Rodents

Pest Control – Rodents

RatMice

Rats and mice have lived with humans since prehistoric times. They consume and contaminate our food and animal feed, damage containers and packaging materials in which foods and feed are stored, gnaw electrical wires and wooden structures, and tear up insulation in walls, crawlspaces, and ceilings for nesting. They can transmit diseases to humans or livestock such as murine typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), bubonic plague, hantavirus, and ratbite fever. Rodents are serious pests; they require a concerted effort to eliminate them in our homes and businesses. If you have a rat or mouse problem, schedule an estimate today.

House Mouse

Field Mouse

Appearance:

Weighs about 1/2 ounce. Adults about 5-1/2 to 7-1/2″ long, including 3 to 4″ tail.

Color

Usually light brownish to dark gray

Mouse Infestation Indicators

Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks. Nests made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material, usually in sheltered locations. Mice are most active at night, but can be seen occasionally during daylight hours.

Biology

The House mouse often lives in close association with humans. In one year, a female may have 5 to 10 litters of about 5 or 6 young each. Young are born 19 to 21 days after mating, and they reach reproductive maturity in 6 to 10 weeks. The life span of a mouse is usually 9 to 12 months.

Food

Although house mice usually prefer to eat cereal grains, they are “nibblers” and will sample many different foods.

Characteristics

Large MouseMice have a keen sense of taste, hearing, smell, and touch and are excellent climbers. They can run up any rough vertical surface, horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up to 12 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime or larger.

Rats

Norway Rat

Size:

Adult Rats range in size from 16 to 19 inches nose to end of tail, and weigh between 8 ounces to 1.8 pounds. While rats are much larger than the common house mouse or meadow mice, a young rat is occasionally confused with a mouse. In general, very young rats have large feet and large heads in proportion to their bodies, whereas those of adult mice are much smaller in proportion to their body size. Gnaw marks and droppings of a rat are also much larger than those of a mouse.

Food

Prefer cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and some fruits, berries, slugs, and snails.

Rat Infestation Indicators

Droppings; noises in attic after dusk; remnants of rat nests; dead carcasses; burrows around foundation or yard: gnawing on containers, wires and entry holes on structures.

Biology

Rats are more active at night. They have poor eyesight, but keen senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch. They constantly explore their environment and memorize locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter, and other elements in their domain. They quickly detect and tend to avoid new objects placed into a familiar environment. Nests may be lined with shredded paper, cloth, or other fibrous material. Both Norway and roof rats may gain entry to structures by gnawing, climbing, jumping, or swimming through sewers and entering through the toilet or broken drains. While Norway rats are more powerful swimmers, roof rats are more agile and are better climbers. Rats of either species, especially young rats, can squeeze beneath a door with only a 1/2-inch gap. If the door is made of wood, the rat may gnaw to enlarge the gap, but this may not be necessary.

Prevention Tips

Roof RatEliminate or limit food sources and shelter. Improve sanitation. Food sources and access to shelter attracts rodents and allows populations to grow. Exclusion is the most successful and permanent form of rodent control. Eliminate gaps and openings larger than 1/4 inch in a structure. Use steel wool and expanding foam as a temporary repair. Seal cracks in building foundations and around openings for water pipes, vents, and utility cables with metal or concrete. Doors, windows, and screens should fit tightly. It may be necessary to cover the edges of doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing. Plastic screening, rubber or vinyl, wood, and other gnawable materials are unsuitable for repairing holes used by rodents.

Sanitation

Improving sanitation is something everyone can do to reduce rodent populations in their surroundings. Some examples are: neat, off-the-ground storage of pipes, lumber, firewood, crates, boxes, gardening equipment, and other household goods will help reduce the suitability of the area for rodents and will also make their detection easier. Garbage, trash, and garden debris should be collected and removed frequently, and all garbage receptacles should have tight-fitting lids. Sanitation is fundamental to mouse and rat control and must be maintained. If sanitation measures are not maintained, the benefits of other measures will be lost, and mice and rats will quickly return.

Rodent Control

Five elements are necessary for a successful rodent management program: inspection and monitoring, exclusion, sanitation, mechanical control such as trapping, and the use of baits

If rodents become a problem in your home call us at Action Pest Control, we will inspect your structure for entry points caused by damage or poor construction practices and give you advice on things you can do to correct those issues. We will then evaluate the environment in and around the home for conditions conducive to rodent infestations. Action Pest Control will also give you advice on things you can do to correct those issues. After inspecting we will recommend a treatment plan consisting of bait placement and/or traps to effectively eliminate mouse, rat, and other rodent infestations.