hOW TO IDENTIFY A RODENT PROBLEM
Your cozy home not only serves as a place for you to curl up over the cold months, but it also acts as a nice place for rats and mice to build their nests. These furry little pests will relentlessly gnaw on things they shouldn’t causing all sorts of problems for you.
We’re here to offer you some information about rodents and how to get rid of them. Although some people may welcome them as pets, a good majority of them are still considered pests and that means they’ve got to go!
Do I Have a Rodent Problem?
Before you get caught up in a game of cat and mouse, you need to first determine if the pest you’re up against is, in fact, a mouse at all. There are all sorts of wild critters who inhabit residential homes and each one requires different eradication techniques.
Mice Vs. Rats
House mice are quick scavengers and although they prefer to eat seeds and insects, they will eat many kinds of food. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, however, they are color blind and could use a good pair of glasses as they cannot see clearly beyond six inches.
House mice live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. They prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation, and fabrics.
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Norway rats are habitually nighttime creatures and enter homes in the fall searching for food when their outside supply becomes scarce as winter nears. These rats are known to gnaw through almost anything (including plastic or lead pipes!) looking for food or water. Norway rats are social butterflies and build burrows close to their friends.
Outdoors, Norway rats typically live in fields and farmlands. These rats frequently burrow in the soil near river banks, in garbage and woodpiles and under concrete slabs. Indoors, Norway rats often nest in basements or piles of debris. Rodents can gain entry to a home or commercial building through a hole the size of a quarter. Rats do not have collapsible skeletons, but their bodies are long and flexible, allowing them to squeeze and wiggle into the tiniest spots. Rats determine whether they can fit through a hole with whiskers first.
Signs of Mice and Rats
Rodents are a threat to your family’s wellbeing. They are extremely destructive and carry all kinds of harmful diseases. The best way to determine if you truly have a rodent problem is to look for:
- Unexplained holes in walls, clothing, insulation or other materials.
- Gnawed furniture.
- Scratching noises in the walls.
- Squeaking or scampering.
I have a rodent problem! Now what?!
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Rodent Prevention Methods
After you’ve contacted a pest control company, the next question you’ll probably be asking is “What can I do in the meantime?”. We’re all too familiar with that urge to act the moment you find out that you have a pest problem. Although you may not have the resources or expertise to completely take care of the issue yourself, there are still a few things you can do. Here are two rodent prevention methods that we recommend:
The most common at-home elimination method is trapping. This method is always our primary recommendation since it’s the most humane. You’ll want to buy mouse or rat traps based on the type of rodent you think you have. You can go cheap and simple with classic mouse traps or you can invest in something a bit more complex such as large snap traps. It mainly depends on your preferred eradication method — catch-and-release or kills.
Another method for eradicating rodents is by using a bait station with rodenticide. Although effective, this method isn’t always the best option since rodenticide is extremely harmful to humans. You should never use baits indoors due to harmful odors and always keep out of reach of children. Baits can often have slower effects depending on how much the rat/mouse has consumed, therefore they may die in an inaccessible location. This will cause an awful stench and may attract ants and roaches as the rodent body decomposes which creates a whole other issue for you.