Most of us have experienced ‘a mouse problem’ before. First, there is the tell tale scurrying sound beneath the floorboards or in the walls at night. Then, that bag on the counter with tiny little holes chewed through it…and finally, mouse droppings across the table and in the silverware drawer. Here at pest control seattle we have the experiance to relive your “mouse problem”.
For those of us who live in the wooded climes of the world, we especially seem to struggle with controlling the mice that find our abode simply irresistible. An area that field mouse in a nearby brush pile probably already has it’s eye on is your crawl space.
And why not? It’s warm, protected from predators, and provides easy access to the rest of the house, where that little mouse family can find all sorts of things to chew up and ingest, from clothing, to your groceries, to the dog food.
Most of us don’t frequent our crawlspaces on a regular basis, and they are dark and quiet. Even if you have a crawlspace that is moderately well-sealed, mice can slip through a hole the size of a dime, and rats through a hole the size of a quarter. What you think is a tiny crack may be the golden gate for that little mouse to the rest of the house!
Preventing the Damage
Rodents can cause lots of damage. The holes they make in your crawlspace vapor barrier, insulation and walls reduce the air and water barrier that is protecting it from the great outdoors. When moisture accumulates, mold and fungi quickly follow. In addition, the smell of rodent droppings beneath your kitchen will eventually drift through the floorboards to your olfactory nerves and make an unpleasant statement to whatever guests you have over for dinner.
Here are some ways you can make your crawl space a little less attractive to the local rodent population!
- Never store food items in your crawl space. Mice have an acute sense of smell, and they are not above chewing through solid wood to get at whatever goodies you’re packing away.
- Put a light in your crawl space, either on a switch you can flip occasionally or on a timer that is programmed to go on and off a couple times throughout the day. Mice don’t like light–haven’t you noticed you rarely see them out and about during the day?
- Eliminate water and humidity from your crawlspace. Just like the rest of the mammalian population, mice need water to survive. If your crawl space is well protected from any moisture, the mice will have to travel elsewhere to get a drink.
- Put down a ‘rat slab’ to deter tunnelling rodents. This slab is usually a thin plate of metal, thick plastic, or stone. It might not seem daunting to you, but a mouse will only run into that hard surface once before tunnelling away!
- Look for holes! Take a walk around your house–do you see any cracks or entrances for a mouse? Seal them up with wire mesh or hardware cloth. Peek into your crawlspace too–any cracks or holes there are a perfect entrance for a little whiskered rodent. Be sure the material used allows for air movement, as we do not want to trap any moisture in our house foundations.
- Investigate eletronic traps–there are such new devices as ultrasonic pest repllers available. These emit ultrasonic waves throughout the area that have been shown to keep mice at bay. You can also use an electromagnetic pest repeller, which have been shown to disagree with rodents nervous system. Grab a long extension cord, and walk it all along the edge of your house. At the end, plug in the repeller, and bask in the knowledge you’ve just put up an invisible fence repulsing rodents. The electromagnetic waves will be pushed out through the entire length of cord.
- Mouse traps have been around for centuries–probably just about as long as mice have been. Place mouse traps strategically throughout your crawlspace and around any possible entrant points around your home. Peanut butter makes excellent bait. Be sure to check your traps regularly!
- Poison should be used as a last resort, as firstly, it may be ingested by an animal other than your thieving mouse, such as your cat or dog. Secondly, the smell of a rotting rodent carcass is very distasteful, hard to eradicate unless you locate the body, and brings a whole host of germs and possible disease into your house.
Mice are a pest, but with a little effort can easily removed from your list of worries. Have your crawlspace inspected occasionally by a rodent control professional to ensure that there is no slow decay, mold, or little furry friends taking advantage of your home!
9612 47th Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
Clean Crawls, Inc.