Rodent Problems in Historic Homes
Any home in New York and New Jersey can have rodents. They move into walls, basements, and attics wherever there is food and water available. But there are certain features of older homes that means they are more at risk. Some of these are unique to homes over 100 years old, while other risk factors apply to homes older than a decade or two.
Knowing what risks are associated with older homes can help you prevent a mice or rat infestation. A a quick inspection of your home will often reveal any issues outlined here so that you can take action quickly to keep yourself protected against rodents.
What Puts an Older Home at Risk for Mice and Rats
Older homes tend to be more susceptible to rodent infestations because they are more places a small mouse or rat could get in. Once inside, older construction can also make it easier to spread through your home. These factors can be due to the initial design or age and consist of:
- “Balloon” Construction – Balloon framing was common in homes built before the 1930s. It used longer studs that ran from foundation to attic without breaks for each individual floor. Rodents can easily crawl between floors within your walls, and one entrance can lead to a whole whose infestation. Retrofitting with a more modern frame is the best defense against this, and is also recommended due to fire risk.
- Foundation Cracks – As stone and cement age and the ground shifts, your foundation can develop small cracks. A mouse can get through a hole measuring ½ inch wide, making even tiny cracks possible entrances. Patching these holes as they appear can keep rodents out.
- Weakened Masonry – If your home was crafted from brick or stone, the cement can begin to crumble. Checking regularly for gaps or loose bricks removes holes for rodents, other pests, and water damage.
- Loose Windows or Doors – Shifting in the ground or support beams of your house is common after decades which changes the angles. This can result in doors of windows not fitting as securely in their frames and leaving room for mice and rats to get in. Depending on the issue, you may need to caulk the edges, install new windows, or alter frames.
An aging building may also have other problem areas as materials wear and weaken. Chimneys, siding, roofs, and flooring become more susceptible to damage from weather and time, and may be more likely to have an opening that a mouse or rat could squeeze through. General maintenance on your home such as residing or replacing the roof at the end of the manufacturers’ suggested lifespan will help prevent deterioration that lets rodents inside.
Regular inspections of your property, either by yourself or a wildlife control company like 24 Hour Pest Control NYC can provide a line of defense against rodent infestations as well. This way, you can use exclusion to seal up your home once we notice entry points instead of waiting for mice to get in, resulting in more humane wildlife control for the mice and less stress and expense for you.
If your historic home already has rodents or you are worried you might be at risk, call NY and NJ 24 Hour Pest Control. We can get rid of mice and rats and take steps to protect your home from rodent invasions.