rodentIt is important for the health of your family and pets to maintain a vector-free living environment. A vector is any animal or insect that can transmit disease to humans, such as mosquitoes, rodents, fleas and ticks. If infected, these vectors can transmit West Nile Virus, Hantavirus, Plague, or Lyme disease to humans and other animals.

Vectors are most active during warm summer months. When the winter comes, vectors seek sheltered environments to stay warm and this could mean that they are seeking refuge in your home. Vectors climb, claw and gnaw to find entry ways into your home which can cause structural damage to roofs, siding, and basements. Rats and squirrels seek warmer climates for building nests. Rodents work at night to gather food and often gnaw on electrical wires, possibly causing home fires.

Signs of vector infestations often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Below are some simple tips for preventing vector infestations in your home.

Rodent Control Maintenance

Maintaining your yard plays a large role in keeping your home vector-free. Be sure to trim shrubs, bushes and trees near your house to prevent rodents from climbing the branches and reaching your roof. Squirrels and rats like to gnaw at roof overhangs, shingles, gables, and sections where two roofs meet. Squirrels can even get into the attic through crevices in the chimney. A rat only needs an opening the size of a dime to get into a wall or attic, and a mouse can squeeze through any hole that a pencil will fit through.

Outdoor Rodent Control Tips:

 Keep branches and bushes trimmed back away from the house.
 Check for leaking outdoor faucets and pipes.
 Don’t feed your pet more than it can eat at one time and uneaten pet food should not be left outside after dark.
 Store large quantities of pet food in containers with tight-fitting lids.
 Always keep doors closed—rodents are quick!
 Store firewood away from the home.
 Empty garbage cans and keep lids closed.
 Seal or repair any holes, cracks, and damaged vent screens that may allow rodents to enter.

Indoor Rodent Control Tips:

 Seal all entryways, cracks, and holes in siding, doors, window screens, and areas around pipes.
 Practice good sanitation by cleaning up crumbs and spills.
 Store dry food in containers with tight-fitting lids.
 Clean under counter-top appliances and large kitchen appliances.

To view tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about rodents, the diseases they carry and how to prevent rodent infestations, click here.

For more information, contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Services at 800-442-2283 or visit our website at


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