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Are rodents a sign of a dirty home?

July 5, 2011

Earlier this year, my best friend got really mad at the customer service of her car dealership. You see, she’d taken in her Toyota Sequoia because her service lights kept coming on and the car kept running hot. The diagnosis: faulty knock sensor. Suspected cause: rodents ate through her engine. She was livid! Not so much because of the problem or the seemingly unlikely cause, but because when she asked what had caused her knock sensor to go bad, the customer service representative stated very simply “you have rats.”

The implied accusation of maintaining an unclean home aside, rodents are moving into homes more and more frequently. The reason:

manufacturers are now mandated to use more “environmentally friendly” insulation on the wires and increasingly common computers, sensors and other underhood items that did not exist a decade ago. Feel all warm and fuzzy about that if you wish but be aware that something about this new insulation is irresistible to rodents, particularly chipmunks and red squirrels.

You see, where once a rodent infestation could legitimately be blamed on a dirty home, particularly a dirty kitchen where food particles and residue are readily available, today, at least one more enticement exists.

We’d love to be able to say that our cleaning products and procedures can rid your home of a rodent-inviting atmosphere, but truthfully, that’s never quite been the case.

That said, regular cleaning (regular = weekly or bi-weekly) significantly increases the opportunity for you (or us, hint, hint) to spot visual evidence of rodents or smell the effects of rodents in your home. In fact, this might be the perfect case for a chemical-free cleaning, which removes odors without adding new one (not even lemon) to the air. Just think, all of those classic “clean-smelling” cleaning products could be masking the odor of rodent excrement, which can ruin your insulation and walls.

Preventing a rodent problem is also another reason for a really good, true Spring Cleaning. You see, rodents carry the virus Hantavirus, and their droppings release this virus into the air; it’s a virus you get just from breathing it in. But again, regular cleaning can significantly reduce your family’s chances of 1) encountering rodents and 2) remaining healthy in your home.

Even the CDC knows that cleaning is an essential ingredient in keeping your home rodent free. It’s 3-step recommendation is to Seal Up! Trap Up! and Clean Up!

All that said, we leave you with one simple piece of advice: clean your home regularly (weekly or bi-weekly). A clean home is a healthy home!

NOTE: as I write this post, I have to laugh because I was blocked last night by an opossum from stepping up onto my front porch. I had to call inside for someone to open the front door and scare it away.

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