Future Proofing

If you have an issue with rodents, or would like to help prevent an infestation, this may just be the article you have been waiting for!

The first step in rodent control is usually to eliminate or reduce the population through the use of rodenticide (bait) or traps. During the first visit your pest controller should try and investigate points of entry to attempt to prevent or limit an ongoing issue. If the underlying causes in the infestation are not established then you may be vulnerable to an ongoing infestation and its associated issues. The pest control expenditure will also prove to be ongoing.

A good pest controller will take a good look at your property on the first visit taking into account factors such as the age, location and nature of the building. He will add evidence to his case file on each visit, building up a pest picture of your home or business through the uptake of bait, droppings and your personal testimony.

Looking forwards, the most important part of future proofing for rodents is to try and establish points of entry. Rodents are surprisingly agile so to ensure a good result you need to be aware of all the vulnerabilities at your property. Areas easily exploited to gain entry include –

  • Around electrical wires, pipe work, fence lines, gutters, timber framework, vines and creepers and bordering shrubs and trees
  • Holes in buildings (particularly up to 3 ft height) including damaged vents, old utility entry points and loose mortar.
  • Doors – particularly deterioration of the framework and gaps under and around the door.
  • Drainage issues (with specific reference to rats) including disjointed pipes, deterioration to the manhole etc.

If no obvious point of entry is identified please be aware rodents also have the ability to –

  • Climb virtually any vertical surface, including brick, stone, wood, concrete, metal and plastic.
  • Gnaw their way into a property using their incredibly powerful, sharp and constantly growing incisors. Amazingly the list of vulnerable materials includes concrete, certain metals and window frames.
  • Fit through gaps 6 mm wide (mice) while juvenile rats can squeeze through a 12 mm hole.
  • Jump 30 cm horizontally and 46 cm vertically to reach new areas.
  • Travel just as well in the pitch black using a combination of hearing, smell and touch. Tests have shown rodents also have a fantastic capacity to learn routes to memory.

Signs of an Infestation – 

A professional rodent survey of your property and bordering areas will look for evidence of rodents, gaining knowledge to the species concerned and also level of the infestation. Signs to look for include…

  • Droppings – The best indication of the species, duration and level of the infestation. Mice produce approximately 80, 5 mm droppings per day and brown rats around 40 larger (20 mm).
  • Greasy ‘smear’ marks on regular runs rubbed from their oily fur.
  • Smell —rodents urinate frequently creating a distinctive ammonia-like aroma.
  • Noises such footsteps, gnawing, scratching and squeaking emanating from lofts, walls and cavities.
  • Gnawing damage around utility entry points and to cables and water pipes.
  • Damaged, missing or non-rodent proof vents.
  • Chewed, missing, damaged or disturbed food products.
  • Rodent runs – regular routes indicated by flattened vegetation or compacted mud around the border of a property.
  • Nests and harbourage – often created in undisturbed areas of a property including roof voids, floor or wall cavities and inside packaging.
  • Sightings of live rodents and the discovery of dead ones.

Once points of entry have been established you pest controller should hopefully be able to advise you on the proofing requirements needed to prevent further access to rodents. These can range from simple proofing to remote drain fixes depending on the type of rodent and area of concern.

 If you would like to learn more about pest proofing please call the Office on – 0113 2037427 or 01423 209030

 Our 24/7 Helpline – 07970 902 194

 Email – info@landguardpestcontrol.co.uk