I recently received a call from a homeowner in Middletown, NJ that was having an issue with mice. As we all know, early winter is the perfect time for those cute little critters to hibernate inside your home and start building a little family. Although spring is only a few weeks away, the weather is still frigid. I mean common, 18 degrees on a sunny March afternoon??
After only 2 months of being born, those new little balls of fur and diseases are ready to start….well, multiplying. And what week is there an 18% increase in rodent infestations? You guessed it, Valentine's Week (apparently they ALSO like the soothing sounds of Barry White)! Perhaps they were stealing all of the wife’s chocolate (but seriously, try not to spill any chocolate on the floor, they LOVE it).
After assessing the damage, I placed bait boxes in the best places where mice love to hid inside a home: Basement and crawl spaces, kitchens, utility rooms, areas behind carpets, and air ducts or venting systems
After placing the bait boxes in these areas, I decided to do some detective work and inspect the outer perimeter of the home for any mice entry points (because like our in-laws, if mice can find a way to get in and be annoying, they’ll do it).
I then went outside and discovered something else in the backyard. Next to the house was a big pile of......wood!
Now I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, what’s wrong with having a pile of wood in your backyard? I use it for firewood to keep my house warm! Well, what you may not know is that firewood piles are enticing to both rats and mice. Piles of lumber like firewood can serve as shelter for rodents if they can access it from the ground. I then advised the homeowner to remove it from the next the house to another location in the backyard and place the firewood on a platform that is at least 6 inches from the ground. That way those little critters have a harder time making a nest!
By paying attention to this tale, keeping your pile of lumber at least 6 feet from your property and place them on a six inch raised platform, and remembering to always clean up the chocolate when done, you can avoid a rodent infestation (winter is hard enough without sharing your space with furry roommates).
Even if you do end up with mice this winter, you don’t have to despair. Cowleys Pest Services isn’t flying south; we’ll be here all year to help you with any pest problems you may have.