Unwanted Guests for Thanksgiving? The Rodents

Chilly fall weather is here to stay, and with the arrival of cooler temperatures comes the reemergence of one of the most common cold-weather home invaders – the rodents.

Rodents are notorious carriers of a slew of illnesses and bacteria, and a buildup of their droppings can worsen asthma and allergy symptoms. They are capable of chewing through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. Mice are able to fit through openings the size of a dime and rats a quarter, though through their gnawing they can gain access through even smaller openings. 

The Virginia Pest Management Association (VPMA) encourages homeowners to take a look around your home and address any areas of concern outlined in the rodent prevention tips below: 

  • Check both the inside and outside of home for cracks or crevices, and seal any openings with caulk, steel wool, or both. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows, as well as faulty door sweeps.
  • Screen openings to chimneys, roof vents and dryer vents.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground. Keep shrubbery and tree branches cut back from the house.
  • Keep basements and attics clear and store boxes off of the floor. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Keep food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.

VPMA takes rodent control very seriously. In October, VPMA hosted a Master Technician: Rodents Course in downtown Richmond. This hands-on course included discussions of biology and habits of commensal rodents, recent regulatory changes to rodenticide use, a hands-on demonstration of rodent elimination equipment and exclusion techniques. In addition, the class embarked on a walking tour of downtown Richmond after dark to inspect for rodent evidence and harborage. VPMA hosted 19 technicians from 12 companies in Virginia at this specialized training course. For help eliminating a rodent infestation once established, call a professional pest management company found at www.vpmaonline.com.

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VPMA is a professional organization of approximately 250 member companies employing over 3000 people throughout Virginia and generating over $280 million in annual revenues. VPMA is dedicated to promoting the interests and general welfare of the pest management industry and to supporting scientific, technical and business research in the areas of pest management. For more information, please call our Executive Director, Andrea Coron, at 877/875-8722 or visit our website at www.vpmaonline.com.