Rodents, particularly rats, are smarter than you may think they are. You can eliminate every rodent in your house, but if a few members of the colony are out exploring during the trapping process, they will find their way home. These are the first steps toward a brand new infestation, and exclusion is one of the best methods of preventing it.
What Is Exclusion?
Exclusion is the process of identifying and sealing all possible entry points rodents have inside. It begins with a thorough inspection of your home and property. Issues like loose siding, rotting window sills and other seemingly small problems are all it takes for a rodent to find its way in. Your pest control specialist will recommend changes and repairs.
Common exclusion repair sites include:
- Obvious rodent holes
- Vents and other openings
- Windows and exterior doors
- Drains and piping
How Does It Help Immediately?
Exclusion makes trapping a quicker and less complicated process. Once the exclusion repairs are completed and other easy food sources are eliminated, it will take about a month for the trapping process to be completed. The food in the traps will be tempting, but rodents are skittish. It will take them a while to trust the traps. Once the traps consistently come up empty, the removal process will be considered a success.
How Does It Help in the Long Term?
By eliminating easy access points, exclusion is one of the most reliable methods of preventing re-infestation. It blocks any rodents that were away from the nest from returning, and it discourages newcomers from trying to find their way in.
What Else Can I Do?
Part of your long-term infestation prevention plan may include suggestions on how to deter rodents from returning to your property. It can be useful to ask your neighbors to follow the same steps. If one house becomes infested, the neighboring houses can be at risk.
Common suggestions include:
- Cutting branches that overhang your home
- Removing bird feeders from your property
- Storing firewood away from your home
- Removing vines growing up the sides of your home and not planting them in the future
- Sealing dry foods like cereal in closed, plastic or metal containers
- Keeping food, like fruit, off of counter tops
- Sealing pet food and water away overnight
- Fix leaky pipes and faucets
- Sealing trash cans and compost containers and relocating them farther away from your home