How To Tell If You Have A Rodent Infestation
Rodents in Georgia are sneaky pests—well, most of them are. We do have one common urban rodent that isn't sneaky at all. Squirrels are common visitors to our yards. These yard rodents are easy to spot because they are active during the day. We're not going to focus on them today. Though squirrels are potential pests, they aren't nearly as troublesome as rats and mice.
The common rats in our area are Norway rats and roof rats. Norway rats are big, fat brown rats that burrow in the ground and waddle through your yard at dawn or dusk. Roof rats are slightly smaller rats. They have black fur which makes them incredibly hard to see at twilight or at night when they're active. As you may guess, roof rats commonly get into homes through vulnerabilities on roofs.
The common mice in our area are house mice, deer mice, and white-footed mice. House mice are gray on the top and white on the belly. Deer mice are tawny on the top and white on the belly, like a deer. White-footed mice are light reddish-brown on the top and white on the belly. It is helpful to know the difference between them as house mice are different from the other two. If you see house mice in your home, it is likely that you have a serious infestation. Deer mice and white-footed mice more commonly infest sheds, barns, and garages, though they can infest a home, given the right circumstances.
Rats and mice can make noises in your walls if you have an infestation, but they can live in your home without making any sounds that you can detect. It is critical to know how to detect them before you hear them because these pests can make you ill and damage your property. Here are a few quick ways to tell that rats or mice have moved in.
- Check your attic space. Look for black droppings on your insulation. Use your nose to detect the scent of urine. Look for tiny nests made of soft materials. Check at night with a flashlight to catch rats or mice actively moving about in this dark space. When you check at night, do so without entering the space to avoid having a scared rodent bite you.
- Check food storage areas and cabinets underneath sinks for black droppings or shed hairs. Rodents leave these materials everywhere they explore. They can't help it.
- Check shelves or floors that have dust or food debris. You may detect tiny footprints.
- Check for holes. A mouse will create a hole about the size of a nickel, and a rat will make quarter-sized holes. You'll find these low to the floor and underneath overhangs or behind floor clutter.
When you detect rodents in your home, contact American Pest Control for an inspection and rodent evaluation. Our universal technicians have a wide range of skill sets and the experience to provide the highest level of rodent control and management. It is best to get effective rodent control when dealing with rats and mice because they can cause harm. Let's take a look at some of the things they can do.
The Problems Rodents On Your Property Can Create
Are you familiar with the image of a housewife on a chair, screaming, because there is a tiny mouse crawling around on the kitchen floor? Rats and mice are scary rodents for some people, but they aren't typically a direct threat. They're not looking to bite you. In fact, they might quite possibly follow the old adage, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." But, as rodents live off your food and live in your home rent-free, they won't do this in a way that is harmless. They present serious risks that you can't avoid by climbing up onto a kitchen chair.
- It is not commonly understood, but rats and mice are a fire hazard. They can chew on wires inside walls and attics. A cut wire can lead to a house fire and present a serious danger to everyone living in your home.
- Rats and mice carry ticks and fleas on them. While the species of fleas carried by rodents aren't a serious threat to you or your pets, some of the species of ticks that get onto rodents are definitely going to pose a health concern. Certain ticks spread Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and other dangerous diseases.
- The holes created by rats and mice can present unique issues that you may not realize. When a rodent chews through a roof seal, water can enter your home. That water can cause wood rot. It may also allow mold to take root and present a health concern.
- At the heart of any rodent problem is the waste that rodents leave as they explore indoor spaces. Rodent droppings can have organisms linked to human disease and deer mice are known for spreading Hantavirus with their waste.
In light of the many ways rats and mice present risks to health and property, it is wise to use effective measures to control them. What does effective rodent control look like? Can you buy a few traps to get rid of them? Let's take a look.
Why DIY Rodent Control Is A Waste Of Time And Money
The common solution for rodents is to lay down a few traps. Do traps work? Sure. If they didn't, people wouldn't use them. But traps don't work as you might expect. Here are a few pitfalls to applying rodent traps.
- Catching rodents is typically hard because they are smart animals. They have natural behavior patterns that help them avoid traps, such as smelling the scent of the last rodent you caught with your trap or smelling the scent of your skin oils on the trap.
- Catching rodents is complicated further by the unique abilities rats and mice possess. Rodents move quickly and often escape the swing of the hammer on a trap. They are equipped with sharp teeth and can sever a limb to escape a trap. They are cautious animals that can remove bait from traps without springing them.
- If you are successful at catching rodents, you'll likely only catch a small portion of the population. Rodents reproduce quickly and often outpace rodent control. It is also important to understand that traps are only one part of a rodent control plan. For example, catching and removing rodents won't stop more rodents from entering. A professional control strategy utilizes many products and methods to achieve control.
- Property owners often waste money in unexpected ways by applying DIY rodent control. While traps are inexpensive, the damage caused by rats and mice is accumulative. The major cost of a rodent infestation is in the replacement of items stored in your attic, food wasted, hospital visits, damage to your home, house fires, and more.
- There are many unexpected consequences to applying ineffective rodent control. For example, applying bait stations without correcting an indoor infestation and sealing potential entry points in your exterior can lead to dead rodents inside your walls.
When you detect rodents in your home, it is best to contact a licensed pest management professional. Rodent control is a well-established science. When performed by a trained and experienced technician, rodent control and management are easily achieved.
The Pros To Know For The Best Rodent Control For Your Home
Contact American Pest Control for professional home pest control in Lake Oconee/Greensboro. Our universal technicians are career professionals with advanced training and field experience. They're also friendly problem solvers. We listen closely to your concerns and work hard to provide the level of service you desire, as we work to apply trusted control methods to correct your infestation.
Once the rodents in your home are removed and your exterior is protected, we can help you keep rodents and other pests out with ongoing residential pest control. It pays to have routine visits and quarterly pest management applications around your exterior. Would you like to learn more about the services we provide and all of the many ways we keep common pests (like rodents) out of Lake Oconee/Greensboro homes? We'd love to speak with you. Contact us by phone or text. We have answers for your rodent questions and our staff loves helping people find smart, long-lasting solutions. Connect with us today.