Rat and mouse control techniques rise to a new level of importance when they take up residence inside your home.
Since the rodents carry various diseases such as ratbite fever, bubonic plague, rabies, murine typhus, as well as salmonellosis, a type of bacterial food poisoning, you definitely don't want them sticking around and sharing your food and shelter.
Rats can bite a sleeping child while trying to retrieve bits of food left on unwashed faces or hands.
They also create fire hazards with their natural instinct to chew and gnaw leaving the indoor electrical wiring exposed.
Therefore, prompt control is required if you want to limit the unwanted damage caused by the rodents. It's important not only for health reasons, but also for the safety of the entire household. The first step in rat and mouse control is identifying the uninvited houseguests.
Three types of rodents cause the vast majority of indoor rat and mice infestations: Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), roof rats (Rattus rattus) and house mice (Mus musculus). Many people think rodents are all the same; this isn’t true as each has different habits and preferred indoor habitats. Knowing the difference makes identification easier, therefore, making rat and mouse control more effective.
House mice, roof rats and Norway rats have coexisted with humans for thousands of years; therefore, they have no problem cohabitating indoors. However, it’s important knowing where each type typically resides so you can appropriately place the traps, leading to success in capturing and alleviating the problem.
Rat and mouse control consists of three important aspects: rodent-proofing, sanitation and trapping. Cats have the reputation of taking care of rodent problems, but in reality, they can only handle a small population of one or two. Rodents have prolific breeding habits, birthing up to seven litters a year consisting of up to 12 babies each, so it’s easy for quick populations rises.
It’s important to note that rats are able to squeeze through openings as small as 1/2-inch and mice only 1/4-inch. Rats are also good jumpers, reaching horizontal distances of approximately 4-feet and vertical distances of 3-feet. By quickly implementing the three aspects of rat and mouse control, the rodent problem will soon become an unpleasant memory.
Search for openings leading into the home such as vents, missing soffit covers, exhaust fans, openings around pipes, windows or doorways. It’s imperative to block all entry points to keep the rodents from reentering. Once you have blocked all entranceways, check for any breaks in the rodent-proofing materials for approximately two weeks. Rats and mice will search out any breaks in the material in an effort to gain re-entry, so make repairs using rodent-resistant materials.
Using poisoned bait may seem like an easier alternative than using snap-traps, but it has many downsides. First, you have to find the dead rodent that will probably die in a hidden location or contend with the decaying smell, which is unsanitary. Second, you don’t want children or pets to encounter the poison or dead rodent, which can sicken or even kill them.
Using old-fashion snap-traps are the easiest, most effective and cheapest method of rat and mouse control inside the home. Be sure to place the traps where you have noticed mouse or rat activity.
Check the traps daily and discard any dead rodent using gloves. If the infestation is heavy, you may require 12 or more snap-traps. It’s best to use too many traps than using too few. If all the bait is gone and a rodent wasn’t trapped, then you should double the amount of baited traps used.
With persistence and quick action, before you know it you will have your rat and mouse control techniques down to a science and your problem will be solved.