Have you ever heard that mice and rats are more afraid of us than we are of them? While that may be comforting for some, for property managers, it means keeping rodents out of vacant buildings can be a challenge.

vacant building

It's common for commercial spaces like retail stores and restaurants and residential buildings like apartment buildings, duplexes, and triplexes to go through periods of vacancy in between leases. But this is no time to ignore maintenance and pest prevention. Here's what property managers and owners can do to help ensure vacant buildings aren't attracting rodents.

The Impact of Rodents in Vacant Buildings

While a vacant building may not come with an obvious food source to sustain rodents, it does provide another essential need: shelter from predators and the elements, especially in the colder months. Wear and tear on the exterior and lapsed repairs can leave your building vulnerable.

Once inside, it won't take long for rodents to make themselves at home, and with no one around to notice, they will start reproducing. A female house mouse can produce up to 12 litters of 5-6 pups per year and those offspring can start producing their own offspring in as little as 45 days. Suddenly, you'll have a family of rodents with multiple generations living under one roof.

A rat or mouse can nest in the walls, basements, crawlspaces, and attics and over time, they can cause damage to walls, floors, baseboards and electric wiring with their constant gnawing. They can also spread disease through pathogens that they carry on their bodies and in their excrement. If rodents make themselves at home on your vacant building, not only will you have to spend time and money to eliminate them, but you may also have a whole new list of repairs to complete before you can lease the property.

Learn more about our rodent control services for businesses.

Rodent Prevention for Vacant Buildings

First and foremost, preventing a rodent infestation in an empty building is about eliminating entry points. Rodent and wildlife exclusion tactics can include:

  • Screening vents and pipes that lead outside
  • Sealing gaps between walls and roof surfaces
  • Protecting exterior doors so rodents can't gnaw at corners to gain entry
  • Installing tight weather-stripping and door seals

Additionally, exterior bait stations and interior traps are helpful tools in and around vacant buildings or units in case rodents do try to move into your building. Traps can also help alert you to a potential problem before it gets out of control.

If you manage a residential building, tenant turnover can mean some units are vacant while others are occupied. Rodents may hole up in vacant units while sneaking into occupied units to scavenge for food. Make sure the building is on a regular garbage disposal schedule and tenants are getting rid of waste promptly. If a tenant alerts you to a potential rodent issue, take it seriously and call in the experts right away.

Rodent Control for Vacant Buildings

Property managers and owners already have a lot on their plate, so keeping up with pest control in a vacant building may be low on the priority list. That's where Terminix comes in. We can provide regularly scheduled pest control services and rodent monitoring programs to ensure you're doing everything you can to prevent rodents from moving in.

When you call Terminix for rodent control we'll start by assessing your property. If we find any signs of existing rodents, we'll remove them from your property using traps and baits. Next, we'll identify the conditions that attracted them in the first place so that your maintenance team can correct them. Finally, with your regularly scheduled pest control service we will inspect and monitor for rodent activity to ensure you're avoiding future issues.

Remember: you don't have to have a confirmed rodent infestation to benefit from our services. The best rodent control strategy is prevention.

Worried about rodents becoming your new tenants? Call us now for a quote or to book rodent control services.