Mice and Rats Facts
- Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime while rats can fit themselves through a space as small as a half-dollar.
- A female mouse can give birth to as many as 35 babies per year.
- Roof rats are common in Alabama and are the likely culprits if you hear the patter of little feet in your attic.
- Rodents carry bacteria like Salmonella on their bodies and can contaminate kitchen surfaces, equipment and food.
If a rat or mouse sends shivers down your spine, you’re not alone. It’s frightening to have these relatively large creatures infesting your home or business. That’s why it’s important to call American Pest Control immediately if you see mouse or rat droppings or the rodents themselves. They multiply rapidly, so waiting for help will only make the problem grow.
Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime and rats can fit through spaces the size of a quarter. House mice are the most common rodent pest throughout the world. They breed rapidly and can adapt quickly to changing conditions. A female mouse can give birth to a half-dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce as many as 35 babies per year. Roof Rats are common in Alabama and are often found in attics. If you’ve heard the patter of little feet in your attic, chances are that Roof Rats have set up housekeeping there. Like their cousins, Norway Rats, Roof Rats cause significant structural damage with their gnawing.
Often the first sign of a rat infestation is rodent droppings, which you may see in your pantry area, under baseboards, and along walls. These droppings can not only cause allergic reactions, but can also cause diseases, including the potentially deadly Hantavirus. Rodents carry bacteria like Salmonella on their bodies and can contaminate kitchen surfaces and equipment.
Sanitation is the best way to control rats. Be sure to keep food in containers so they’re not tempted by exposed goodies. Remove trash, old boards, weeds and junk in your yard. Be sure your woodpiles are kept away from your house and store your wood at least a foot off the ground. Keep your doors closed and cover your windows with screens with 1/4 inch (or smaller) mesh. Keep floor drains tightly sealed and cement or caulk around pipes and cables where they pass through walls or the floor. You can stuff small holes with stainless steel scouring pads and then caulk over them.
Inside your house, use traps rather than poison baits, because the baits can be dangerous to you, your children and your pets. Set traps against walls, since mice and rats tend to run along walls. Bait your traps with peanut butter, bacon or anything that has a strong odor.
If you catch a few rats or mice, does that mean your troubles are over? Unfortunately, no. Rodents will find you, and it can be a constant war to keep them at bay. When you see that you’re dealing with a small and determined army of rodents, call the professionals at American Pest Control for a stronger and lasting solution. Our professional exterminators will help you get rid of rats and mice so that your home will be clean and its structure intact.
Monitor for Rodents
How do you know if rats or mice are planning an invasion? First, look for droppings. Mouse droppings are about the size of rice grains; rat droppings are about the size of a raisin. You can scatter a small patch of flour or talcum powder on the floor along a wall if you suspect rats and then check for tracks the next day. You may find burrows in weedy places, under boards, under dog houses and near garbage cans or dumpsters. Look for small holes with gnawed edges, a sure sign of a hungry rat. You may also hear gnawing or scratching in your walls or attic, especially during the night. You may also find clumps of chewed paper or cloth in boxes – a sign that a mouse or rat has been using pieces of your property to build a nest. Finally, if you smell a musty odor in the house, you may have mice present.