Mice and rats give people the creeps. This may be for historical purposes since it was rats and the fleas they carried that caused the death of one-quarter of the world’s population during the Black Death in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, before you discover you have a rat problem, they have often multiplied and can be difficult to get rid of. Rats can cause a great deal of damage, can contaminate food, and can carry disease. Once discovered, rats are a problem you want to rid yourself of ASAP.
REMOVAL OF RODENTS
There are three main ways to rid your home of rats:
- Rat traps. These can be baited or unbaited. However, it’s paramount to put these rat traps in places away from children and pets who may injure themselves if caught in one. Rat traps should be placed in areas where rats frequent. Food sources, dark attics or basements, or any other out-of-the-way place are great for rat traps. There are different rat traps available, such as snap traps, live traps, and glue traps — all with advantages and disadvantages. Investigate these and decide which would work best for you.
- Rodent baits. Rodent baits usually involve poison that the rats ingest to kill them. These are especially important to put in places away from children and pets who could become very sick or even die from accidental rat poison ingestion. Most rodent baits come in protective containers that the rats eat and then are free to run off and hopefully die elsewhere. Bait stations and baiting traps are just two examples of rodent baiting available.
- Cats. Cats love to hunt mice and if you have a cat, you might have woken to find a dead mouse in your home that you didn’t even know existed. Many people have barn cats to keep the mice down as they are proficient hunters and killers of these pesky vermin. If you don’t have a cat, consider investing in one to eliminate your mice problem.
HOW DO YOU FIND RATS IN YOUR HOME?
- Follow the signs. Rats leave droppings everywhere. Note where there is a heavy concentration — often around food or food storage facilities.
- Noises at night. If you hear the rats scurrying around, where are the noises concentrated?
- Nests. Rats like dark spaces, so this may be the hardest to find because the nests are probably hidden in dark corners or cubby hole spaces.
- Seeing them. If you see them, where did they run off to? Where have you found dead rats, if any?
- Gnawing. Rats, like most rodents, have one big tooth that never stops growing. They have to gnaw on things to pare it down constantly. A favorite gnawing item is wood, so look for wood chippings scattered on the floor.
- Burrows. Rats travel in burrows, so inspect your yard and around your home for their travel pathways.
The rat’s smaller cousin is the mouse. Usually cuter, mice can cause just as many problems as rats and can carry bacteria as well. Because mice are cuter, homeowners have a problem killing them, especially if they are trapped and are still alive once found. However, remember both rats and mice are a nuisance that, left unchecked, can cause severe damage to your home or small business. They can spread disease and eat their way through your food, resulting in hundreds or even thousands of lost dollars and revenue.
Mice are usually bolder than rats and will cause more damage simply because they find more things to get into. They are also excellent climbers, meaning they can hide in more places, and, being smaller, can get away easier from you. However, rats are much stronger than mice and have been known to gnaw through various building materials, including aluminum, wood, glass, sheet metal, and even cinder blocks.
If your mice and rats are too cute to kill, or you just need a professional pest eliminator to handle your rodent problem, call Heat Rite Pest Pros in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. We’ll rid you of your rodent problem without you having to see the cute balls of fluff. We also service businesses as well with the best professional pest control services. Call us today for a free estimate!