Guest Blogger #840, Entry #2003, January 11, 2012
We don’t like to talk about it but unwanted pests such as rodents and unwelcomed furry friends in your home in the winter can be a nuisance. Today, my guest blogger from ‘Do My Own Pest Control’ will share information to keep your home and family safe. Next week they will be my guest on Stagetecture Radio – on Wednesday, January 16th at 12pm EST.
Join me as I interview their expert next week on ‘Your Weekly Home at Stagetecture’- Episode 11 We will talk about green measures to keep unwanted pests from your home, easy ways to keep rodents out of your home and more!
I asked them to guest blog and share with you how to ensure your home is safe this winter.
Image via: Chelsea Atelier
Ridding your home of unwanted pests
Winter is upon us in United States and the cool air has settled in. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones who have taken notice of the climate changes; some unwelcomed guests will take this opportunity to try to move in to your home in search of warmth. I am of course referring to our furry friends, the rodent. As temperatures dip down, rats and mice alike will scurry into human dwellings and take up residence for the winter.
Persistent and crafty, rodents will find a way to enter a home anyway they can. Mice have been known to squeeze through space about as wide as a nickel; there are even some rare cases that mice have slipped through gaps as wide as a pencil.
So the moral of the story is to prepare before these critters get in. Now that you know they are capable, where should you look? Rodents can infiltrate your home from multiple locations. Common channels of navigation for rodents include ventilation grills, sidewalk gratings and large sidewalk cracks. They can gnaw through wooden doors and crawl into spaces where pipes meet wood siding. They have been known to scale vertical wires, pipes and tree limbs.
DIY Tips to keep pests out
The next topic of discussion for excluding rodents from your home is what one would need in terms of materials. Once you have located the vulnerable points around your home, you’ll need to cover them up. The first suggestion that comes to mind is galvanized, stainless or non-rusting metals; examples of which include:
Look for sheet metal that is 24 gauge or higher. Expanded metal, 28 gauge or higher. Perforated metal, 24 gauge or higher. Hardware cloth (steel wool), 19 gauge or higher with 1/4” or less mesh
Another good option for plugging those entrances is Cement mortar. A mixture of one part cement, three parts sand mix or richer is sufficient enough for cement to keep the rats at bay. Along the same lines, concrete works just as well. A mixture of one part cement, two parts gravel and four parts sand mix or richer will do the trick! And just as an extra precaution, adding broken glass to mortar or cement will deter rodents from burrowing through it as it dries.
Image via: Zuniga Interiors
Preventative pest control
Now how do you apply these preventive measures? We discussed a good deal of options but it might not have been clear as to which one should you use in any given case. Let’s run through some examples so we can get a better picture. Creative use of materials combined with knowledge of rodent behavior will help you exclude rodents from buildings, thus you are not limited to just using one method for a multitude of openings. It is recommended that you should patch holes around plumbing with concrete or mortar. For covering drains, vents or chimneys, use 1/4” hardware cloth. Along the bottom of a door, use sheet metal flashing. For drains, place a metal circular rat guard around the entrance of the drain to prevent rats from wedging themselves between the building and the pipe to crawl upwards.
Be sure to check up on your newly place defenses every couple of weeks; take this time to also check for new vulnerable spots around the homestead. Take note that the mice and rats trying to return to their old hunting grounds are probably the most stubborn and strongest of the bunch!
Luis Alberto Simauchi Jr. works for Do My Own Pest Control and his time there has made him a sustainable home improvement enthusiast with a particular interest in sustainable pest control methods.
Join us on 1.16.13 when I interview Do My Own Pest Control – Stagetecture Radio – Episode 11
Download on iTunes after 1.16.13 to hear anytime – iTunes – Episode 11