Knowing how to prevent rodent infestations in your basement can save time and extermination expenses in the future. Mice, rats, squirrels and other creatures attempt to find shelter from harsh weather inside the warm, dark lower level of houses. Here’s why you should be concerned about rodent infestations and some suggestions on what you can do to prevent these unwanted, unclean guests.
Risks of Rodent Infestations
First of all, rodents pose a health risk for humans. Certain types of rats and mice are carriers of a potentially deadly disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. When people come into contact with droppings or urine or are bitten by an infected rodent, they begin developing a fever one to five weeks later. Their major muscle groups begin to ache and they may also experience vomiting or diarrhea. The disease may be misdiagnosed as the flu, until the symptoms progress and the individual begins to cough and gasp for breath as fluid rushes into the lungs. This virus has a 38 percent mortality rate.
Other diseases passed from rodent to human include rat-bite fever, salmonella, eosinophilic meningitis and leptospirosis. People can also experience strong allergic reactions to mice and rat hair. Besides spreading disease, rodents may also gnaw through electrical wiring, causing outages or an electrical fire.
Rodents can enter a home through a hole the size of a coin, as long as the opening is big enough for their skull to fit through. Walk around the outside and inside of your home’s foundation and seal cracks using dense, sturdy materials like copper wool. Determined rodents can quickly chew through airy, porous materials like caulking. Look for gaps around plumbing lines and cable wires – two locations rodents commonly use to breach the home’s perimeter and enter the basement.
Install Window Well Covers
Impenetrable window well covers deter rodents intent on taking shelter in a window well and gradually chewing their way through the window seal. Invest in fitted, secure covers to prevent small creatures from falling into the well or nesting in the alcove.
Trap Invaders Immediately
If you suspect rodents have taken up residence in your basement, inspect clothes, bags and boxes in the area. If you notice small holes or droppings left behind, it’s time to set up traps to rid your home of the rodent infestation. Speed of removal is important because female mice have the capability of giving birth to up to 10 litters of mice per year, and baby mice reach sexual maturity at six to 10 weeks. Without the threat of outdoor predators to their growing population, mice infestations in a home can quickly escalate to astronomical proportions. If you are unsure whether to use bait-and-release traps or instant-kill traps, call an exterminator for a consultation.
Contact Windowell Expressions for more information on selecting specialized window well covers for your lower level in order to prevent rodent infestations and keep your home safe and clean.