Why Do Mice Come in My Home During the Summer?
Summer is typically known as a time of relaxation and fun. But while we’re having fun in the sun during the day, nocturnal creatures are enjoying their nights – possibly inside our homes. The real question is, why do mice come in my home during the summer? And it’s not just mice, it’s rats too.
It’s a common misconception that mice and rats only invade homes during the winter months. In an effort to escape the summer heat, these rodents often look for places to keep cool – including kitchens and food pantries.
Mice and rats are in search of food, water, and shelter and our homes are the perfect place to provide them all three of those things. Rodents have a tendency to move around more during summer as opposed to other seasons. This is a necessity for their survival – to relocate from their winter and spring nests into places where they will be more comfortable during the summer heat.
How do mice and rats get into my home in the first place?
Believe it or not, rats can get through holes half an inch wide and mice can get through holes one quarter of an inch wide. They will take up residence in your attic, in the crawl space under your home and even behind your refrigerator to escape the summer heat.
If there isn’t a hole for them to get through, they’re more than capable of chewing through drywall, insulation and wood. Mice and rats will also chew through electrical and automotive wiring too – increasing the potential risk for fires.
Why is it bad to have a rodent problem?
Having rodents is bad because they will not only eat food and trash in your kitchen and aren’t very appealing to see, but they’re also known to carry several diseases that they can transmit to you.
Mice and rats are known to carry at least 10 different diseases that can be spread through their urine and feces and quickly infect surfaces and floors. Here are some of the diseases they can transmit:
- Murine Typhus
- Rat-bite Fever
- Bacterial Food Poisoning
A disease they carry that is extremely important to be aware of is the Hantavirus, which can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). HPS is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans. Click here to read more about HPS from the CDC.
What else should I know about rodents?
Rodents are generally nocturnal animals, with peak activity occurring shortly after dusk and again prior to dawn. Inside occupied structures, they often become active within about 30-60 minutes following the subsiding of evening human activity.
Mice can become pregnant again in as little as two days after giving birth. Their offspring can cause a major infestation during the summer and can chew on practically anything.
In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association, it has been estimated that rodents cause up to 20 percent of undetermined fires in the United States every year.
How can I prevent rodents?
As a homeowner, there are a number of things you can do around your home and property in order to prevent a rodent infestation.
- Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed and pruned. Outdoor areas are where rodents like to nest.
- Keep all plants, especially limbs of trees, away from the roof or even from touching your home. Rodents can climb on tree limbs that are touching your roof in order to get access into your home.
- Clean up all the litter in your yard such as wood piles, debris, etc. to prevent rodents from nesting on your property.
- Do not stack any materials by your home or in your garage.
- Store food in airtight containers. Rodents can gnaw through cardboard boxes and plastic packages.
- Clean and maintain trash areas.
- Ensure gutters and drainage system are functioning properly and there are no back ups.
When it comes to setting traps, pruning back vegetation, sealing potential entry points around your home and doing more pest-proofing, it’s best to call a professional! They know the areas around your home that rodents most likely use and will be able to prevent the infestation.
Don’t let uninvited rodents into your home this summer. For more information on preventing mice and rats from entering your home, contact Massey Services for a free, detailed inspection and written analysis.
For more information on rodent pest control, please contact Massey Services or complete the form below!