Rodents invade 21 million U.S. homes each winter.
A rodent infestation is not just bothersome, it’s also dangerous to your family’s health. Rats and mice carry and spread over 35 diseases.
Here is everything you need to know about dealing with mice and rats in and outside your home. Read on.
What is Causing your Rodent Problem?
As temperatures get cooler in Florida, mice and rats begin to look for warm places they can make their nests and get cozy for winter.
While keeping your house spotless won’t deter pesky rodents, the opposite is also true. Crumbs on the counters and floors attract mice.
Surprisingly, they only need 3 grams of food daily, so a bunch of crumbs is a feast for them!
Get in the habit of sweeping the floor under your dining room table after you eat. Make sure to wipe down the counters daily and put the crumbs in the trash. Also, keep all food properly packaged in sealed containers.
Signs That You Have a Rodent Infestation
Seeing a critter in your home is just one sign that you have a rodent infestation.
The most common way people clue into the fact that they have a rodent problem is by finding droppings. Make sure you know how to identify rat and mouse droppings so that you can properly eliminate them.
When you clean up droppings you find around the house, use gloves, and a mask. Thoroughly disinfect the floor where the droppings were as rodents droppings can make you ill.
You might notice little bits of plaster along your baseboard or floor. This is a sign that you are dealing with mice that have burrowed through your wall.
At night when the house is quiet, you might hear a scratching noise. Or you may find food packages that have been chewed on in your pantry.
All of these are big signs that you have a rodent problem.
Keep Rodents Away
There are a couple of things you can do to make your home less hospitable to rodents. For one thing, don’t have debris sitting in your yard.
Junk is the perfect place for rodents to hide. Also, tend to your gardens and keep weeds from shooting up. Tall weeds are great places for rodents to build nests.
Also, make sure your waste is placed in a secured garbage bin. Rodents can easily chew through plastic garbage bags. You need to place your trash in the proper containers to avoid feeding hoards of rodents.
The less clutter around your property, the less pleasant your home is for rodents. These are great preventative measures. But what to do about rat infestations in your home?
Find the Entry Sources
Once you have established that you have a rodent problem, it’s time to find out where these pesky rodents are coming in from.
Unlike what the picture books show, mice don’t need a big round curve in the wall to get into your home. If there is a hole the size of a pencil, a mouse can squeeze in.
Look for cracks or gaps that outside your home or any entryways a rodent could use to get in.
Next, check the inside of the house in areas such as stairs, corners, attic and basements for places rodents might be getting in from.
When you find any exterior entry points, use wire mesh to seal off the gap. Inside the home, use steel wool and caulk to fill little holes and gaps.
Great. Now you’ve done half of the job. You are dealing with mice and other rodents by making it less likely that they can get in.
Next, you have to eliminate the ones that are in your home.
The final thing you need to do about your mouse or rat infestation is set traps.
Choose spring loaded traps that kill the rodent immediately. The traps that have sticky pads just trap a live mouse or rat. The captured rodent could urinate out of fear and spread disease.
You want a good trap that kills the creature instantly. You don’t want the critter to escape the trap or to have a long, painful death.
Place a bit of cheese on your traps to act as bait. Next, place the traps perpendicular to your walls with the trigger closest to the baseboard.
Lay your traps anywhere that you suspect has rodent activity such as behind big furniture pieces and also wherever you have found droppings.
Rodents avoid traps that have caught vermin before so you will need to move the location of your traps every few days to catch all the pests.
Mice always return to their territory. So if you find their food source or where they nest, place traps there, because they will surely be back.
Be careful about using traps if you have young children or pets. A mouse trap could injure children and small pets. Talk to your pest control specialists about their treatments that are safe for everyone, even kids, and pets.
Call the Pros
Is your pest problem too much for you to handle on your own? If you’ve tried everything and you are still suffering from a rodent infestation, it’s time to call in the professionals.
The experts at Command Pest Control will help you get rid of rats and mice for good. Getting rid of your rodent problem is just part of the solution, though. We can also give you ongoing maintenance plans to keep your home pest-free. There’s a plan to fit your budget.
If you’re ready to get control of your house again and you’re in South Florida, schedule an appointment.