Pet gerbils and hamsters are cute additions to your family. They’re highly sociable, live for a few years, and don’t produce as much waste as other rodents. However, the same cannot be said for wild mice and rats.
A rodent problem is not the same as if a stray cat took up residence in your yard. Mice can easily get inside your house and run amock. Rats are less likely to get inside but prove a much higher risk for homeowners.
Here’s what to know about your rodent problem and how to get rid of a mouse infestation.
Signs of a Rodent Problem
How can you tell whether or not you have a rodent problem or if a single mouse managed to get into your home?
First of all, it’s always best to assume that if you spot a single pest of any kind inside your house that there is likely more to follow. Maybe there’s an unseen hole in your foundation letting in mice. Or maybe the mouse has been inside for much longer than you thought.
One of the first signs of a mouse or rat problem is noise. This includes sounds of scuttling or scratching coming from your floors, walls, or ceiling.
Other signs of mice include gnawing marks on your walls or furniture. You may spot dark droppings on your floor or countertops. You’ll also smell the mice or rats due to their bacteria or corpses.
If you have pets, keep an eye out for any strange behaviors. Your dog or cat will smell and hear the rodents long before you do.
Mice or Rats?
An important distinction to make early on is whether or not you have a mouse or rat problem. Mice suggest that there are small holes or areas where pests can enter your home. A rat problem is much more serious and more difficult to deal with.
To begin with, rats are much larger than mice and more aggressive. Some species can grow over a foot long. If they feel threatened at any point, they’re likely to bite.
In comparison, mice are smaller but multiply much faster. If you notice a rat inside your house, there probably aren’t many more unless you’ve noticed a lot of noise and signs of them in your home. By the time you’ve seen a mouse, it’s probably one of many lurking behind your walls.
The dangers of a rodent problem are similar, regardless of the type.
They’ll invade your pantry and chew through your food supply. You can catch the life-threatening hantavirus if you’re exposed to their saliva, droppings, or urine. They may even pass on the bubonic plague or salmonella.
Humane Trap vs Extermination
Before you run to the store and buy rat poison, consider whether or not you want a more humane option.
Homeowners can purchase live capture traps if they want to spare the critter. However, those mice and rats will find their way back into your home if you haven’t dealt with how they got inside. It’s also poor at dealing with infestations.
Rat poison allows you to kill an entire nest. The problem is that most nests are inside your walls. You’ll need to find a way to clear them out if you don’t want to smell rotting rodents throughout your house.
A slower but arguably more human form of mice removal is the mouse trap. Set them up around your home with bait and wait for the results. Most mice will die instantly and can be disposed of when spotted.
One of the best options is to use an option that targets both the inside and outside of your home to get ahead of the problem.
Homeowners can always try natural rodent repellents before hiring a professional pest control company. Most of them focus on keeping mice out rather than killing them.
First and foremost, you need to remove any temptation from your home. Store your food supplies in metal containers that mice can’t get into. Clean up any trash such as cardboard or lightweight plastics that they might turn into nesting material.
Next, you can try deterring rodent invaders with scents. Mice seem to hate the smell of peppermint oil and cloves, so you can put soaked cotton balls in problem areas. Ammonia smells like urine, which tells rodents that a larger predator is around.
People also swear by ultrasonic pest repellers. They emit sound on a frequency that only mice can hear, and they hate it. However, mice will quickly get used to the sound, so it won’t work for long.
Hire Professional Mice Removal
The reason homeowners turn to rodent control services is that the problem is substantial and uncontrolled. Your rodent problem continues to linger even after you’ve cleaned up and sealed whatever holes you could find. At that point, getting rid of rats and mice will take equipment and poisons you won’t have access to.
Professional mice removal may include placing stations around your property. A technician will monitor rodent activity with these stations and replace them if necessary. They may also place additional rodent stations inside parts of your home.
You can also rely on a professional to assess your home and property to figure out how these pests get into your house. They may recommend certain changes or renovations. At the most, they’ll install wire mesh to keep mice out.
Solve Your Rodent Problem
A rodent problem is often much worse than it originally appears. As much as you might consider a mouse cute, it’s a sign that there’s likely an infestation putting your health and home at risk. Professional pest services can help determine the seriousness of your issue and provide solutions.
Amco Ranger offers local expert pest control services. We help property owners deal with termites, bed bugs, rodents, and more. Contact us to get a free quote and check out our other services online.