Unwanted Critters? Learn to keep them out!

mouse

Every year we struggle with mice. The weather gets cold. The mice want in. Mice can do damage to your house, they spread disease, and they are a nuisance. Usually a trap or two will handle things, but it is always good to try prevention as the first measure. Pest control is an issue for both landlords and tenants.

On a personal level we once had mice entering through the garage into the house through a gas line. They would then run across the exposed gas line in the basement until they came to an interior wall where they would often fall off and die. The house began to stink. In the end we had to tear out drywall to find the decaying carcasses of these mice. It was disgusting!

Here are some ideas from Brightnest about how to keep the critters out of your house:

Know the warning signs. Before you can get rid of mice, you need to be able to identify them. Mice are small, generally no more than 5-6 inches in length, and usually a uniform color (black and brown are most common). However, mice are nocturnal and generally hide during the day, so they may be present even if you don’t see them scurrying around. Other warning signs include holes in walls and food containers, small spherical droppings in places like your pantry and scurrying sounds behind your walls.

Block their entry. Mice can’t invade your house if they can’t get inside. They also generally don’t climb higher than two feet off the ground, so check your house’s foundation and look for any holes or cracks that a mouse could use as an entrance. Places where pipes or electrical wiring enter your house are common problems. Seal these areas with metal or cement as soon as possible. If your foundation has a large number of cracks or holes, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look. For more details, read: Inspect Your Foundation.

Protect your food. The two main reasons mice move into a house are shelter and food. If you can remove their access to food, you can often remove the mice. Keep your food in sealed steel or glass containers, or in your refrigerator. Clean up any food crumbs or spills as quickly as possible and keep your trash in a well-sealed container. Tip: Also remember to protect any pet food you have, since mice will eat that as well!

Remove nests and shelters. Mice can nest in any confined space that has clutter. This can include basementsattics, storage rooms or messy bedrooms. Keep these areas tidy, and remove any nests you may find, which will be about the size of a grapefruit and made of things like string and bits of paper.

Eradicate the mice. There are a number of ways to kill mice. Poisons are one option; however, whatever poisons you use will generally also be toxic to kids and pets, so they should be used with caution. Traps can be effective, but can also injure pets or children, and they leave a nasty mouse-corpse to clean up. Two popular non-toxic repellants are mothballs dipped in peppermint oil, or mint leaves. Place the mint or mothballs in areas where you suspect mice are nesting or entering your house, and the smell will drive the mice away! You can also plant mint around the foundations of your house to prevent future infestations from occurring.

Keep those pests out right away because they will keep coming in once they have established a path. Prevention, prevention, prevention! I love the idea of planting mint around the foundation of the house! Low maintenance, non-toxic, and can be used in the kitchen. Remember that mint can get out of control and take over your landscaping.

https://brightnest.com/todos/pest-control-mice

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Pets and Rentals–What You Need To Know

cute cats

Boulder is a community full of pets! But for pet owners it can sometimes feel daunting to find a rental space with a pet in tow. It certainly limits your options, but it does not count you out of the rental market. Of course we love our dogs and our cats, but when it comes to renting what do you need to know about having your four-legged friend[s] join you in your leased space?

Pet Agreements & What You Need To Know: When you are planning to lease an apartment with one or more pets, make certain that part of your lease agreement is a pet agreement or pet addendum. The pet agreement should stipulate what the regulations are regarding pet size, type and breed, the amount of the pet deposit, what it covers and whether or not it’s refundable.  If you don’t agree with it, or don’t understand it, further clarification is required before you finalize your rental agreement. Remember your rental agreement is legally binding!

Pet Agreement – Common Inclusions

  • Management authorization for pet
  • Animal with breed/ history of aggressive behavior can be excluded
  • Pet agreement terminates with tenant occupancy termination
  • Tenancy terminates if pet agreement is broken
  • Additional security deposit
  • Refundable/non-refundable security deposit
  • Additional pet fees
  • No limit liability
  • Cleaning and repair clause
  • Management indemnity for litigation costs

Make Sure You Ask First: If you want to get a pet during your rental tenure you need to make sure and contact your landlord or rental agency before you bring a pet home. You will need to make sure you sign an additional pet agreement or have a clause added to your lease.

The most important thing to ensure the return of your deposit and that you don’t break the legal elements of your lease is to ensure you understand what you are signing. Ask questions if you do not understand. If you are interested in getting a pet, ask your landlord or rental agency ahead of time.

Based on an article by apartments.com.