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Are Rodents Plaguing Your Phoenix Property?

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There are basically three kinds of rodents that will infest a home. They are squirrels, rats, and mice. The three kinds of rats you may find in your Phoenix home are roof rats, Norway rats, and packrats. Typically, roof rats are black. Norway rats and packrats are brown. The two kinds of mice we typically see are house mice and deer mice. House mice are dusty gray with cream-colored bellies. Deer mice have a tawny coloration and white belly, similar to the color of a deer—hence the name. House mice are common and persistent indoor pests. Deer mice tend to stay in barns, sheds, outbuildings, and garages. Rodents aren't the only pests that create holes and get into Phoenix homes. Today, we'll look at a few ways to tell that rodents are the pests you're dealing with on your Phoenix property, describe some ways rodents cause damage, and give you four practical tips to keep all rodents out of your home. If you want assistance from a live technician in person, we can arrange that. Click through to our contact page for professional rodent pest control in Phoenix. Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are happy to take a look at your pest problem and provide answers, in person. 

How To Tell If It's Rodents Infesting Your Home

When you find a hole, does it mean backyard rodents in Phoenix have become indoor pests? Maybe. But other pests make holes. How do you tell the difference? Some evidence is obvious. Let's start there. 

  • If you see a squirrel running along a wire attached to your home or climbing around on your roof, you can assume that any holes you find in soffits, eaves, seals around roof penetrations, or counterflashing, are linked to squirrels.
  • If you find black droppings near your exterior walls, or underneath objects in your yard, take a moment to examine them. Mouse droppings are slightly smaller than grains of white rice. Rat and squirrel droppings are larger. All rodent droppings are black, shiny, and moist when fresh.
  • Bat droppings look like rat droppings but are slightly smaller. If bats are getting into your home, you should see a hole above the droppings, and you may notice a black smudge around the hole. 
  • If you find white droppings, those are the result of pigeons or some other pest birds. 
  • If you see a black rat running on your roof, you can link holes to that pest. Unfortunately, they are active at night, and they are black. It is hard to see them. 
  • If you see a brown rat exploring your foundation wall, the holes you find are likely the result of that brown rat getting into your home. Simple, right? Unfortunately, Norway rats are nocturnal and it is rare to see one during the day. If you do see one, it is a warning sign of a large infestation.
  • If you find a hole in a window or door frame, you may have a rodent problem, but carpenter ants also create holes like these. Inspect the hole and look for frass or large ants crawling around inside.
  • If you find a circular hole, that is a carpenter bee hole. They typically get underneath boards and create circular holes that go up. When carpenter bees invade a structure, woodpeckers may cause secondary damage as they attempt to feed on carpenter bee larvae hidden in wood. The damage these pests do will not likely look like an entry point.
  • Larger animals, like raccoons, opossums, bobcats, or coyotes, will leave droppings that are much larger than rodent or bat droppings.

These are the general ways you can track down rodent problems. There are more tips we could give, but you get the idea. Droppings and damage are the primary ways to detect rodent problems.      

How Rodents Create Damage And Spread Disease

When squirrels, rats, or mice get into your Phoenix home, how bad is it? We don't want to alarm you, but you should know that those cute, furry, woodland animals are not as harmless as you may think. Domestic rodents, particularly rats and mice, crawl around in sewers, dumpsters, and trash bins. But even if they didn't, all furry animals pick up ticks and fleas, which are known to carry diseases that impact human health.

Along with spreading diseases, rodents can also impact your health when they create holes to get into your home, or as they damage your property once they get inside. Exterior holes created by rodents may allow rainwater to get in and mold problems may result. As rodents crawl around in your wall voids and attic, they may spark a house fire. Rodents are known to chew on wires.

We can't tell you how much of a threat rodents will present to you, your family, or your property. All we can do is advise you to take action when you see evidence of a rodent infestation. Even the furry-tailed rodents that avoid you in your backyard are a threat to your health when they get into your home.

Four Practical Rodent Exclusion Tips For Around Your Home

How do you keep rodents out of your home? There are four tools for the job. Let's take a look at each of them and discuss how they provide unique protection.

1. Caulk And Expanding Foam

The simple way to keep rodents out of your home is to remove the gaps and holes that allow them to enter. A caulking gun or a can of expanding foam will get this job done quickly. If you don't mind a little mess and want a cheap fix, go with the expanding foam. Foam can create a messy seal around exterior wall penetrations and also fill in structural voids. If you want something that looks nice and matches the color of your building materials, caulk is the way to go. Use silicone caulk to seal gaps around pipes, wires, PVC wire conduits, window frames, and door frames. 

2. Hardware Cloth

Rodents scale your walls and find ways to get to gable vents, louvers, and other openings. Hardware cloth is perfect for creating a barrier that keeps rodents out. It is also a great material to use as fencing around the voids of exterior structures. Do you have a back deck? Trim your deck with hardware cloth. Do you have a shed? Line the base of your shed with hardware cloth. When you apply hardware cloth to keep rodents out of structural voids, you prevent them from chewing through sole plates and other wood members in hidden spaces. 

3. Protective Materials

There are many ways you can use protective materials to keep rodents out. Some are obvious, such as weatherstripping, door sweeps, and screens. Maintain these to deter rodent entry. Other materials aren't quite so obvious, such as pipe guards. If you have a pipe or wire conduit that runs up the side of your home, rodents can scale your home and get to your roof. A guard stops rodents in their tracks. It looks like an upside-down cone. It is also helpful to trim tree branches away from your roofline, apply something spikey on wires that attach to your roofline, and put wire mesh in your downspouts.  

4. Metal Flashing

When rodents attempt to chew on your eaves or soffits, metal flashing can help to deter them from gaining entry. While this robust material is strong and resistant to rodents, it doesn't provide 100 percent protection. Routine inspections and a trapping program may also be needed. It depends on the rodent pressures in your yard, conducive conditions around your home, and the availability of access routes.

If you need assistance with exclusion work, trapping, or other rodent control measures, keep ACTION Termite & Pest Control in mind. Our hardworking technicians have the training and experience to get the results you want.

The Safest Way To Get Rid Of Rodents On Your Property

If rodents have gotten into your Phoenix home, the safest way to get them out is to get professional assistance. The last thing you want to do is trap a rodent in your home or seal a momma squirrel outside your home while her babies are still inside. We inspect your home to evaluate issues like these. Once we have inspected your property, tracked your pest issue, and considered common concerns, we use specialized technologies such as one-way doors which allow squirrels to exit your home but keeps them from getting back in. The methods we use for rats and mice are stronger because of their potential for human harm. In all cases, the control methods we use are appropriate and do not cause unnecessary pain to the animals we control. If you have questions, we'd be happy to answer them before your service visit.

When you need wildlife management or rodent control, ACTION Termite & Pest Control is the right choice. We use field-tested methods and the most advanced pest control products and materials. Connect with us today for assistance. We're here to help.