Is Man's Best Friend Causing an Infestation in Your Home?
There have been plenty of scientific studies that show the benefits of owning a pet. Even anecdotally people will tell you that their dog helps keep them active or petting their cat allows them to truly feel calm. Pets bring us joy, but unfortunately, the way we care for our pets and pet products can create or exacerbate a rodent infestation. Don’t worry, you don’t need to send your furry family members away, but you might need to adjust how you take care of them. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are a pet owner.
- The first item you need to examine is your pet’s food. Canned dog and cat food are pretty rodent-proof, but dry food comes in bags that are easy for mice to chew through. It is a good idea to invest in a sturdy storage container for your pet’s food. There are products on the market specifically for this purpose. If you want to save a little money you can purchase a new trash can with a tight-fitting lid. Remember, mice are good climbers so an open container will only slow a mouse from getting to your pets' food, it won’t stop them.
- Once you have the food storage under control you need to turn to a trickier topic, feeding your pet. Some animals are happy to lick their bowl clean the second a morsel is placed in their dish. Others prefer to graze all day. If your pet likes to eat right away you are in luck. If you have a grazer you could be in trouble. Leaving food out unattended all day is an invitation for mice. Remember, even small amounts of food are a feast for a mouse so the quicker you can get your pet’s bowl off the floor and washed the better.
- The installation of a “doggie-door” for your cat or dog can be a great convenience. Your pet can relieve themselves whenever they need to and you don’t need to worry about racing home from work to avoid a pet accident. But, this convenience comes at a price. Most doors have flaps that are made of plastic or another flexible material. It is important that you inspect the flap on a regular basis. The cold New Jersey winters make plastic brittle and can cause it to break. Even a small area that has broken off can create an opening for a mouse. Make sure to immediately fix any broken flap pieces.
- Lastly, let’s not forget “pocket-pet” owners. Small pets, like hamsters and Guinea pigs, can be wonderful additions to a family. Unfortunately, their paraphernalia can also encourage mice. Storing their food properly is important, but so too is the proper storing of their bedding. Mice that come into our homes are looking for both food and shelter. The bedding used for your pet is the same bedding an intruding mouse would love to use for its nest. Make sure bedding is stored in a sealed container.
The cold months of the year are the worst for rodent issues. You can reduce your chances of rodent issues by taking the steps listed above. If you are already taking these steps and still have a problem, this is a good time to reach out to Cowleys for help.