How To Deal With Those Rats That Are Hiding In Your House

If there are pests that love to live where people live, then they are the rats. They are quick to adjust to any environment or location and are sure to thrive on just a small amount of food and water on a daily basis. When they invade a home and gain access to food such as grains, vegetables and even meat, they simply stay for good.

They prefer to live and feed around the restaurants, private homes, commercial buildings – just about any place that has food and that can shelter them. Rats can settle for scraps from garbage bags, private yards or whatever else they find at a place, for example at the community refuse disposal. If they can’t find refuge at your place, then they get their shelter from surrounding tall grass, weeds, walls, abandoned appliances, fences, to name but a few.

How do you check for rats?

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If rats are suspected to have invaded your home, pest control experts recommend you take a fast and appropriate action to get rid of them. Here is how to determine if rats have entered your home.

• Listen

During the night, turn on the lights in a basement or any other dark room and listen for scurrying sounds. If you hear some gnawing noises in here, then chances are that rats have invaded your home.

• Watch

If you find tail marks or paw prints in any dusty room at your home, chances are they are from the resident rats. To be sure, sprinkle some flour around the area and check for tracks for a few days. If this doesn’t work, then place a small amount of food, for example grains where the local rats can get at it. On a daily basis, check for signs of feeding.

• Look

Uncover rats hiding places by moving furniture and stored materials from one section of your room or home to another. While at it, check for signs of gnawed electrical cords, packaged items, baseboards, doors, windows, etc. If you discover wood shavings or chips, tooth marks or chewed marks, then chances are that rats have invaded your home. Dark smears near the beams, pipes, stair edges and along hallways is a clear indication that rats have found habitat in your home. Old droppings or even old ones near the walls, pathways and food supplies is another indication of rat manifestation in a place.

How do rats get into your home?

Upon determining that you have a rat infestation at your place, it is time to investigate how they got in. Once you have determined you have rats at your place, it is now time to check out on how they got in, eradicate them and then take the necessary steps to prevent them from coming back. Rats get into a building in any of the following ways:

• By squeezing past thin openings in the piping systems, in the foundations, wall cracks and the likes

• By digging under shallow buildings foundation

• From inside large packages that are brought in a home

• Through open doors, vents, windows, sidewalks and the likes

• Through foundation or wall holes or cracks, (even as small as a dime)

• Through door gaps, fan openings, floor drains, letter drops, etc.

Keeping the rats out

It is easier to keep rats at bay than getting rid of them. But how can this be accomplished?

• Make sure there’s no appropriate shelter for them

Indoors: Replace wooden basement floors with permanently poured concrete. Storage racks should be placed at least 18” above the floor. Appliances such as refrigerators, cabinet and sinks, etc, should be moved out far away from the walls so that cleaning behind them can be achieved.

Outdoors: Start by restricting their shelter by rat-proofing all structures in a given area. Unnecessary structures, scattered disused appliances, old fences, junk piles and walls need also to be removed from an area. Areas behind wooden steps particularly those that lead into a building need to be thoroughly cleaned.

• Cutting off their access

Install outward opening self closing doors and make use of spring locks or latches to keep your doors closed. Ensure that all the doors and windows in your home are tightly closed. Make sure to use metal screens on all windows that are normally left open. Basement windows should be protected with 0.5 “wire meshes (hardware cloth). Window and door edges should be covered with screens that can be gnawed by the offending rodents. Floor drains need to be tightly fastened in order to keep sewer rodents from finding their way into your home or property.

Surefire ways to get rid of rats

Trapping and poisoning the rats are two common ways for getting rid of them. However, when you do it on your own, you can encounter many types of inconveniences as well as mishaps. The best solution for you to take when you want to fight off a rat infestation is to look for an animal control specialist in your locality so that they can use professional ways to get rid of the rats. Today, animal control services in Toronto have become very affordable and therefore, there’s no reason why you should not try them.

An Incorrect Deck Maintenance Routine Can Invite Unwanted Pests Into Your Home!

Proper home maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your home against all type of pests that are likely to invite themselves into your home. This is particularly important in the winter and fall season when pests come looking to get into your home so as to keep warm from the cold weather. But just because the seasons are changing, your outdoor property should never be left to fall into disarray or wayside.

If you tend to slack off your maintenance habits during winter or fall, all kinds of pests are sure to take advantage of your mistake. What should you do then to discourage pests from damaging the wood that makes up the deck?

Apply a fresh coat of clear paint on a weathered wooden deck

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One section in a home that is commonly infiltrated by pests during the aforementioned seasons of the year is the deck. If the deck is severely weathered or the wooden parts have lost their shine and luster, it becomes an attractive place for pests to invade or get comfortable. If you notice your deck is considerably weathered, you are advised to consider re-sealing it with a stain or a clear coat of paint. Pests find sealed decks harder to penetrate. These pests are constantly looking to get into the grooves of rotting or exposed wood so as to make it their meals.

A layer of stain or clear coat of paint is applied on this type of wood for added protection against these pests. This also decreases the risk over the winter for coming spring season. There is an increase of moisture loving pests such as wood destroyers during the spring season.

Consider installing a screen mesh material underneath

This prevents unwanted pests such as raccoons, rodents, skunks and other wildlife from nesting in the dark and often comfortable area beneath the deck.

Properly seal your shed

The shed is another area in a home that regularly needs to be checked for pests. Pests such as rodents, opossums, skunks, squirrels and other wildlife often seek to hide in sheds, potentially causing damage underneath. Homeowners should screen off these areas so to prevent the pests from invading your home through the deck. You don’t want to offer them an opportunity to wreak havoc, do you?

In a summary, the following measures can be applied to prevent pests from invading your deck and your house.

• Trim back trees and bushes surrounding your home, in particular these near your deck.

• Do away with any standing water, debris or puddles around your home.

• Keep all structures within your home freshly sealed or painted

• Make sure your drains are properly installed and away from the structures

• Level debris or dirt under the deck and other structures at your compound

The local raccoon

This is a good example of a common pest that frequently invades the deck and thereafter the attic. As the leaves start to change, signifying the coming of a cooler weather, it is not only humans who want to snuggle up indoors. But some of the visitors who come invading your home can really steal your sanity. Raccoons make all sorts of a mess within an area they have invaded. If you have recently heard a scurrying noise outside your house or in your attic, chances are that it could be a local raccoon paying you a visit.

Why do raccoons invade a home?

The main reason for raccoons invading a human habitat is to search for food and seek a shelter. They particularly do so during the winter and fall season when the outside temperatures are freezing cold. As these animals are nocturnal, they are constantly looking for food, messing everything they come across while touring your compound. They are fast, strong and some of the best climbers you can ever come across. As result, they are adept to survival in both urban and rural areas. So if you find knocked over garbage bins or hear peculiar noises in the attic at night, the offending party could be no one else but the local raccoon.

The only safe way to remove these animals from your home is to have them trapped and then physically removed. It is recommended to contact a licensed wildlife control professional to handle the trapping and then removal of the offending raccoon.

All in all, if you suspect there is an unwanted wild animal, rodent or any other pests taking up residence in your home, take appropriate action to have it removed. Always take caution when handling or removing these pests from your home. The best way to safely remove them from your deck is to contact a licensed animal removal professional as he has both the expertise and tools to perform a perfect job.

Rodents Can Be Kept Away From Your Home This New Year!

This year has to be different from last year where eradication of rodents and other problem causing pests is concerned. If these bothersome vermin were constantly pestering you last year, there are a number of things you can resolve to do differently in order to prevent them from being an issue this year. Here are some of changes you need to implement so as to deter pests and hence prevent them from regularly invading your home.

Start by storing consumables such as firewood away from your home

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By storing firewood right next to your house, you are encouraging wood-eating pests such as carpenter ants and termites to enter your house. Not only this, stored firewood is a good hiding place for such destructive animals such as rodents, squirrels and the others. These pests come in to your home in a number of ways.

For the case of termites and carpenter ants, wood brought in is the major culprit. Rodents find their way into your home through these woods. Regardless of where this wood is stored, as long as it is kept near your house, these pests will keep on pestering you. They can all easily move from the firewood to the wooden stairs, wood sidings or even the deck, especially if the wood is stored directly by these items. To avoid these pests from finding their way into house, make sure to store firewood 20-30 feet away from any wooden structure around the home. This includes all the decks, stairs, outdoor storage sheds and many others.

You may also want to regularly inspect any newly bought firewood as it might come infested with these pests. Old stored firewood also needs to be inspected once per month for signs of hiding rodents or wood -eating pests. If any of these is found, then have the wood removed from near your home to prevent rodents from easily entering your home or sprayed with the right pesticide. The more the pests are allowed to sit and multiply on the wood, the more difficult and expensive they will be to remove, particularly if they find their way into your house. So make sure to store firewood some distance or meters away from your home.

Have your home interiors professionally sealed

Rodents, bugs and many other outdoor pests can easily find their way into your home if there cracks around places such as door frames, sidings and window frames. A gap or crack in any of these places is essentially an open invitation to pest to come visiting and finding a safe habitat inside your home. Hot and cold outdoor weather often force these pests to seek a safe hiding place. And can there be a better or safer hiding or dwelling place than in your temperature controlled house? The best way to take care of this issue to fast seal the cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior. Resolving to seal all cracks around a home’s exterior surfaces can help keep pests out while also helping to in energy consumption reduction.

Store food in appropriate storage place

Pests such as rodents, cockroaches and ants enter a home in search of food. Regrettably, once they find the food they came searching for, they bring along their friends and family to your home, making it their own. Fortunately, this all can be prevented by storing food in proper airtight storage containers.

Storing foodstuffs in appropriate containers can help to prevent the pests from having access to it, and thus reducing the chances of them finding a habitat in your home. Rodents or any other pests don’t care if the food they have access to is for human or pets consumption. So it is advisable to store all types of foods in sealed containers so as to deter these harm causing pests.

Employ the services of an expert animal control agency to help you out

If all steps to prevent pests from invading your home fail, it is time to hire the services of a pest control agency. Although this will cost you money, this is the best and proper way to make sure that pests are kept at bay or away from your home. Upon the specialist coming into your home, he walks around it looking for signs that pests are hiding, or are nearby or may have already started to inhabit the home. Furthermore, an animal control specialist is able to spray pesticides that a common homeowner may not have access to. He comes with specialized equipments that are able to reach even the most hidden places around the home, hence making sure that all hiding pests are properly done away with.

So if you want your home to stay pest-free, resolve to take action in order to prevent these pests from bothering you this year. All the above listed ways can keep bugs and rodents away once and for all!

How To Protect Your Pets From A Raccoon Infestation?

Raccoons and other small creatures like rats and mice can be a real trouble for house owners. They cause problems with removing food from the house, they mess through trash cans, they eat and scratch up walls, furniture and property, they cause much destruction and this is all even worse if they decide to nest up and reproduce in the house. On top of being destructive, they are also dangerous to the house and the family members living in the house because they carry with them many bacteria and viruses like rabies.

The dangers of having a raccoon infestation

Raccoons and other small animals don’t just come alone as mentioned before; they carry with them many dangerous pathogens like rabies. Especially for children living in the house, these pathogens can be really hazardous. They also carry other parasites like roundworms and cause illnesses like Leptospirosis which can be fatal especially for the very young and very old. This is because they have come into contact with the body excretions like urine and other fluids from many other animals in the natural habitat. They themselves are immune against most of these pathogens but we are not, since we don’t normally come into contact with them.

Raccoons also carry with them other small insects like mites and ticks which themselves carry all these pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Especially if your household has cats are dogs, beware of letting in raccoons because when your household pets interact or chase and hunt down the raccoons, they tend to take up and get transmitted the viruses and bacteria that raccoons carry.

Raccoons are unpredictable

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On top of carrying all these fatal illness causing pathogens, the raccoons themselves are also very unpredictable and temperamental. They are at the end of the day wild animals and they see almost everyone as predators if we are not one of their kind. So although at first they might hide and appear to be scared, we won’t know when they would plan to attack us to chase us away from their new habitat which is your home. Keep away from these kinds of small animals and also ensure that everyone in your house is protected against the possible pathogens and their associated illnesses. This is especially true for children and elderly over 60 to 65 years old.

Keeping raccoons away from your house

Raccoons are omnivorous, so it basically means they will eat anything and everything that is edible for their diet of both plants and other animals. This includes eating from the trash cans and even eating pet food! So make sure that you keep your trash well sealed up and your trash cans close all the time. They are sneaky and can smell food easily from miles away, so be careful with exposing your trash at all times. This includes keeping them away from exposure even during night time, when the raccoons are most active as they are nocturnal creatures.

As mentioned before since raccoons are nocturnal creatures, we have to ensure that even our house pets do not interact with them at night. So keep your pets in at night and keep the pet door locked. This is because the raccoons can enter the house through the pet doors as well. Therefore secure this entry point especially at night when pets are generally asleep and would not be using these doors.

Use ‘obstacles’ to scare away unwanted raccoons

Remember that small tactics to scare off these type of rodents would only be a temporary solution. This is especially true if they have already been residing in your house for a while now. They would have already formed a nest and have had been living there for too long for them to change their habitat. So scaring them off with bright lights and loud noises would not keep them out for a long time. They would still find another route and way back into the spot in your house to that they have accommodated to. This is especially true for mother raccoons that have to protect their litter against predators and for larger raccoons who are more resistant to move.

If ever you face a raccoon problem, call us, Sande Wildlife Control today to help you sort things out with the infestation problem. Try not to handle it yourself as it can be dangerous for the abovementioned reasons, mainly because they might attack you anytime and also they carry too many dangerous pathogens for you to ever get into contact with them.

Do You Know The Favourite Spots In A Home That Raccoons Love To Dwell In?

Raccoons are moderate sized wild animals and they are known for their wit and agility. These animals are omnivores so are able to hunt and survive on a variety of types of foods. They usually prefer to stay in the wild and hunt there for a living but they are also easily attracted to any place with a lot of foods. Especially if these foods fall as part of their diet range, they are more likely to reside in these places. So if you are looking to keeping your house away from raccoons, the main factor you need to tackle is the easily reach to food at your place. As long as the raccoons have an easy reach to food, they would easily get into your house and would not leave that easily.

The problem with these animals is that they don’t come alone and they bring along with them many bacteria and viruses like rabies and this can be dangerous to especially children in the house. Moreover, these small animals are unpredictable and they might attack anytime, so it is risky to handle with them alone if you are trained to do so.

What kind of areas do raccoons like to be in?

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Raccoons naturally reside in tree cavities, and this is especially true for mother raccoons who like to sit in hidden areas and look out for predators to guard their families and litter. Raccoons generally like quiet and dark environments so they choose places which are usually free of human movement or any other living creature for that matter.

This is why then raccoons enter our houses, they come in and reside in places which resemble their natural living habitats. They will come into our houses through the same way with which they reach to their tree cavity hideouts, which is basically by digging and climbing. These two methods are what they use often to get to sneaky little places they want to squeeze into. Below are a few of the common places in a house that raccoons might seek shelter at.

In the basement

Although this is not a common area where raccoons hide in, it is a very suitable area for them to seek shelter at if they are aware of this place in your house. The basement is dark and quiet and it is free of human movement during most of the day or even week. We only go down to our basements when we need to take something out of our storage, and most of us do not live in our basements so it is a good spot for the raccoons to stay in away from their predators and it is a good place for them to hide their food and also mate with each other. Therefore the basement is especially advantageous for female raccoons that are guarding their litter away from danger from predators.

In the attic

This is a very common place for not just raccoons but many other small animals and pests. Attics with food items in storage would be an even better target for hiding and again the attic is dark and quiet and away from human movement so it’s safe for mother raccoons especially for hiding with its litter. Moreover, the attic is easier to reach to than the basement, by climbing in with their agility. Especially if tree branches are touching the windows of your house and if your chimney is open without any mesh coverage, the raccoons can very easily reach to your attic.

In the crawl space

If your house in a raised level ground, then there will be crawl space under your house and raccoons can easily dig into that space and hide there. Just like the basements and attics, the crawl spaces are also very quiet without anyone around and they are also dark and warm for these nocturnal creatures to happily reside in. Although dry, they can dig through and create warm and moist holes in the ground for them to stay in.

In the spaces in between the walls

Raccoons can easily reach to and hide in the cavities in between the walls. Many walls nowadays are built with two materials and a gap between them. The space in between these two layers is a nice warm spot which conserves heat and moisture for the raccoons to safely reside in.

In the bathroom

This is rather rare because there are still humans moving around in the bathroom and area around it. But they are still likely to hide behind the pipes in the bathroom because it is one of the most wet, warm and cosy areas in the house.

In the chimney

This is also one of the most common areas in the house that raccoons would hide in. Chimneys resemble the hollow tree environment which makes it naturally a suitable place for their residence.

Inside the ceiling

There is actually a lot of space in the ceiling that we are not aware of and many animals and pests actually reside there. This is why we might hear some noises especially at night coming from our ceilings. Raccoons too are one of the many types of creatures and pests which seek shelter inside our house ceiling.

If you require assistance regarding raccoon infestations, contact Sande Wildlife Control today and allow us to help you through your raccoon problems!