Rodents come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some rodents never get into homes. We're not going to talk about those today. We're going to spotlight the rodents that may infest your Orange County home, the ones that may cause you to contact Orange County pest control for assistance. We'll look at the types of rodents that get inside, five effective tips to prevent infestations, the unique traits that allow rodents to enter structures, and what HomeShield Pest Control does to keep rodents out. If you'd like to speak with someone directly regarding your specific questions, step away from this article and contact us at any time. We're here to help. 

Types Of Rodents That Commonly Invade Orange County Homes

There are three common kinds of rodents that invade Orange County homes. They are rats, mice, and squirrels. Of the three, squirrels are the least likely to enter your home. These furry-tailed rodents are backyard rodents. They typically nest in trees. If you have a lot of trees near your home, squirrels may never get the bright idea to live with you. Rats and mice are another matter altogether. They commonly invade structures, though there is one rat species that may create a nest in your yard rather than in your home. It is the Norway rat. Norway rats are ground rodents that establish their nests inside ground burrows. 

The most common home-invading rodent is the house mouse. House mice love living indoors and you'll have a hard time convincing them to leave. They'll access every level of your home, spread illness, and damage your property.

The most common home-invading rat is the roof rat. These black rats may explore every level of your home. They contaminate attic spaces, pantries, and kitchens. They damage property and sometimes make annoying noises. You may want to thank them when they do. Roof rats can live in your home without making any detectable noises.

Squirrels sometimes get inside. When they find a way in, they'll likely stay in your attic. In attic spaces, they leave waste and use their teeth to cause damage. If you hear noises in your attic during the day, squirrels are likely your problem. They are diurnal. 

mouse on wine glass

Five Tips For Effective Rodent Prevention

Common rodent pests have common behavior patterns. If you understand how they behave, you can apply counter-pressures to keep them out of your yard. For example, squirrels eat nuts so one of the best ways to keep them out of your home is to refrain from feeding them. Here's how all-natural rodent control works.

1. Remove Objects And Piles In Your Backyard

Rats and mice use objects on the ground to help them navigate. A cluttered yard will invite them to explore and lead them to the exterior of your home. Norway rats create burrows under ground piles. Keep this in mind if you're seeing brown rats. 

2. Remove And Protect Food Sources

Rodents eat seeds, nuts, fruit, bugs, and garbage. Remove potential food sources from your yard to reduce rodent activity and avoid accidental entry. If you have a food source you can't remove, such as a garden, fruit trees, or berry bushes, protect these with fencing or metal flashing; or pick fruit up from the ground. 

3. Block Routes

Rodents use tree branches to get on your roof. Trim branches to prevent this. They can also scale pipes on the sides of your home. There are specialized guards that can prevent them from using your pipes. Sometimes mice will work their way up downspouts. Stuff some wire mesh in there to keep small rodents out.

4. Seal Entry Points

Rodents chew holes to get into homes. If they damage your weatherstripping, door sweeps, or door frames, consider replacing these materials. If they damage building materials that you don't have the finances to repair, you may use an expanding foam, caulking, hardware cloth, or metal flashing to patch these entry points.

5. Make Your Home Unwelcoming To Rodents

A rodent may get into your home no matter how hard you try to deter them. If this happens, you may still have a hope of keeping them out. A clean home is not inviting to rodents. Mice, and particularly rats, may leave a structure that does not have food debris or access to stored foods, so clean your home and keep your pantry and kitchen foods in sealed containers. Also, consider repairing leaking faucets and showerheads as these can provide a drink for mice and rats. While keeping a clean home and repairing plumbing issues can have a big impact on rodents, they are not a complete solution. You need to apply all of these tips to deter rodents and keep them out. 

You can get amazing results with these tips. The best part is that anyone can apply them. You don't need training in rodent control strategies. Why do we say this? Because rodent control often fails due to a lack of knowledge.  

How And Why Rodents Find Their Way Into Our Homes

We touched on rodent exclusion. We looked at the routes rats, mice, and squirrels use to get into your home. But there is more to say on the subject. If you hope to keep rodents out of your Orange County home, you'll have to dig deeper into how and why they get in.

Teeth: The incisors of a rodent continually grow, and rodents must file them down to prevent injury. Rodents chew on many things in nature to keep their teeth a comfortable length. The two most common things are trees and rocks, so it shouldn't surprise you when they chew on your foundation or the wood of your home. When you repair holes in your home, perform routine inspections to see if new holes appear. Rodent prevention is ongoing, not a one-time fix.

Thigmotaxis: This is a ten-cent word that basically means that rats and mice are the opposite of claustrophobic. They like to squeeze into tight spaces. When you combine this natural inclination to squeeze into gaps, cracks, and holes with their need to gnaw on building materials, you can see why they get into your home around pipes and wire conduits. After sealing holes, check back to ensure your patchwork holds. 

Squishiness: A rat or mouse can squeeze through any gap it can fit its head through. Mice can get through a gap that is the width of a dime. Rats are big rodents but can fit through a gap the width of a quarter. As you consider potential entry points, don't overlook the smallest of holes. Also, keep in mind that a rodent can use its teeth to make small holes larger.  

Claws: You know that squirrels can scale trees with their claws. Do you know that a little house mouse and a fat rat can do this too? Yup. What's worse is that a rat, mouse, or squirrel can also scale the exterior of many structures. Check out videos online. They are amazing to watch. They are also sobering. You can't just seal potential entry points near the ground, you need to address the potential for a rodent to scale your exterior and chew its way in through a gable vent. A mouse can squeeze through your louvers with its squishiness, comfortably tuck inside because of thigmotaxis, and use its teeth to create a hole to get into your attic. Hardware cloth can protect this potential entry point and keep rodents out.

Hopefully, the facts here will broaden your understanding of rodents. These urban pests are hard to exclude. It takes a dedicated effort. If you'd rather have someone else do the hard work, consider contacting HomeShield Pest Control.  

How Licensed Pest Professionals Get Rid Of Rodents

A licensed pest management professional brings many tools to the table. Before we share those tools, we want to point out the most important reason to have a licensed professional apply your rodent control. Life gets busy, and rodent control can end up on the back burner. When you have a year-round pest control service plan that provides coverage for rodents, you get routine inspections and ongoing control to stay ahead of rodent infestations and property damage. Here are the tools we use to keep rodents at bay:

  • Professional inspections are performed to evaluate conducive conditions, entry points, routes, and other essential factors.
  • Appropriate traps and other devices are selected for your specific rodent pests. Each rodent is different. One strategy will not work for all rodents.
  • Field-tested strategies are used to ensure successful treatment and sustained exclusion.
  • Exclusion work is applied in key areas where rodents commonly get into structures.
  • If needed, we may apply tamper-resistant bait traps outdoors to reduce rodent populations.

There is no simple way to address a rodent infestation. Your infestation is unique, and a licensed pest management professional has the training, experience, and team support to solve your problem. If you're in Orange County, contact HomeShield Pest Control for assistance. We can help you get the results you want.