By ElRay Roper, Senior Technical Representative, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
With the onset of fall weather, rodents that may not have been pests during the summer can become a problem as they enter structures to seek shelter from cold temperatures. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to help protect your customers from rodent invasions.
Preventive measures include the following:
- Ensure weather stripping is installed around doors and windows to seal out both rodents and insects
- Properly install storm doors and screens and keep them in good repair
- Seal utility penetrations - remember, a young mouse only needs a hole ¼ inch in diameter to enter a structure
- Prune landscape trees and shrubs so they do not touch the structure
- Adjust or remove landscaping that may provide harborage for rodents
- Move or discard items stored in the landscape to further remove harborage options
- Remove indoor clutter and store pet food so rodents don’t have resting places or food sources
Exclusion materials for rodents need to be stronger than those used to exclude insects. Use the following when repairing or sealing outdoor entry points:
- Galvanized, stainless or other non-rusting metals such as the following:
- Sheet metal (24-gauge or higher)
- Expanded metal (28-gauge or higher)
- Perforated metal (24-gauge or higher)
- Hardware cloth (19-gauge or higher, with ¼ inch or less mesh)
- Cement mortar: one part cement and three parts sand mix or richer
- Concrete: one part cement, two parts gravel and four parts sand mix or richer
- Adding broken glass to mortar or cement will deter rodents from burrowing through it as it dries
When inspecting for rodent activity, keep in mind they are looking for dark, quiet places to stay out of sight during periods of human activity. Mice, in particular, prefer areas with a heat source like a water heater, furnace or near electric motors.
If rodents are discovered inside the structure, place control measures like Talon® Weatherblok® XT rodenticide as close to harborages as possible. Formulated with a second generation anticoagulant, Talon Weatherblok XT is palatable to both rats and mice and can control them with a single feeding. Always use tamper-resistant bait stations when baiting indoors, and never place loose bait into an attic or crawl space.
Now is a good time to talk with your customers about what you can do to help protect them from these disruptive fall pests. Learn about our rodent control solutions or contact your local Syngenta territory manager for more information.
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