Rodent control MUST involve sanitation, proper identification, elimination of harborages and/or nesting sites, sealing every entry, and generally keeping the location clean and neat.
MICE (see picture below)
The house mouse is gray, and the deer mouse, which carries hana virus, will be gray with a white abdomen or lower body area. The mouse body will be 2.5 to 3.5 inches long and a slightly hairy tail. The eyes and the feet will be small. A single pair of house mice may produce an average of 48 babies in a year or result in a colony of 348 mice. Deer mice will usually live outside in open fields but will readily invade homes during cold weather.
Normally mice are found in areas where there is stored food and that may be in a home, a restaurant, a warehouse, or any location with stored products. Mice will move about 20 feet from their nest and are active mainly at night where they will nibble on various foods, but will prefer seeds. They will also feed on bird seeds, dog food, cat food, flower arrangements, etc. In a six month period of time, a mouse will eat two pounds of food and produce 9,000 droppings. They will leave “droppings” and urine in all of their runways. Basically, they will make a big mess as well as doing damage! Many mice do carry disease.
Mice adapt to the colder conditions and seek refuge indoors during the colder months. Mice are abundant in the fields, woods, and the areas near your homes. They will enter a home to find warmth, food, water, and protection. Keeping all cracks and holes sealed will help prevent them from entering. The house mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime. Once inside the home, mice can cause major problems including tearing insulation, chewing electrical wires, contaminating food and leaving unpleasant odors.
Once they enter, you need to do a complete inspection to find the nesting and foraging areas. Immediate identification of the problem is a must to determine where control measures will be needed
- Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of your home including areas where utility wires and pipes enter your home.
- Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
- Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
- Inspect boxes, grocery bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking insects.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
- Repair fascia and sofits and rotted roof shingles; some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
Bugs R Gone will be able to assist homeowners with identifying problem areas and treating infestations. www.pestworld.org would also provide further information.
Snap traps are useful if you are willing to empty the traps. Glue boards work well and are not expensive. Bugs R Gone uses baits to reduce the numbers, but they must be protected from dogs, cats, or other friendly animals. Baits can kill dogs and cats and can be very harmful to children. The bait is locked in the stations and only comes into contact with the mice.
RATS (see picture below)
Roof, Norway, also called: sewer rat, brown rat, wharf rat
Norway rats are very common worldwide. Roof rats are also located worldwide but seem to be more common in the US along the coasts and in the southern 1/3 of the US. The Norway rat is larger and the body is thicker and broader than the roof rat. The Norway rat has smaller eyes and ears than the roof rat and the roof rat has a more pointed nose. The roof rat tail will be longer than the body and the head but the Norway rat tail will shorter than the head and body.
Rats are very cautious and will shy away from any new items in their surroundings. Rats are social, as are mice, and the colony may develop a food shyness, but usually they will eat nearly everything. Normally rats will eat a meal at a feeding site and not nibble at several locations. Rats do need to have a source of water every day. They travel at night about 100 feet from the nesting site.
Rodent control must involve sanitation, proper identification, elimination of harborages or nesting sites, sealing every entry, and general keeping the location clean and neat. The outside of the building should be free of debris, junk, or any other situation that would allow protection and harborage before building entry.
After entry has occurred, a complete inspection should be done to locate the infested areas, runways, and/or nesting sites. This can be done with a non-toxic talc, glue boards, and looking for gnawing, grease marks, tunnel holes, damaged products, etc. Keep in mind that mice will only travel 20 feet from the nesting site and rats will travel 100 feet.
When the infested areas are positively identified, control can be achieved in many ways.
- First seal all of the external entries and openings.
- Snap traps still work very well and should be placed in the runways.
- Glue boards will also capture rodents and can be used to reduce the population but be sure to place them in the runways or along the walls. Glue boards that are placed in plastic pipe work well especially for rats.
- Some hardware stores will sell "tin cats" or multiple catch mice traps and obviously these need to be located in the runways where the nosey mice will snoop into them and not be able to get out.
- Most hardware stores will sell rodent bait in the form of pellets or a bait bar. This bait will kill mice, rats, cats, dogs, squirrels, ground hogs, kids, etc. PLEASE be careful where you place the bait! ! ! ! ! Place the bait in secure secluded spots or in tamper proof boxes so only mice and rats can obtain the poison. Also, remember that if your cat eats a poisoned mouse or the dog eats a rat or two, they may die from the bait that the rodent has eaten. I would strongly suggest that in a home situation, glue boards and snap traps be the only thing that is used.
Many times people are not pleased with the control they have doing it themselves.. Most people are not willing to spend the time and effort needed to learn how to properly control the rodents. That is why a professional pest control agent is the best choice for rodent control. Please call Bugs R Gone. 330-674-0371 or 330-473-2042