The fall season is upon us here in Northern Virginia! With the arrival of cooler temperatures, however, comes a whole new host of critters, too. Fall pests can be particularly troubling as the cooler weather might drive them into your house. The following are some places in your home where you should keep an eye out for home invaders:
Kitchens are the most universal draw for pests in homes. The easy access to food, food scraps, water, and plenty of hiding places provide everything pests need to survive. Certain conditions in a kitchen can put you at a greater risk of attracting rodents, including:
- Dirty dishes or food that is left out;
- Crumbs or food debris on the floors;
- Pet food that is left out;
- Excessive grease buildup from cooking;
- The area beneath appliances never being cleaned;
- Garbage not regularly being taken out;
- Dirty garbage cans (from garbage leaking through bags and adhering to the can);
- Leaking pipes and faucets (providing easier access to water).
Rodents are particularly agile climbers that can scale high brick walls, balance on thin wires to travel from building to building, and they have extremely powerful teeth and jaws, allowing them to gnaw their way into virtually anything. This makes it very easy for them to access roofs and attics. In particular, homes that have trees touching or in very close proximity to the roof are at risk of rodents and other pests using these branches as a way into your attic. Attics are also a great place for rodents to inhabit as they are rarely trafficked and often full of storage that can provide a lot of hiding places, bedding for offspring, and plenty of things to chew on.
With the incredible chewing abilities of rodents, getting into the walls of a home is an easy task. These areas allow rodents to traverse the home without encountering people and pets and can provide nice areas to nest.
One of the first clues to having rodents in your walls is the sounds. Typically, you will hear rustling and scurrying as they make their way through your walls and around your home. At night, sounds of squeaking are often reported, as mice are nocturnal and will be very active. Additionally, you may hear a good portion of scratching which could indicate that the mice are branching out into new areas of your home. Aside from noise, other common indications include droppings and urine, chew holes in your walls or molding, remnants of nests such as paper or leaves, and any disturbed insulation.
Basements are often dark, somewhat low in traffic, sometimes more humid than other areas of the home, and typically a place for storage. All of these conditions are ideal for rodents and both rats and mice can sometimes thrive in basements for a while prior to being detected. Thankfully, finished basements or particularly clean and tidy basements with all storage properly sealed are far less at risk of being home to rodents.
Similar to walls, ceilings and floors can be accessed by chewing and can provide many hiding spots for rodents. In homes with ceilings and flooring that are somewhat spacious, these areas can easily become nests for rodents where they can quickly begin breeding. In these areas, rodents can also chew on the wiring in the home, which puts you at risk of electrical failures and, in serious cases, even electrical fires.
Areas underneath and around appliances can be great places for rodents to hide as they often provide access to food and/or water. Some appliances that can attract rodents include refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washers, and/or dryers.
Appliances in kitchens can have food, spilled liquids, or grease trapped beneath them, while washers, dryers, and dishwashers can leak water and moisten the surrounding area, all of which can attract rodents.
Call in the Pros to Get Rid of Pests for Good!
Learning where pests hide in the home is important when it comes to eliminating them. Take away their shelter, food, and water and they’ll quickly find somewhere else to go, hopefully away from your home!
At Alexandria Pest Services, our team of expert technicians will work with you to create a plan to eliminate your pests. If you find that you are having a problem with insects, termites, or other pests and need an exterminator, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office! Contact us today to learn more.