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People may begin to see some unwanted visitors in their homes as the mercury continues to drop.

Rodents, particularly mice such as the house mouse, deer mouse, and depending on the area in the province sometimes the Norway rat, look for openings in a building to escape the cold and search for food, says Lincoln Poulin President of Poulin's Pest Control.

"When you're talking about openings around a structure, where electrical lines, and or gas lines, or air conditioning lines are going into the building that's where a lot of times the sealing material will break down creating an opening for the rodents to get into."

Poulin notes when these animals get into a home, one thing people often overlook is the potential fire hazard rats and mice present.

"When the mouse or rat gets into a structure they start chewing on a number of items. There's a number of house fires that occur every year due to the rodents chewing on the wires. That's a huge safety concern."

Another issue with having rodent wander around a house is the health risks. Poulin explains that both rats and mice can carry salmonella, and deer mice can carry hantavirus.

Both kinds of rodents will be exploring for food leaving droppings and or urine behind. If people aren't cautious when cleaning up, that's when they can be exposed disease, says Poulin.

If a rodent population is established Poulin says there is a three-pronged approach to dealing with them. First address the property line, the exterior of the property, then the interior.

"One of the big items is clutter around, especially around the house itself, and or fence line. We see people who have wood they are going to burn, or they put their patio furniture away, they tarped it and put it right next to the house, that creates harbourage for mice."

By removing clutter, it reduces the chance of mice entering the home. 

If mice do find their way inside Poulin recommends using rodenticides, bait stations, snap traps, and glue boards and place them in areas that mice could be hiding.

If the items are not working, people may need to reconsider where they are placing the traps. Poulin notes people must also remember to seal the opening where the rodents got in originally.


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