Having trouble with pesky rodents at home? Mice and rats are common nuisances to homeowners and can sometimes be quite the hassle to deal with. However, there are a number of ways to implement pest control right from the heart of your own home! If you and your family are being troubled by pests at home, continue reading!
Difference Between Rats and Mice
Although rats and mice are both part of the rodent family, they are not the same species yet are still often mistaken for one another. Here are a few differences between the appearance of a rat and a mouse:
- A mouse will have large ears, while a rat will have small ears
- Mice have long and thin tails covered in hair, while rats have thick and hairless tails
- Mouse feet are small while rat feet are large in size
- From their heads to the tip of their tails, mice are generally 3-10 cm in length, while rats can measure between 16-40 cm.
Rats and mice both reproduce at extremely quick lengths. In fact, females reach sexual maturity within five short weeks of age and have a gestation period extending from 22 to sometimes 26 days. Although the average litter size is 6-13 offspring, the mother can be ready to mate again shortly after giving birth. Furthermore, these animals do not have a particular breeding season – producing young is fair game throughout all four seasons.
If your property is not only a home to you, but to rodents as well, implementing rodent control is highly advised to avoid these animals from increasing in numbers.
How SOS Wildlife Control Can Help
SOS Wildlife Control provides effective and safe rat removal solutions for your property. Booking with SOS Wildlife Control begins with a thorough inspection of the property, identifying evidence of rat activity. Once the problem areas are located, SOS Wildlife Control Inc. technicians develop a customized solution to your specific rat removal problem. Dealing with rat removal on your own can be dangerous and costly. Improper rat removal can risk somebody getting injured. SOS Wildlife Control ensures that during all procedures conducted during the rat removal process, that caution is exercised and precautions are taken for your safety.
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Solution #1: Exclusion
One of the easiest rodent control methods is known as “exclusion”. Exclusion is simply utilizing physical barriers to barricade or block rats from possible home access points.
Rats and mice are known to run along pipes, electrical wires and utility lines, alongside gnawing through tough material in order to gain access to your home. With these animals, doors and windows to your home are all viable entry options, but so are gutters, vents and possible holes and cracks on your property.
To avoid unwanted rodents from invading your home, start off by inspecting your property for possible holes, cracks or drafts. Then proceed to blocking possible entry points that are greater than 1.3 cm in diameter. Using durable material like steel wool or screen wire will do the job just fine, but other materials like plaster will provide longer-lasting protection. Don’t forget to also seal openings around cables and pipes running through the foundation of your home; these are popular rodent entry points.
If you have damaged windows or doors, also be sure to repair or replace them before a pest beats you to it. Doing the same with damaged ventilation screens is something to also take note of.
Rats are clever, fast learners and have outstanding memories. In other words, if these animals happen to be bunking in your home, the chances of it finding a path and forgetting it are highly unlikely. Their sharp memories and intelligence further allows them to make their own paths and tunnels too.
Squeezing in through tiny spaces and chewing their way through structures helps them find existing paths that they can use at home. Due to the appearance of a rat or mouse squeezing through small spaces like an eel, many believe that these rodents have a collapsible skeleton. This is not true. Their skeleton is composed of bones with connecting cartilage, just like ours!
This does not mean that they are unable to fit through extremely small spaces. Interestingly enough, some rats and mice can squeeze through small spaces with the diameter of a quarter. This excludes overweight rodents, of course, as it is possible for them to get stuck.
Aside from finding and fitting through tight paths, rats and mice are able to chew their way through structures and can even make their own paths at home. Rats have molars that line the inner ends of their mouths and are used to grind up food and other material. Rats and mice also have four sharply pointed teeth at the front of their mouths, known as incisors.
These allow an animal to gnaw through extremely tough material. Incisors grow continuously and very quickly, so with this being said, having overgrown teeth can be problematic. Unlike molars, this type of teeth is open-rooted which insists that they continue to grow throughout the animal’s life. Once they are overgrown, they appear curved-like and stick out from their lips. In order to avoid having overgrown teeth, rats and mice have no other choice but to gnaw on thick material to wear their incisors down.
Exclusion is an effective method that you should definitely try at home! Using durable materials to block home entrances will prevent rodents from chewing their way in and squeezing through open entry points.
Solution #2: Sanitation
Ensuring that your home is clean and mess-free is another pest control method that you can take part in at home. Sanitation includes regular housekeeping in and around your house.
Trash and food remains are often the reasons why rats and mice enter our homes. With this being said, avoid using garbage bags and replace them with garbage bins. Rodents have sharp teeth that will easily tear through waste bags. Furthermore, taking out the trash immediately and securing your compost and trash bins closed will eliminate one possible food source for these animals.
Food spills and crumbs around your home are also something to keep an eye out for. After all, nothing stands out to a rodent more than your tasty food. Cleaning up after your snack or meal will send mice and rats scavenging for food elsewhere.
Poor sanitation is often a factor that encourages rodent infestations. Rats and mice are opportunistic feeders which implicates that they will look for food anywhere and will eat almost anything. By keeping your home at its tidiest, the odds of pests finding a snack will be fairly low, whether it is through food leftovers or your garbage.
If a rat or mouse senses a steady source of food coming from your home, the chances of other rodents also noticing this are high and it is very likely for other pests to be nesting in your home. Rats and mice live in colonies, and once they decide to settle, many property problems may occur. Fecal matter is one of the most common issues.
Rat and mice droppings are the leading factors that help identify a rat infestation, seeing as they return to the same place for excretory purposes. Rat droppings are banana shaped and can be 10-20 mm in length while mice droppings have pointed ends and are 1-2 mm in length.
Rat and mice droppings are highly problematic as they are known to carry many diseases and illnesses. Leptospirosis is one of the more serious diseases that have been identified in rat and mice fecal matter. This disease can cause meningitis, kidney failure and in severe cases, brain tissue damage.
Hantavirus is another dangerous disease that can be contracted from inhaling airborne particles from fecal matter. This disease initially causes flu-like symptoms which then transitions to breathing difficulties. In severe cases and without proper treatment and care, Hantavirus can be fatal.
With the health risks that a rodent’s presence brings, it is important to keep your property tidy. Keeping your home as mess-free as possible eliminates a steady food source and will send rats and mice scavenging elsewhere before they get the chance to nestle in your home.
Solution #3: Seek Professional Help
Dealing with pests at home is not always the easiest and safest option. If you and your family are faced with a rodent infestation at home and seek additional help, then the trained professionals at Markham Wildlife Control will be more than happy to help!
What Our Clients Say
These guys are absolutely professional. Their service is fast, perfect and reasonable. I had them remove raccoons from the attic and the foyer roof plus proof all broken vents. I couldn’t be happier with their services.
– Farzad L.
Sherwin arrived as discussed. Investigated noises in the attic and a wasp problem. Offered advice and expertise. I would recommend SOS and use Sherwin in the future again. Hopefully not too soon!
– John Pavunkovic
What a great job, Sherwin and Jamie! No more scratching sounds from that pesky squirrel that was trapped in the vent beside the furnace.
– Marla Barin