Rodents can be serious pests in our Monterey Bay Area. Some rodents are yard pests that attack vegetation in landscaping and create a nightmare for anyone who needs to maintain impeccable landscaping. But, the rodents that commonly get inside structures have the potential to create even more problems. Tree squirrels that decide to live in an attic space can contaminate storage areas with droppings and urine. Mice and rats are even worse as they can explore every floor of a home or business. If mice and rats get into structures on your Monterey Bay area property, they can damage those structures, damage items stored inside, leave waste around, introduce fleas and ticks, spread harmful bacteria, and potentially cause a fire. It is best to get control of rodents before they get into structures. The secret to effective rodent control in the Monterey Bay Area is understanding what turns a rodent into a pest. The rodents we will be focusing on are tree squirrels, mice, and rats.
Rodents are always looking for food. When it comes to food motivation, mice are the worst. They eat 15 to 20 times a day! If you have a food source in your yard, you’re going to invite rodents to live on your property and potentially inspire them to live inside a structure. Here are a few food sources that can attract rodents.
Seeds. This food source is a dietary staple. If you have bird feeders, you can invite trouble with rodents. Not only will rodents dine on the seeds that drop to the ground, but they may even try to get into your feeders.
Nuts. If you have trees that produce acorns or other nuts, you’ll give rodents an incentive to live in your yard. It is a good idea to stay on top of cleaning nuts up. And it is important to always store bagged nuts a good distance away from the exterior of structures.
Trash. You might not think so, but mice, rats, and squirrels can get into open trash receptacles. A tiny little mouse can scale a bumpy exterior surface and jump 13 inches straight up. So even these, the smallest of rodents, can get into a trash receptacle. Keep trash covered and routinely deodorize your receptacles to remove the attractive scent of decaying food.
Droppings. While not a preferred food source, urban rodents can take to eating the feces of domesticated dogs. If you have a dog, it is important to stay on top of waste clean-up.
When rodents come into your yard, particularly mice and rats, they’re going to look for places to hide. They hide under yard clutter, scrap wood piles left after construction projects, dead branches gathered from the yard, piles of leaves, and other organic debris. They also use tall grass and other vegetation as cover.
- Remove objects that don’t need to be in your yard.
- Keep your grass trimmed.
- Remove weeds and other unnecessary vegetation.
- Move objects away from your exterior walls.
- Keep your landscape bushes and shrubs trimmed at the base.
Mice and rats don’t just hide in your yard, they seek shelter in your yard. Use fencing material to prevent these rodents from getting under your shed, deck, and other structures. Use expanding foam and caulking material to keep them from getting inside structures. Make sure to get every gap, crack, and hole.
The three rodents we’re discussing today are great climbers. A mouse, roof rat, or tree squirrel can access a structure by way of the roof. They chew through roof penetration seals, eaves, shingles, and building materials to get inside. You can prevent this by keeping rodents off your roof.
- Trim tree branches away from your roof.
- Put wire mesh in your downspouts to keep rodents from climbing up.
- Remove vines that allow rodents to get over your roofline.
When you apply the tips we’ve given so far, you may be able to get control of rodents on your property and have no issue with them getting into the structures on your property. If conditions can’t be corrected, or you have higher-than-normal rodent pressures (such as a construction site driving rodents into your yard) it may be necessary to install traps in order to cull rodent populations. This is best done by a licensed professional.
If you are in the Monterey Bay Area, the best option for rodent control is Smith’s Pest Management. We started exclusively as a rodent-management company, offering industry-leading gopher control. Rodent control isn’t just one of the many pest problems our technicians are required to handle; we are rodent control experts. Reach out to us to schedule service. We know what is required to get the best results possible.