they enter higher up into attic spaces, especially if there are large trees nearby.
You may think that your home is secure and that there are no rodent entry points however, you would be surprised. Rats can squeeze into even the smallest of spaces – let’s say something as small as the width of a pencil. They have the ability to collapse their diaphragm to squeeze themselves into tiny gaps. It’s fair to say that if they can fit their head through a hole, they can fit their body through too.
Even without obvious gaps, that’s no object for a rat with a strong set of gnashers and a powerful jaw. Their need to gnaw on things means that often they will chew their way in.
Did you know? Rats can chew through bricks, concrete, wood and even steel!
Why Do Rats Come Into Our Homes?
You may be wondering why rodents are so keen to get into our homes, especially with the threat of humans around. Well, when the temperatures drop outside and the weather gets hostile, why would anyone want to spend their time outside getting cold and wet? Especially when there are warm and hospitable homes with food sources to keep them fed and sheltered for the winter. If you are offering (even unwittingly) shelter, warmth, food and water then you are the kind of accommodation that rats and mice are seeking.
If rodents find warmth, shelter and a food source then it is highly likely that they will stay put and build their nests. One rat won’t be one for long and very soon you could have a family of unwanted guests.
Discovering Rodent Entry Points
To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to ascertain any possible rodent entry points around your home. Vents, pipes, brick holes, drains, gaps in doors – any of these are ideal entry points for rats and mice to enter your property. Uncapped waste pipes and shoddy workmanship could lead to future problems with rats breaking out of drains and into your property.
It’s not just ground level access that you should be concerned with either. The saying ‘like a rat up a drain pipe’ isn’t a myth! In fact, rats can shimmy up a drain pipe faster than you can even cast your eyes over it. Squirrels also enter higher up the property which is why it is important to check all of the property including the roofline.
It may be difficult for you to access all of the possible entry points which is why it is important to enlist professional help to undertake a thorough check and carry out remedial work to prevent rodents entering your home in the future. Particular attention should be paid to the following areas:
- Broken air vents and vent coverings
- Gaps in doors and the surrounds
- Cracks or holes in the walls or the brickwork
- Holes from old pipes
- Recent building work
- Check inside the drain cover for signs of earth or digging
- Ensure drain covers fit properly
- Check shrubbery that surrounds the building also which could be hiding possible entry points
- Guttering and the roofline
- Gaps in the roof
Many of these are quite hard to check yourself and you may find that a professional inspection is required. Here at Falcon Environmental Services, our trained experts know exactly what they are looking for and can help find potential rodent entry points and work to block them up and prevent potential access.
If you do have a rodent problem already, we can not only get rid of them, we will also ascertain where they have come from and block the access points while checking for any other possible entry points to stop further occurrences of a rodent infestation. Simply all us on 01752 929292 for further information.