We all know the instant fear that seems to shoot us immediately to a standing position on top of a chair the second we see something scurry across the floor. Once the screaming stops we have two options — reach for a broom or grab the phone. You know what you saw, a rodent. However, do you really know what you saw? Was it a rat or a mouse or what?
Mice vs Rats
As it turns out, there are more than just those two options. A large part of rat and mouse control is not in the extermination of the pest but the upkeep and proper care of the home. None of us like to share our homes with pests. The first step in making sure that doesn’t happen is finding out what kind of rodent you’re up against.
The most typical rodents we see in homes are house mice, Norway rats, and black rats (roof rats). The easiest indicator of what you’re up against is its size, if the body is 5 inches or longer, it’s a rat, but often times it requires a bit more to tell the difference.
Mice have large ears relative to their bodies while rats’ are small relative to theirs. In regards to feet, a rat has large feet while mice’s stay consistently small. If you’re unable to make these distinctions it may be time to call in an expert. At Arete Pest Control, we’ll come out to your home for free to let you know what the issue is and discuss some of your options to control the problem.
Here’s a fun quiz to see if you can spot the differences between rats and mice: http://www.ratbehavior.org/QuizRatOrMouse.htm
You can still take care of the issue without knowing which type of rodent you need to get out of the home, but you’re a step ahead if you know. Following, we’re going to discuss how to prevent them from entering your home and at the same time giving suggestions on how to get them out.
Eliminate Rodent Entry Points
You will never get rid of all mice and rats living outside your home or in the area. The best way to stop rodents from entering your home, however, is to eliminate where they are coming in from.
Keep in mind, a mouse can fit through an opening just ¼ inch (6mm) wide. In our own warehouse we found that the weather stripping beneath one of our exterior doors had worn down and created just enough space for mice to come in.
Here are a few places to check and seal up to stop them from entering your home:
- Garage door openings
- Thresholds no more than .25 inches for any doors or windows
- Crawl space vents
- Exterior A/C lines entering the home
- Chimney’s and air vents into the home
- Dryer vents exiting the home
- All tree branches trimmed away from your roof line
- Weep holes around the home
- Openings in siding
- Soffits or gable vents
If you’ve noticed some of the above-mentioned access points are exposed, here are some products that can help you seal those entry points:
- Copper mesh
- Hardware cloth
- Expandable foam
Eliminate Hiding Places For Rodents
Keep your home clean and clear of clutter. When there is clutter in the home, it becomes easy for mice to conceal themselves and make it their home too. The clearest example of this that we’ve seen was that someone had set out a bait box to kill the mice and rats in a warehouse, but it wasn’t maintenanced and when they finally got around to it, a mouse had made a home out of it. The very thing meant to get rid of them, left out, became their home.
When the home is clear and clean, it makes it easy to locate the problem and could save you hundreds of dollars in paying for exclusion because you can seal it up yourself.
Common Treatments For Rodents
There are a few different ways you can treat for rats and mice. Don’t hesitate to call Arete Pest Control – 770 – 954-8770. We can give advice as well as set up treatment plans to eliminate the rodents.
The easiest solution is to buy snap traps. Though they seem to be inhumane, they’re largely considered the most humane option as they provide the quickest, relatively painless death.
If you’re problem is more severe you may want to consider bait boxes. These are great for dealing with multiple rodents at a time as they’ll take the food and it will drive them to look for water before they die, meaning they won’t die in your walls. We advise you follow the directions carefully as these are chemicals and, if not installed properly, could be dangerous to pets, but they’re relatively harmless to us.
Equipped with this knowledge you’re much better off taking care of these issues on your own but don’t hesitate to call us (770-954-8770) with any questions, concerns, or that you quite frankly can’t stand the sight of them and want a professional.