Rodents Will Invade Millions of American Homes This Winter

Changing Temperatures and Scarce Food Supply Drives Rats and Mice Indoors

Dec 23, 2005, 00:00 ET from Terminix

    MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- To holiday enthusiasts mice are
 nothing more than a line in The Night Before Christmas, but throughout the
 country rodents will be stirring this winter as they invade more than 21
 million homes.
     "Mice and rats live in nearly every environment in the world, and they are
 commonly present in our yards and communities," said Stoy Hedges, Terminix
 manager of technical services.  "Unfortunately for homeowners, the lack of
 grains, seeds and plant life during the winter months often sends these pests
 into homes, apartments and other buildings in search of food."
     Rodents, like mice and rats, gain entry to homes and buildings through
 exterior openings.  Rats can squeeze through openings as small as a quarter,
 and mice can slide through holes smaller than a dime.  Rodents are also great
 climbers and can scale rough surfaces and vertical pipes to gain entry to
 buildings through vents and utility openings.
     This seasonal co-habitation between rodents and humans is potentially
 harmful as rodents can cause fires by gnawing through electrical wires.  They
 are also known to carry more than 200 human pathogens and are credited with
 biting more than 45,000 people annually.
     To avoid rodent home invasions, homeowners should:
      - Store firewood as far from the home as possible, and keep it off the
      - Remove any piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc.  If these are near the
        foundation of the home, they provide shelter and can conceal rodent
        entry points.
      - Seal any hole or crack in your home larger than 1/4 of an inch.  Large
        openings should be stuffed with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing.
      - Ensure attic and foundation vents are covered with tight-fitting
        1/4 inch hardware cloth.  Regular insect screening will not deter
      - Install a tight-fitting weather strip on the bottom of all doors.
     Terminix is the world leader in termite and pest control, serving more
 homes and businesses than any other company.  With a national network of more
 than 450 service centers using the latest technologies, our resources in the
 fight against termites and pests are unmatched.  Our dedicated workforce of
 over 12,000 associates nationwide deliver superior service and the strongest
 guarantees in the industry.  To learn more about Terminix, visit
 or call 1-800-Terminix.

SOURCE Terminix