“We’re thrilled to have mice infesting our house!” Said no one ever. Partly because mice and rats spread 35 different diseases.
As the season changes, their activity can increase. If you’ve got them, get rid of them quickly by laying rodent traps in the hiding places they love.
Read on to find out where these places are, and how to get on top of it before it becomes a much bigger problem.
Mice and Rats and Homes Oh My!
Mice and rats breed quickly, spread disease, and love to be where humans are. Let’s take a look at each in turn, to find out how to get them out and keep them out of your home. For good.
Where Do Mice Hide in Your Home?
Mice are hardy, thrifty creatures. That’s why they breed so quickly and can be found the world over. But there are some spots in your house they like more than most.
Mice generally seek shelter where they find airflow and food. They come inside to escape cold weather, predators, and to feast on the food you’ve unwittingly left out for them.
Mice like to make a home out of:
- Air ducts
- Venting systems
- Behind cabinets and stoves
- Storage boxes
- Crawl spaces in ceilings
- Under refrigerators
- Inside wood piles
- In piles of clutter
If you’ve got insulation in your roof, be especially vigilant about restricting access to it from mice. They love to nest in insulation. And a nest means a fast-growing population of hopping, squeaking rodents.
Signs of a Mouse Problem
You’ll want to be on the lookout for signs like urine, droppings, chewed wires and ducts, and nests made out of materials such as paper. If you’ve just cleared out a colony, or want to avoid future ones setting themselves up, work through this list of preventative measures:
- Keep your woodpile far as far away from the house as possible
- Maintain all food items including pet food, in sealed containers
- Clean kitchen and dining areas quickly after each meal or meal preparation
- Seal any holes or cracks larger than a quarter of an inch
- Sweep, vacuum and mop your house regularly
That takes care of the smaller of the two rodent problems. Now let’s look at rats.
I Smell a Rat
You may have spotted a rat as you passed by a park at night, in the metro, or by an outdoor trash can. Rats like to be anywhere humans are. Because, where there are people there’s food.
A pair of rats can produce nearly half a billion rats in three years. The damage they cause goes beyond the diseases they spread. Rats chewing on electrical wires is one of the most common causes of house fires.
Rats are very clever creatures and tough to get rid of. Fingers crossed you haven’t seen one near your house. Let’s see how you can keep it that way.
Rats like to hide in the following spots in and around the house:
- Internal but isolated areas like attics, walls, lofts, and basements
- Outside areas with places to hide and things to chew like gardens
- Dark, wet places with things to eat like drains and sewers
- Dark storage areas like garages and sheds
- Areas with access to food and places to hide including kitchens
Keeping Rats Away
Rats will destroy materials like cardboard and insulation. You’ll know you’ve got a rat infestation with things like tail marks and oily footprints. To prevent rats, it’s much the same list as with mice.
Seal all cracks around the home with a foam filler. Keep all pet food, garbage containers and spare bird feeders sealed from possible rodent access. If you’ve already got rats, you want to seal all but one or two access holes.
If you seal them in they’ll just create more holes. Then place traps outside the one or two exit gaps you left them. To stop them from coming through drains to your bathroom via the toilet, make sure you have an anti-rodent barrier.
To deter them from invading your garden, keep it clear of dog excrement, food leftovers, and woodpiles. In the garden, you can use bait instead of traps, but be very careful if you have children or pets as these are toxic substances. Getting professional advice will ensure you’re using the most effective and safe strategy to keep rats out of your garden.
How to Stay Rodent-Free with Rodent Traps
Once you get rid of your rodents, make sure you get your house really clean and keep it that way. Put food in sealed, hard-plastic containers. Clear all clutter so there’s nowhere to hide.
The prevention traps you use for rats will be different from those you lay for mice. Whether you use bait or traps, it’s likely you’ll then have to collect and dispose of the dead rodents as they build up their population again. That might mean reaching into dark holes behind walls or in attics.
Make sure you use gloves to protect yourself from bacteria and harmful pathogens. Better yet, get a professional to take care of the job for you.
Let a Professional Take Care of It
Getting and staying on top of rodents requires a sharp eye to spot the signs, and experience to know how to keep them out. So why not have an expert take care of it for you? This is someone who knows the area, its typical rodents, and how to catch, dispose and deter them.
Our team of experienced professionals is adept at safely clearing south Florida of rodent outbreaks, and keeping them clear. Have us inspect your property and give you an expert plan including rodent traps, if necessary. Get in touch for a free assessmenttoday.