Common Types of Rodents & How to Get Rid of Them
Everyone knows the uneasy feeling of finding a rodent in your home. These unsanitary creatures are extremely sneaky and reproduce very quickly. And the worst part? Since rodents are nocturnal creatures, you might not even see them as they run around at night. By the time you do see them with your very own eyes, there’s a good chance they’ve already reproduced. And unfortunately, it’s not usually until it becomes a serious issue that you wonder how to get rid of them, and what you could have done to prevent them in the first place.
Here are the most common rodents that frequent homes and businesses here in the area and a description of what they look like:
Deer mice: they have short bodies, brown fur, and small ears.
House mice: they have even smaller bodies than deer mice, and are typically brown.
Roof rats: they are about a foot in length, and have black bodies and long tails.
Norwegian rats: these are even larger than roof rats, are typically lighter in color and have shorter tails.
Why Rodents Are Dangerous
Rodents can pose a great threat to your family and pets, as well as the condition of your home. They’re not only cringe-worthy because they’re a wild animal invading your home, but they’re also dangerous
They spread disease: Rodents spread diseases through their feces, urine, and sometimes even hair that can contaminate your food. When they invade your home, they can also spread bacteria and harmful diseases, like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and rat-bite fever. Since rodent-borne diseases are serious and even sometimes life-threatening, you certainly don’t want these pests roaming your home freely.
They damage your home: Rodents aren’t only unsanitary and dangerous to your health, but they can also cause structural damage to your home and belongings. These nuisance pests can ruin your furniture, floors, drawers, insulation, and more. They’re also notorious for chewing through wiring, so if you notice electrical problems in your home without reason, they could be the cause.
They create a fire risk: If rodents want to chew through your wires, there is nothing stopping them. Because they can easily chew through electrical cords, they pose a serious fire risk. These open wires are not something you want your family or home exposed to!
Easy Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home
Seal up holes and cracks in your home’s foundation: Eliminating entry points in your home is the first step in preventing rodent infestations altogether. After all, if they don’t have an easy way to get in, they may never. Mice can enter your home through extremely small spaces — in openings as small as a dime. Be sure to inspect the perimeter of your home and make sure to seal up holes and cracks where they could possibly get in.
Good home sanitation: Keeping your home clean and sanitized is the best way to keep rodents from being drawn to your home over your neighbors. Properly seal your food, keep waste tightly secured with garbage can lids, and make sure to regularly clean crumbs on your counters and floors. Don’t provide free meals for these critters!
Ultrasonic sound box: Simply plug into an outlet and repel rodents — and even roaches and insects! Its ultrasonic waves emit high-frequency sounds. These sounds then attack the tiny auditory and nervous system of the rodents, discouraging them from entering your home. While these sound boxes are not dangerous to the human or pet ear, they are subtle enough to drive rodents out of your home. That’s what we call a win-win!
Set mouse traps: If you suspect your home is also home to mice, mouse traps can be a simple and affordable solution for small infestations. Set them along the wall and dispose of the mouse promptly after it’s trapped. Use mouse traps with caution though, because setting out a food source might attract them in more than keeping them out.
Humane Rodent Solutions
Rats and mice live alongside us, thrive because of us, and survive in spite of our attempts to eradicate them. While they mean us no harm, the presence of unwanted rodent visitors can, at times, undoubtedly cause problems for people, In order to ‘control’ them, a selection of products is available including repellent sprays, ultrasonic devices, poisons and several different types of traps, some lethal and some intended for live release.
HSI advocates that the default solution should be to implement humane methods of deterrence and eviction instead of killing them. This is for two important reasons:
Killing mice and rats typically causes suffering. This may be brief but is often drawn out over hours, days or even — in the case of some poisons — weeks.
Lethal methods do not offer a viable long-term solution. Treating the symptom by eliminating a single rat/mouse — or even an entire colony — is ultimately futile unless the conditions that encouraged them to take up residence in the first place are addressed. Over time, others will simply move in to the vacated territory.
Prevention and deterrence
Like all animals, rats and mice require food and shelter and will seek out easily accessible sources of both. Rats prefer to be outside but mice like to live indoors and can enter your home by squeezing through very small spaces, for example air vents, and gaps around gas and water pipes. Prevention is better than cure: seal off holes and don’t tempt mice and rats in with easily accessible food supplies. The food that we throw way in our rubbish or compost bin, leave out for our companion animals and put out for wild animals whose visits we do enjoy, such as hedgehogs and birds, provides rats and mice with a tempting buffet. Many rat ‘infestations’ are the result of bird-feeding.
As soon as a rat or mouse problem is identified, it is important to take swift action. Identify the source of food that attracted them and remove it. Humanely remove the animals and then seal up holes to keep others from gaining entry
Home and Kitchen:
Mice need only around one tenth of an ounce of food each day: crumbs are enough to sustain them. Clean (and keep clean) all areas where food and crumbs may have dropped, such as under the toaster and down the sides of the cooker and fridge.
Store rodent-susceptible food (e.g. crackers, cereal, pasta, bread, chocolate) in cupboards in metal or glass containers.
Bags of dry cat/dog food should also be stored in rodent-proof containers and not left out in cellars, basements or cupboards.
Do not leave out cat or dog food in dishes overnight.
Rodents have been found to avoid the smell of peppermint, spearmint or eucalyptus. Soak cotton wool balls in one of these oils ensuring they smell very strongly and leave along work surfaces, underneath units and anywhere that could be an entry point. Refresh the oil for several weeks after you believe they have gone to discourage them from returning.
Block all potential access holes with wire wool, ’mouse mesh’ (available online), or a strong sealant that will harden quickly. Don’t use caulk or other rubber or plastic fillers because mice can easily chew through them.
how to get rid of rats in the attic naturally
Mice are cute little critters, which is the reason most people write about how to get rid of rats in the attic naturally but that doesn’t mean we want them sharing our homes with us. As adorable as their tiny whiskery faces are, the disease they spread via urine (which they communicate with, and therefore leave a lot of lying around) and feces-not to mention the extensive damage they can do when they put their teeth to something-is no joke. But a lot of us (myself included) don’t want to turn to traditional snap traps (have you ever seen one go wrong? It’s not pretty) or rodenticides that pose serious risk to children, pets, other wildlife, and the environment
Being naturally nocturnal, voracious nibblers, and rapid reproducers (starting at the tender age of 6 weeks) how does one go about dealing with mice without turning to mainstream methods? Enter a fun little idea called integrated pest management (IPM.) It takes some more work, dedication, and thought than other methods, but you can manage without using toxic chemicals, which makes it far superior in my opinion. IPM involves pest proofing your home by sealing up any potential entrances, keeping food well sealed and securely locked away, knowing your pests habits, likes/dislikes, and eliminating any water sources.
How Poison Works: Most rodenticides on the market today are anti-coagulants. They essentially inhibit the body’s ability to clot blood, which results in the mouse hemorrhaging and bleeding to death internally. Warfarin, brodifacoum, diefenacoum, and flocoumafen. While all of these are nasty and toxic, flocoumafen is so powerful that it is only legally certified for indoor use. In addition to prohibiting blood clotting, the poisons will make the mice extremely thirsty. They then leave the house in search of water and die. On top of all of this, and the risk you pose to pets and children, there is secondary poisoning to consider. Many poisons are toxic to animals that will eat the mice, such as birds of prey-or your dog or cat.
How Traps Work: Fairly self-explanatory, the two main traps on the market are sticky traps and snap traps. Snap traps are triggered when the mouse goes for the bait, and a powerful spring mechanism snaps a wire down, breaking the rodents neck. I have, unfortunately, been witness to several trap malfunctions-one particularly gruesome one involved the mouse pulling back so that its neck didn’t break, but its snout and the front part of its face was crushed and caught in the trap. It was very much alive afterwards. It may sound soft-hearted, but I can’t stand the sight of even a pest struggling and in pain.
Sticky traps are about as inhumane as they get. The mouse runs onto it, sticks, and is terrified while its struggles to escape. It will either die slowly of dehydration or starvation. The traps can rip off fur and skin while they struggle, and rodents have attempted to chew through their own limbs to get free.
How to get rid of mice
Mice create messes and will chew through walls, wires and other materials. An infestation of mice or other rodents in your home or business puts people at risk of spreading disease and other health risks. In short, you do not want to just live with a mouse infestation in and around your property
Take the following steps to get rid of mice:
Forget the DIY solutions – They can be highly ineffective in eliminating a mouse infestation
Eliminate entry points – Cover up holes and fill in cracks
Cut back shrubs and branches – Mice like to use them to get into your house
Seal food in airtight containers (this includes pet food!) – Mice can eat through the bags in which pet food often comes
Do dishes immediately after eating – Mice will come out to check for scraps
Check under the hood – Mice sometimes hide inside your car and chew through wires
Clean up food spills – Mice love to eat!
How to get rid of mice in the walls
There are a number of ways in which mice can find their way into your walls. Whether you have a crack in your siding, a poorly sealed door, or an uncovered chimney pipe, mice will make their way in.
The biggest concern with having mice in the walls is that mice love to chew. Where are the majority of your electric wires located? Inside the walls. Don’t let them make a snack out your power sources. Not only will your devices and appliances fail to work, but chewed wires could start a fire.
How to get rid of mice in your car
No matter if you keep your car in a closed garage, store it away in a storage unit, or park it in the street, mice can find it. To escape from the elements, mice often crawl into the inside of a car, and they can do damage quickly.
What Do Rats in the Attic Sound Like?: How to Tell If You Have a Rodent Infestation
If you’re the night owl of your home, then you’re probably attuned to all the sounds that go on in your home every night. You know the sound the furnace makes when it kicks on, the refrigerator’s low whirling noise and the wind rustling through the trees outside your window. But one night, you might hear something that is unfamiliar.
Some rodents, like rats, mice and racoons, are nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night. That’s when they come out looking for food, materials to build their nests and new water sources. If you work from home or stay at home with your kids, you probably won’t notice or hear the sounds of rodents scurrying around your attic, especially if you rarely go up there.
What do rats in the attic sound like?
Though you’d like they’d be too quiet to hear, mice and rats do make a lot of noise, and hearing them can be one of the first signs of a rodent infestation. When they’re in your attic, mice and rats make several sounds. You might hear scratching and gnawing as they crawl around or chew on your walls and wires. You could also hear a scurrying noise as they move quickly across your attic. Chirps and squeaks are also common in mice, but rats usually communicate at a pitch that humans cannot hear.
Other signs of a rodent infestation
Though it can make them easier to hear and spot, rats, mice and other rodents who have moved down from your attic to the main floor pose a number of problems. Most importantly, it probably means that your walls have a lot of chewing and scratching marks, and the wires in your walls may be severely damaged.
If you think you’re hearing what rats sound like in the attic but can’t be sure, here are other signs of a rodent infestation:
Rodent droppings: Gross, right? In most infestations, you’ll find rodent droppings near food sources as well as in cabinets, drawers, cupboards or under the sink. If you leave food out on your kitchen table or forget to wipe up those after-dinner crumbs every night, chances are you’ll find rodent droppings nearby because rodents are coming to these spots for food.
Chewing marks on food packaging: Isn’t it bad enough that rodents are eating your crumbs? If they are making their way into cupboards, then you will probably find chew marks on some food packages, such as boxes of cereal, bags of chips and boxes of crackers and snacks.
Shredded paper or fabric: Don’t remember tearing up that pile of old newspapers? Finding scraps of fabric on the floor of your attic? There’s a good chance rodents are getting into these piles and ripping apart pieces for their nests. These are prime building materials for rodents.
Stale smells: As you’re walking around your attic, do you notice a stale smell in some of your corners? That could be the smell of rodent urine. When it sits in a spot for long enough, it gives off a stale smell.
Small holes in the walls and floors: When given the time, mice and rats can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It often doesn’t take long for rodents to chew holes in your walls and floors. If you’re unsure if a hole was caused by a rat or something else, check the hole for bite marks. That’s usually a dead giveaway