RO­DENT IN­FES­TA­TION

Mice and rats can cause real dam­age in your barn, and in the win­ter­time you may need to take ex­tra mea­sures to keep th­ese pests at bay.

EQUUS - - Prevention - By Lau­rie Bon­ner with Melinda Freck­le­ton, DVM

Rats and mice are un­wel­come in barns and out­build­ings at any time of year, but they can be a big­ger prob­lem in win­ter when large num­bers may seek refuge from the cold. Ro­dents can con­tam­i­nate your feed, nest in your hay and dam­age leather tack, stored blan­kets and other goods. Even worse, mice that chew through the in­su­la­tion on your wiring can cause barn fires.

You may not be able to make your barn com­pletely ro­dent-proof, but you can take steps to keep their num­bers un­der con­trol: 1. Seal holes and en­try­ways. Mice can squeeze through holes as small as a quar­ter inch across. In­spect the ex­te­rior of your barn, look­ing for cracks and holes. Small open­ings---such as gaps around win­dow frames or holes drilled to in­stall wiring and plumb­ing---can be

sealed

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