Heavy rainfall causes unexpected pest problem for Fresno homeowners

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
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In the wake of heavy storms, pest control workers say they are swamped with calls to treat and trap mice and rats.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- People aren't the only ones taking cover this rainy month. Storms and floods are causing rodents to nest and gnaw their way into homes. Pest control workers say they are swamped with calls to treat and trap mice and rats.

Bob Hill makes a living from exterminating rodents. He knows where they breed, where they hide and what they eat. But sometimes even the best find that their defenses have been breached.

"As the rain started coming in and started washing them out, there is a pipe under the road and they just scurried over here," he said.

Hill says heavy rains and last year's mild winter led to a big infestation this year. He had to set traps around his own home after mice, who lived in nearby fields, were flooded out.

"They reproduced all summer long," he explained. "Now it's getting cold and rainy the mice are running up towards the houses."

Across the Valley, families are calling into pest control for similar problems.

Workers are fighting the problem two ways. They're setting out traps close to walls because that's where rodents use their whiskers to feel the way. They're also making sure there aren't any gaps in doors or plumbing that lead inside.

"You want to make sure you seal those areas up whether it's with steel wool or new siding," Hill said.

Hill says his haystack makes it difficult to completely fend off rodents. But for others, eliminating grains, fruit trees, and other debris will make your house a more unwelcome home.

"Just make sure you have all of your food, even your pets food," he said. "Because these guys can come out at a minutes notice, grab it and go back and nest in it."