Rodent Proofing / Exclusion
- Why Rodent Proofing Is Important
- Performing A Professional Inspection
- Rodent Proofing Is Not Expensive
- Using The Right Rodent Exclusion Materials
Why Rodent Proofing Is Important
Rodents experience ‘explosive reproduction’. One pair of rodents will have 6 to 10 sets of 6 to 10 young per year, with each set of offspring being capable of also having babies, in about two months. A few minutes with a pencil and a calculator and you can see that can equal hundreds, if not thousands of rodents, per year… for each and every pair of rodents.
All those teeming masses need food and shelter. It is very much a matter of life and death. No food equals starvation. No safe, secure home, increases the chances of being food for some crafty cat, some eagle eyed raptor bird, or some lucky ratter dog.
Every night when rodents go out to feed they scour neighborhoods for food sources, safe areas they can hide from predators in, and potential nesting sites.
All they need is a gap of a quarter inch for a mouse or a half inch for rat. They are quite happy to make smaller gaps bigger – and they have the teeth to back that up.
And two things to keep in mind: if the rodents living in your sub area, attic, garage, or walls, have access outside your home to an exterior, preferred food source, you may not even be able to trap or bait them. They may not want what you put out. And if rodents have been in your home? The smells they leave behind, are like large flashing neon lights that scream: FREE HOME. Homes which have been infested are much more likely to be re-infested.
Performing A Professional Inspection
A professional inspection will look at all aspects of your home. It will look at your siding systems to see how well they fit your home and how will they fit into other systems, and for anything that passes through them. It will look at your foundations and slabs, and how they connect to each other and the wood framing of your structure, it will look at doorways and entrances, vents and access panels, it will look at your sub area for tunnels, utility pass throughs and irregularities that could not be seen from the exterior. It should look at attics, basements, garages, and plumbing areas.
Most of all. a professional inspection is done by professionals. Only experience, good training, and determination yield professional results. It is well worth whatever you pay for good quality work.
Every home should have a pest and rodent inspection every 3 or so years to make sure the home remains free of pests and conducive conditions. It’s green and it will save you money over the life of your home.
Rodent Proofing Is Not Expensive
Not always. Rat proofing, for the average home is not expensive. Most homes have 6 or more openings that need to be closed off and the average cost is usually less than $500.00.
Mouse proofing can be problematic. For some homes the cost will be comparable to rat exclusion, but mice can get in through much smaller holes, so there are generally many more gaps. Some homes will need extensive work as mice can get through gaps as small as a quarter inch or holes the size of a dime.
Rodents can foul insulation with urine and feces, it can cost $5000.00 or more to replace all the insulation in a sub area. Rodents can and do gnaw off the plastic insulation around electrical wires. That can cost a new home, or at the very least, thousands in repair costs from a licensed electrician.
Using The Right Materials
Expanding foam is candy for rodents, not only is it soft and easy to chew – it is actually attractive to them and they enjoy chewing it, an yet we see homeowners, contractors, and even other supposed pest control professionals use it all the time to stop rodent access.
Using the right materials to keep rodents out and understanding the tolerances involved in doing rodent exclusion is vital. We use metal flashing, galvanized metal hardware cloth, and concrete patch or mortar. You even have to be careful where you use steel wool, because it can rust and become worthless, if used in areas of high moisture.
We are now seeing homes that have paid for the ‘entire crawlspace cleanup’ and ‘full insulation replacement’ procedures multiple times – and they still have rodents. (And those procedures cost thousands of dollars each time.)
Sometimes the wrong rodent proofing materials are used, but sometimes the right materials just aren’t used properly. We commonly see even experienced contractors misjudge how tight sub area access doors need to be. Exclusion is a specialized skill, like being a finish carpenter. It takes training, and years of experience to get good at it.
Over time houses change, trees grow up, vents get broken, and rodents, especially mice, often find a way back in. We suggest annual re-inspections of homes for rodent activity.
While we try to really good work, and we want to make our customers happy, we do not offer any kind of warranty on our services that covers future insulation replacement.
We believe strongly in rodent exclusion, but we do not sell or push insulation replacement, we only recommend insulation replacement when it is required as part of a home sale. Insulation replacement is an unregulated industry that has every incentive to recommend brand new insulation for every home they inspect, regardless of need.