How Rodents Break Into Homes

If you locked yourself out and needed to break into your home, how might you do it? Perhaps you would open an unlocked window on the back of your house and crawl through. Or maybe you could climb up over a balcony and let yourself in. We are trying to say that there are many ways to "break into" a home. But in this article, we are going to focus on how rodents break into our homes. And since mice and rats are much smaller than we are, there are many ways they can find their way inside. And some of them may surprise you!

Typical Rodents In Our Area Of Virginia 

  • Deer Mice: These small rodents rarely invade homes but are usually happy to stay in nature, living in more rural areas.

  • House Mice: These mice are aptly named since they prefer living in human dwellings rather than out in nature; they are an extremely common pest in most parts of the world and can adapt to new conditions and breed rapidly.

  • Roof Rats: You can find roof rats infesting the upper parts of buildings. They typically find their way in through a roof area.

  • Norway Rats: Norway rats, also known as common rats, street rats, or sewer rats, can be found all over the world, both living outdoors in urban settings as well as infesting homes and businesses.

Why Rodents Break Into Homes

While rodents can find their way into human dwellings during any time of the year, the chances of them breaking in multiply as the temperatures go down. As the weather continues to grow cooler in the fall and with winter right around the corner, pests of all kinds, including rodents, are seeking three main things: food, water, and shelter.

  • Food: Pests are often drawn to homes if there is pet food left outside, open trash cans or dumpsters, fallen fruit or vegetables from gardens or trees, leftover barbecue foods left out, or any other food source on the property.

  • Water: Just like with food, if there are water sources around your home in the form of a leaky spigot or hose, a birdbath, a puddle, etc., your home will be more attractive to invasive pests.

  • Shelter: Once close to home, rodents will be drawn even closer by the warmth of a dryer hose outlet or some other source of warmth. From here, they can explore the perimeter of your home’s foundation and exterior walls, looking for a hole, gap, or crack big enough for them to squeeze inside. In addition, if there are tiny holes in the exterior of your home, they can chew those holes larger to gain access to your home.

Common Points Of Entry For Rodents

Rodents find their way into a home in a variety of ways. A mouse might squeeze under a garage door that does not make a good seal. A rat may chew a hole in some water-softened wood under the back porch, and get into a crawl space, then into a wall void. A roof rat may climb up a downspout or up a tree to reach your roof and then find its way in through a crack in a soffit or an open attic window. Rodents can get in through open cellar windows, gaps or cracks in foundations, or even through vent or chimney openings.

How To Keep Rodents Out!

You can do many things to help deter mice and rats from invading your property and getting into your home or outbuildings. To start with, it is wise first to take measures to make your property less inviting to rodents and then move on to sealing up your home:

  • Remove places to hide. Rodents do not like wide-open areas and naturally seek out areas that are cluttered or overgrown to hide from predators. If you have areas of tall grass, overgrown weeds, discarded machinery, or other lawn clutter, removing those hiding places will make your property less inviting to them.

  • Remove water sources. Ensure your yard does not have standing water, leaky hoses or spigots, birdbaths close the house, pet water bowls on the doorstep, etc.

  • Remove food sources. Don't leave pet food out between feedings and clean up any leftover vegetables or fruits from gardens. Also, clean up foods after cookouts and store all outdoor trash in trash bins with sealing lids.

  • Seal up your home. If there are holes, gaps, or cracks in your foundation or walls, seal them up. To keep mice from finding their way inside, make sure all screens and door sweeps are present and in good working order and put screening over vent and chimney openings and wire mesh in the bottom of downspouts.

  • Keep your home clean of food and water sources. If rodents get inside your home and find nothing to eat, they may be less likely to stick around.

Do You Need Help Keeping Rodents Out?

Are you dealing with a rodent infestation in your home? Have you tried everything you can think of to get rid of them with no luck? Don't worry. We're here to help! If you need some assistance eliminating a current rodent infestation or keeping rodents out of your Virginia home, reach out to us at All Pest Control & Solutions! We can assure you that when you partner with us, we will resolve your rodent problems!


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