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Fall Checklist For a Pest Free Winter

Thursday, October 1, 2015 3:01:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

 

The cooler temperatures have arrived, signaling that it’s time to prepare our homes for winter. Most likely you have a list of items that you do each and every year to winterize. May we suggest that you add pest proofing to the check list? Just as we are signaled to prepare ourselves for the long winter ahead, rodents instinctually begin to seek a warm and safe place to spend their winter months. Here is a quick list of some of the areas you want to inspect when you winterize your home to make sure that you stay pest free:

 

  

 

1. Take a walk around the entire foundation of your home, shed, and garage and check for cracks, gaps or holes. Even holes as small as ¼” can be a potential entryway for mice or other rodents. If you find any, fill that crack, gap or hole with Xcluder fill fabric. And don’t ignore the weep holes. A weep hole can have a crack or gap inside of it that may not be visible to you from the outside. We suggest filling all of your weep holes with Xcluder. The Xcluder fill fabric will keep the rodents out but still allow the weep hole to vent air and release moisture.

 

 

2. Check around all of your doors, door frames, and garage doors to ensure that there is a tight seal. Damaged, gnawed, worn, or missing door sweeps are one of the most common entry points for mice and other pests. An easy way to check door frames is at night. Turn on the brightest light in the room/garage, then go outside and see if you can see any light escaping around the door frame. If light can come out, then pests can get in! If you see light coming out at the base of the door then we highly recommend Xcluder door sweeps. They are easy to install and fit most common door sizes and types. The reinforced neoprene rubber not only provides an impenetrable seal for rodents but it also provides a weatherseal that can give you energy savings. Win-Win!

 

3. Check all of your windows, your screens and window panes and repair any damages. And don’t forget the windows down in the window wells. Even if your wells are covered, if there is the slightest gap the critters will get in the wells and can make an access route to your basement. Check the window shutters as well, even if they are just decorative. Often times a loose shutter can be a warm environment for a rodent to crawl behind, and in a short time they can chew their way through to your home. Simply tuck Xcluder in the gaps and the rodents won’t be able to get up there. And added features are that Xcluder is rust-proof, shrink proof, and chew proof so it won’t dislodge, nor leave any unsightly stains.

 

4. Check the openings where plumbing, gas and electric or cable wiring enters your home. Check dryer vents or exhaust vents too. If there is any gapping at all you can fill the area around the pipes or wires with strips of Xcluder, ensuring a tight and secure closure. And don’t think you only need to check the entry points near the ground. Most rodents will have no difficulty scaling siding, wires, or branches to get to openings high above the ground. And while you’re up there…

 

5. Be sure to inspect the roof line for any gaps. Ensure that the shingles, ventilators, chimney and vent screens are all in place and undamaged. Reattach areas that may be pulling away, or fill difficult to fix gaps with Xcluder. Make sure that your chimney cap is secure and in place as well. It is not uncommon for animals to try and climb down the chimney seeking warmth and shelter. . Trim back any trees or bushes so that they don’t provide easy access for rodents to get up or into your home. Complete this exclusion routine as you winterize your home and you will be able to live pest free.

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Exclusion is the Key to Protecting Your Home from Spring Pest Invasion

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 2:56:00 AM America/Los_Angeles

 

For nearly 40 years, April has been observed as National Pest Management Month by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). April is an ideal time to make home owners and business owners aware of the part they can take in protecting themselves from spring and summer pest invasions. Spring is species replenishment season. Squirrels, bats, birds, rats and mice will be seeking hollow cavities to nest, birth and raise their young. In urban/suburban regions, they will often find these cavities in attics, soffits, walls, behind shutters and siding, storage sheds and garages. Even the smallest hole is an invitation for pests to gain access. 

 

squirrel sticking out of roof

Bob Vila, one of the most recognized experts in the home improvement industry, has partnered with the NPMA to offer tips for home and business owners to defend themselves against spring and summer infestations. Never has the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” been more accurate than in regards to effective pest management for homes and businesses.

 

Exclusion – creating proven physical barriers against rodents and pests to keep them from entering a building in the first place – is widely recognized as the most effective pest management strategy and the theory behind most of the tips that Mr. Vila and the NPMA share below. It is no surprise that Xcluder Rodent and Pest Defense products can be used to fix the problem areas that Bob Vila and the NPMA have identified:

 

  • Conduct an audit of the building’s perimeter. Look for cracks, holes, loose siding, and missing shingles. Xcluder Pest Control Fill Fabric is ideal for filling any cracks and holes, and it can be tucked behind loose siding and/or shutters so that pests can’t build nests or hives in or behind them.
  • Fill outside cracks and entry points for utilities and pipes. Again, Xcluder fill fabric is a perfect solution for this process. Click here to watch a demonstration to see how easy it is to accomplish this task.
  • Repair loose mortar around foundation and replace weather stripping and damaged door sweeps. Once you install Xcluder Pest Control door sweeps you will have a barrier that is virtually impenetrable to rodents and other pests.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water around the house and clean out clogged gutters.
  • Remove rotted tree stumps, keep mulch at least 15 feet away from the foundation and trim bushes and branches away from the building.
  • In case of an infestation, work with a licensed pest professional to properly identify the problem and determine the best treatment method.

Hopefully these tips will help you to have a glorious and pest-free Spring! Photo Credit – Tammra McCauley, Flickr Photo #249

Posted in Xcluder By Drew

Can Your Business Afford "Free" Publicity?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 3:35:10 PM America/Los_Angeles

Protecting a restaurant's reputation is priority #1 for any owner operator, and the impact of a rodent infestation can be devastating. Word-of-mouth – the cornerstone marketing tool of every successful restaurant – becomes a restaurant's worst enemy in the wake of rodent infestation. An independent poll of foodservice consumers conducted by Orkin, Inc., found that more than 60% of frequent restaurant diners would tell five or more acquaintances about a pest sighting at a restaurant. As today's definition of 'acquaintance' has expanded to include social media contacts, one customer's circle of influence becomes global with a single click. And no need to take the customer's word for it – smartphone videos capturing rodent activity can be posted online and viral within a matter of hours. There is simply no containing a rodent story once exposed.

 

The loss of reputation, time, revenue and peace-of-mind that accompany a rodent infestation is why Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices are critical to the longevity of any restaurant. According to the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, a combination of exclusion and sanitation provides the best long-term and cost effective component of any rodent IPM program. Fundamentally, exclusion involves the elimination of cracks, crevices, and other spaces to prevent pests from entering a building. Rodents can squeeze through an opening as small as ¼ inch, which means access points are not hard for them to find. Common rodent entry points include: exterior doors, garage and/or loading dock doors, air vents, and at points where electrical, water, gas, sewer and HVAC lines enter the building. Rats and mice can also gain entry through small cracks in the foundation, by gnawing through rubber door sweeps, and beneath roofing tiles.

 

Rats cause an estimated $19 billion per year in losses and damages (Pimentel, et al. 1999), and Xcluder's line of rodent-proof exclusion products are a restaurant owner's best line of defense. Store-bought quick fixes such as steel wool and spray foam may satisfy a health inspector, but do not provide the level of protection that is critical to a restaurant's survival. Xcluder is the only exclusion material proven effective by the USDA APHIS Lab, offering unparalleled protection in the form of fill fabric for cracks and crevices, rodent-proof door seals for exterior doors and rodent-proof door sweeps for loading dock and garage doors. It’s cliché but true – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (and many, many pounds of contaminated food where rodents are concerned).

 

IPM practices involving exclusion and sanitation are simply the best prevention money can buy. Contact a pest management professional that understands and supports exclusion methods and work to develop and implement a comprehensive plan that protects both interior and exterior weaknesses. Reiterate to employees the importance of sanitation and facility monitoring for signs of rodent activity. And rely on proven, long-term exclusion solutions like those offered by Xcluder to protect both your customers and your business. Photo credit to Flickr - Caruba - Banksy Rat Mural in Soho, New York: There's No Such Thing As Good Publicity

Posted in Xcluder By Drew