Help! Rodents Are Taking Over My Birmingham Home!
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Help! Rodents Are Taking Over My Birmingham Home!

Are you having trouble with rats? If so, these pests are likely causing more than a small amount of alarm. There are few things as troubling as seeing a rat run through our kitchen. Don't worry; we have you covered. Today, we will dig in and look at the key facts Birmingham residents need to know to get on top of rat problems. As always, we're here if you need help with your pest control issue. Contact your Birmingham pest experts at Havard Pest Control for industry-leading rodent control in Birmingham.

How To Tell If You Have A Rodent Infestation

Rats are big rodents, so it is logical to think you'll know if you have a rat problem. But rats are sometimes as quiet as a mouse. That's all well and good, but do you really need to know how to tell if you have a rodent infestation when you keep seeing or hearing them? Yes. It is helpful to understand how to track down rat activity, even if you know for certain that you have rats in your home. Tracking rats allows you to figure out what conditions are attracting them. You may stop having trouble with these critters if you alter those conditions.

Droppings: The waste material left by rats is a good indication that these pests are nearby. If you find blackish-brown waste a little larger than grains of rice, you've found fresh droppings. If you see gray and brittle waste, you've found old droppings. Here are a few places to look for rat excrement:

  • Along your exterior walls, particularly behind vegetation
  • Underneath your deck or stairs
  • Inside the crawl space under your home, if you have one
  • Along baseboards in your home
  • In the backs of kitchen drawers
  • Sprinkled on attic insulation

When you find fresh or old droppings, clean them up so you can check back and see if more appear.

Grease: The hair of an urban rat is usually greasy. As these critters run along foundation walls, they leave black streaks. You will find black smudges in many different areas if you have a rat problem. Check these places:

  • On top of pipes in your crawl space
  • On the gaps around pipes and PVC conduit
  • Around wood holes
  • On baseboards

Rats run with one side, touching nearby surfaces. Any area where these critters are living will have black residue on surfaces.

Urine: Rodents leave urine to create an olfactory map of their surroundings. The scent of urine allows them to navigate using only their noses if necessary. If you smell ammonia as you look for rodent activity, it is a sign that you're close. If you have a severe infestation, you might find urine pillars. Needless to say, these are very bad signs.

Holes: Rats use their teeth to make holes in wood and other building materials. The holes they create aren't as large as you might think. A full-grown rat can fit through a hole about the width of a quarter. Keep this in mind as you inspect your home.

Looking for rats is a hard job—and often a dirty one. To have an experienced pest control technician inspect your Birmingham property, contact Havard Pest Control for assistance.

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Top Rat Prevention Tips: How to Keep Your Home Rodent-Free

Once the rats are gone, how do you keep them from returning? You can take many steps to prevent rodent infestations before and after treatment. Let's explore some of our best suggestions for rat prevention.

Manage Your Trash: Rats gravitate to the scent of decaying food. While that strong and pungent odor is gross to humans, rats love it. Here's what you can do:

  • Use scent bags to throw rats off from the smell.
  • Put your bags in covered containers to hold smells in.
  • Get your trash to the curb weekly to prevent odors from attaching to your receptacles.
  • Refrain from filling your trash receptacles.
  • Wash out and sanitize your trash cans if they start to have an aroma.

Remove Natural Food: There are many things rats eat in nature. If they find them on your property, they can move in. If they continue to find them, they may stay permanently. Take steps to remove the following food sources:

  • Peanuts
  • Acorns
  • Fruits that fall from trees
  • Berries on bushes
  • Seeds

Remove Hiding Places: Rats don't like to stay out in the open for long. There are many places they can hide in your yard. Use fencing material to keep them out of the following zones:

  • The void under your deck, stairs, or shed
  • Your crawl space
  • Stacked scrap wood
  • Junk piles

Seal Entry Points: There are many ways rats commonly enter structures. Repairs to your home and general weatherproofing can keep rodents out. Start with these:

  • Replace weatherstripping around exterior doors.
    Install door sweeps or repair damaged sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Replace screens or apply patches to repair holes and rips.
    Use a caulking gun to apply seals to fill in gaps around window and door framing and prevent rodents from finding a small opening to turn into a hole large enough to crawl through.
  • Fill in joist voids and other structural voids and cavities.
    Patch wood holes.
  • Fill in gaps around plumbing and PVC wire conduits.

Cut Off Routes: Rats can get onto your roof in many ways. Once up there, a rat can find an entry point. Block routes to your roof to prevent rodents from searching for vulnerabilities there. The following measures will help:

  • Install rodent guards on the base of trees, exterior pipes that climb walls, or power lines that touch your roof.
  • Apply a protective mesh cover over all of your downspouts.
  • Trim tree branches that hang near or touch your roof.
  • Remove vines on your exterior.
  • Move objects away from your exterior walls so rats can't use them to jump up to higher locations.

These tips will help you keep rats away and prevent them from getting into your home. In most cases, this is enough protection. If your rodent pressures are high and these methods aren't enough, or you don't have the ability to address the issues presented here, contact Havard Pest Control for rodent population management and exclusion work.

Whether you need to get rid of rodents or you want to keep rodents from getting into your Birmingham home, we can help. Contact Harvard Pest Control for rodent control near you. We'll guide you toward the right solution for your home and family.

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