There is a good chance that you have never had a full-blown rat or mouse infestation in your home.
Remember that even just a couple of rats can have five litters in a year, and mice can have up to ten!
We will explore the dangers of having rats and mice, eliminating entry points for them, and preventing future infestations.
The Dangers of Having Rodent Activity in Your Home
There are a few reasons that having non-pet rodents in the house can be a problem; we will break them down.
Rodents have parasites too. Whether they are just harboring them for transmission or infected themselves, these tiny pests are just as dangerous to you and your family as they are to the creature that brought them in.
They can carry parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites.
Lice are species-specific, so rodent lice won’t transfer to humans if they manage to have them.
Ticks, on the other hand, enjoy any mammal and sometimes reptiles. Unfortunately, they may have such diseases as Ehrlichia, tularemia, tick fever, and more.
There are two types of mites – Demodex is not contagious and is specific to the host; scabies mites are infectious and zoonotic (meaning they will transfer over to humans).
Protozoa are also a kind of pathogen and parasite that they can harbor. You can read more about what those look like and can mean for your family in this veterinary journal.
Besides parasites, rats and mice can also be vectors for some diseases (think of mosquitos and malaria).
Mouse droppings, urine, and saliva will transmit certain diseases, but here are what you need to worry about the most if you do have rodent problems:
- Leptospirosis – this can cause acute liver failure.
- Plague – there are multiple types of plague that can affect you differently.
- Rat Bite Fever – if they manage to bite you, this can have complications of pneumonia, infection, and a high mortality rate.
- There are many more that you are at risk for that will vary by location globally.
Rodent urine can be easy to miss, so rodent control is the best way to eliminate the diseases they carry in your home.
Although these rodents are small, they have numbers and time on their side. If you have ever seen or owned a rat, hamster, etc., you know that chewing is one of their favorite things to do.
They may be searching and pulling at your furniture for nesting material, eating at your floorboards, or gnawing at the antiques you keep in the attic. They also use the small, hidden areas to create new holes and routes to get around better. Their chewing and gnawing can damage electrical wires and can cause structural damage to the home.
How Do They Get In and How Do You Know When They’re A Problem
It can be challenging to detect a complete rat problem or when mice have moved in, especially considering that you may get one or two here and there.
They may enter the house without anyone knowing, even your loyal canine companion, who always alerts you to the neighbor’s dogs and the mailman.
Rats and mice can find access points through the sewage or drainage lines, gaps in the windows and door (as small as a nickel), holes in the floor or foundation, and tiny openings in the roof or ceiling.
Some things in the home can help you pinpoint that you have a whole problem that warrants calling the professionals:
- Small mouse nests – typically made of your bedding or furniture.
- Droppings – rat droppings will be on average 10x larger than mouse droppings, a difference of mm to cm measurements.
- Scurrying sounds – mostly at night since they are both nocturnal.
- Dark corners that have small holes or chew marks.
- Mouse urine – you may be able to smell it or see tiny piles of urine in dark and hidden spaces.
The most crucial step to take after seeing any or all of the above is to contact a professional. Reach out to us at Horn Pest Management online for a free quote.
If you are reading this, but have not yet seen any sign of an infestation, keep reading because this pertains to even you!
The best thing to get rid of an infestation is to prevent it in the first place. They look for food and water sources, so a dirty kitchen is the best place for them to be. Make sure to clean your garbage cans regularly, seal pet food in a tight container, and don’t leave crumbs behind.
All the entry points you checked can be blocked using steel wool – once they chew it, they won’t try again.
You can use tools such as a bait station, snap trap, and no-kill traps to eliminate rodents.
Bait stations use bait to lure them to eat the poison that kills rodents quickly. It would be best to make sure that these bait stations are secure and only used outside under these baits and should only be used and maintained by professionals to ensure your safety and the safety of your pets.
Snap traps can be placed where droppings are seen with peanut butter, cheese, or other food sources and will snap on them once their weight activates the trap.
Cages also use bait to lure them in, but there is no way out of them. So the rats or mice are stuck and will need to be taken outside for removal (far enough away that they cannot easily come back). This is helpful for small amounts of rodents but will not work fast enough if you have severe rodent infestations.
Professional Pest Control companies will have skilled technicians with years of experience.
The professional teams at Horn Pest Management will be sure to include multiple tactics to eliminate your rodents, so you don’t have to! We also work to prevent future infestations and will assist you in what actions to take to store food appropriately, keep pet food out of their way, and close off access points so they can’t even get in.
We can offer free quotes and are just a call or click away from treating your home of these four-legged pests.