Summer Rodent Hotspots: Where Seattle Homeowners Should Focus Their Prevention Efforts

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A rodent inside a basement during the summer.

It won’t be long before mice, rats, and other rodents begin their search for shelter. They will want to find a warm nest near food and water sources. This type of environment is ideal for fall and winter hibernation. Unfortunately, Seattle homes conveniently meet these hibernation requirements.

While you can find evidence of a rodent infestation in any part of your home, rodents commonly infest the kitchen, basement, wall interiors, and basement. Reviewing the signs of a rodent infestation can help you develop a strategy for rodent proofing.

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Even if you don’t see rats, mice, or other rodents in your home, keep an eye out for the following signs of infestation:

  • Scratching sounds
  • Urine/ammonia odor
  • Feces droppings
  • Gnaw marks
  • Scuffing caused by frequent rodent traffic
  • Paper, plastic, and drywall scraps
  • Damaged food packages

You might see these signs of an infestation in multiple parts of your home. A scratch, bite, or contact with rodent droppings can spread illness, so make sure to leave rodent removal to a professional pest control provider.

Rodent Proofing Seattle Basements

Basements are common places for rodents to nest. Even if you take good care of your home’s foundation, tiny gaps might be large enough for a clever rat or mouse. Once inside, rodents will find a wide range of nesting materials. They will look for cardboard boxes since this material is the easiest to shred for a warm nest.

If you have a laundry room in your basement or store seasonal clothes in this part of your home, rodents will use these materials for nesting as well. In fact, rodents can use any organic substance for nesting. Even if you keep a clean basement, rats or mice may damage electrical wiring to steal the wire insulation for their nests.

How to Prevent Basement Infestations

Update your basement lighting to keep the area as illuminated as possible. Rodents hide in dark places where they can move undetected. Motion-activated lighting can help you address this issue without unnecessarily driving up your energy bill.

Keep your basement clean and dry. This might involve installing a sump pump, dehumidifier, or other technology to remove excess moisture. You can install metal or plastic guards over your electrical wiring to protect them from rodents.

You should also inspect your basement for access points, such as loose windows, foundation damage, and weak door frames.

Looking for Rodents in Your Walls

While rats and mice might access your home through the basement or crawl space, they may not stay there. Regarding rodent proofing, Seattle homeowners should keep an eye out for small holes in the drywall or gaps in the baseboards. Small rodents can use these gaps to slip into the spaces within your home’s interior walls.

Once inside a wall, rodents will find everything they need to build a warm and comfortable nest. Rats and mice often use wall insulation as a basis for their nests. They might also gnaw at wood framing or drywall to gather more nesting materials.

If you have multiple rodents living inside your home’s walls, they can significantly damage the structure of the property.

Damage to electrical wiring is just as common in your walls as in your basement. Flickering lights or malfunctioning outlets can indicate a rodent infestation inside your walls. You’ll also find scuffs along paths that rodents frequently travel. Listen for gnawing, scratching, or the pattering of rodent feet.

Know How to Address Rodent Nests in Your Walls

The first line of defense in preventing or eliminating a rodent infestation in your walls is eliminating access. Promptly patch holes in the drywall or in your baseboards. Keep an eye on ceiling molding as well. Rodents are agile climbers, so they may enter through a hole close to your ceiling.

Have a professional inspect your ductwork. Rodents might nest in your ducts or use the ductwork to access your interior walls. A semi-annual inspection is enough to identify this type of rodent infestation. Schedule pest removal as soon as you suspect an interior wall infestation.

Kitchen Pest Prevention Requires Diligence

To keep up with rodent proofing, Seattle property owners should pay extra attention to their kitchens. Even a small kitchen gives rodents access to everything they need as they hibernate. Food packaging is excellent for building nests. Rats and mice can access fresh produce, packaged processed foods, and water easily.

Preventing Kitchen Rodent Infestations

Several steps can make your kitchen less hospitable for rats and mice. Look for water leaks and schedule prompt plumbing repairs. If you have pets, empty their food bowls after they use them. Clean up all spills right away.

It’s also a good idea to invest in plastic food storage containers. Transfer coffee grounds, sugar, cereal, and other packaged foods to sealable containers.

Use an ammonia-based cleaning agent since rodents mistake the scent of ammonia for the urine left by predators.

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Living Room

Though it’s cringe-inducing to think about a rat or mouse hiding in your sofa, it’s a very common occurrence. A sofa, loveseat, or cushioned chair provides warm and hidden places for hibernation. Seattle residents should always inspect these furnishings for rodent proofing.

Rodents will shred sofa and chair cushions to gather nesting materials. They also find nourishment in the crumbs and food scraps that get dropped between the cushions. Rodents can spend an entire season hiding in a sofa or chair without drawing much attention.

Get Rid of Rodents in Your Living Room

The key to resolving this problem is frequent cleaning. Once a week, pull up the cushions on your living room furnishings. Make sure to vacuum deep into the sofas and chairs to collect debris. Upholstery cleaning can remove odors that might attract pests.

Need Rodent Proofing? Seattle Pest Control Pros Are Ready to Help

Attic Projects provides the services you need to keep your home free from pests. Even if the signs of an infestation are as subtle as changes in pet behavior or soft scratching sounds, our free evaluation can give you peace of mind. If we find an infestation, we offer humane pest removal services. To get started, contact us today.


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