Rodents are intelligent creatures. Luckily, no matter how smart they get, their goals remain the same. Like any animal, rodents are primarily after three things: Food, water and harborage. When going about your day-to-day activities, it is important to assess your facility with these three things in mind. Consider how conducive your facility is to rodents in each of the following related areas.
- Easily accessible raw food waste: If food is available and unprotected, rodents can feed off of the raw food waste and populations can grow. Ensure any stored food sources are sealed and inaccessible, minimize exposed food as much as possible and attend to spills and standing water immediately.
- Clutter and inaccessible areas: Rodents look for undisturbed areas where their populations can grow. In a rodent-infested grocery store in Chicago, rodents were found in the wall voids, gaps inside shelves and in quarter-sized (or larger) cracks in concrete floor underneath pallets of food. Recessed areas, traps and pits under heavy-duty industrial equipment are also places where rodents like to nest.
- Easy access: Gaps underneath door sweeps, exterior facing doors that close slowly, propped open doors, gaps in walls, cracks, utility access ports that enter the building are all attractive to a rodent seeking shelter.
- Foliage that touches the building: Tree branches that extend over the roof of a building can act as perfect pathway for mice to run across and jump into the top of the building (ants can trail from branches that touch buildings too, so this isn’t limited to mice).
- Building proximity to rodent habitats: If your facility is close to open fields, dense foliage, brush or other places with lots of insects, chances are high you have some rodent neighbors. It’s important to be particularly vigilant, especially during fall and winter because as the temperature drops, rodents look for shelter.