For many people, just the thought of a rat or mouse in their home can cause anxiety. These creatures can carry disease, leave large amounts of droppings and urine which are hazardous to the health of humans, not to mention their destructive chewing habits. At Schendel Pest Services, we understand that you want rodents out of your house fast, and we have guaranteed methods to accomplish this task. Today we’ll let you in on some industry secrets for rodent prevention that you can use in your home today.
There are different kinds of rodents that you may find in your home, including the Norway rat, roof rat, and house mouse which are all common in Kansas.
Norway rats are brown in color with black hairs sprinkled throughout their coat; they have a long dense body, that ranges in length from 7-9 ½ inches in length (not including the tail). Outside, Norway rats are found in fields, near riverbanks, and they especially like burrowing in woodpiles. Like other types of rodents, they try to move indoors in the fall to seek warm shelter for the winter. Norway rats are not known for their climbing skills. Normally, you will find these pests inside basements, crawl spaces, or on the ground floor.
Roof rats are brown in color with black patches. Their underbelly can be gray, white, or black. Roof rats are a bit smaller than Norway rats, with adults ranging in length from 6-8 inches (not including the tail). Roof rats live in colonies and will forage for food in groups. Unlike Norway rats, roof rats are not afraid of heights and are good climbers. They are often found nesting in the upper parts of buildings, especially in attic spaces.
The most common type of mouse to invade homes and businesses is the house mouse. This species ranges in size from 2 ½ -3 ¾ inches in length (without the tail), and are gray with a lighter cream-colored underbelly. They have large ears, tiny black beady eyes, and their tail is long and thin and covered in fine hair. Mice most often enter into homes and businesses in the fall when the weather begins to cool. They are searching for a place to live, feed and nest in during the cold winter months.
What to Do When You Find Mice in Your House
When you discover mice in your home, the first thing you should do is eliminate all of the things that are keeping them around. This involves getting rid of food, water, entry points, and more. Try these top tips for rodent removal and prevention.
- Food– Clean up all food sources for rodents in your house by sweeping crumbs and vacuuming. Seal up all food items in your pantry in containers that mice can’t chew through. Any items that are in their original paper or cardboard packaging will need to reside in sturdier air-tight containers.
- Water– Lift pet water bowls every night. Ensure that you don’t have leaky dishwasher hoses or water damage in your home.
- Hygiene– Thoroughly clean to remove all food residue from the floor and other surfaces such as counters and tables. Even if your counters and kitchen area appear clean, it’s a good idea to wipe everything down to be sure. Reduce clutter in your attic to avoid mouse nesting spots.
- Gaps– Inspect in and around your house for any type of crack or crevice that a mouse or rat could fit through. Even the smallest hole can be large enough for a rodent, and they have a reputation for being very resourceful. Repair broken vents, torn window screens and vulnerabilities on your roof and in your attic.
Kansas winters may be cold enough to inspire rodents to seek refuge inside, and the promise of food and warm place to nest is irresistible. Rodents are known for causing a lot of structural damage, so if you suspect you have mice or rats, it’s a good idea to inspect your home thoroughly for damages.
Drawbacks of DIY Rodent Control
If you’ve done an internet search for homemade rodent traps and repellents, you may be surprised to find a wealth of DIY methods from individuals that do not have any experience or training within the pest control industry. DIY methods for getting rid of mice are usually not as effective as professional strategies because they don’t take into account the specific nuances of the unique infestation in your home. For example, a pest control professional can determine the scope of your rodent problem and the best plan of action for elimination and control. With in-person inspections, rodent specialists can provide recommendations for exclusion (rodent-proofing and sealing) or baiting and traps. DIY methods are also flawed themselves because traps such as snap traps that are improperly baited may not be not the right size for your rodents and will be ineffective. Glue traps can be useful, but they rely on favorable placement in the areas where you’re likely to find mice or rats, or they aren’t going to help.
When To Call A Professional
Homeowners are understandably upset when they find rodents or droppings in their living space. At Schendel, our experts can quickly find solutions so that you can go back to your daily life. When you call us for professional help with your rodent problem, our goal is to get rid of the pests as quickly as possible to help minimize damage to your structure. Call us today to schedule a free inspection at your home and to find more information about our rodent control service options.