Size:

Gray or brown rodents with relatively large ears and small eyes

Color:

An adult is about 5 to 7 inches long, including the 3- to 4-inch tail.

House mice live in and around homes, farms, commercial establishments, as well as in open fields and agricultural lands. The onset of cold weather each fall in temperate regions is said to cause mice to move into structures in search of shelter and food.

During its daily activities, a mouse normally travels an area averaging 10 to 30 feet in diameter, seldom traveling further than this to obtain food or water. Mice constantly explore and learn about their environment, memorizing the locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter and other elements in their domain. They quickly detect new objects in their environment, but they do not fear novel objects as do rats. This behavior should be remembered if faced with a large population of mice in a residential, industrial or agricultural setting. Mice have keen senses of taste, hearing, smell, and touch. They are excellent climbers and can run up any rough vertical surface. They will run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up to 12 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. Mice can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch across. House mice frequently find their way into homes in the fall of the year, when outdoor temperatures at night become colder.

House mice eat many types of food but prefer seeds and grain. Foods high in fat, protein, or sugar may be preferred even when grain and seed also are present. Such items include bacon, chocolate candies, butter and nutmeats. A single mouse eats only about 3 grams of food per day (8 pounds per year) but because of their habit of nibbling on many foods and discarding partially eaten items, mice destroy considerably more food than they consume.

  • House mice consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, livestock, or other animals. In addition, they cause considerable damage to structures and property, and they can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning.
  • Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergic in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.
  • Structural Damage: Mice will gnaw upon wall and attic insulation, electrical wiring, and containers of stored human and animal foods. Stored items may also be gnawed upon.

House Mouse or Mice Prevention Tips

Three elements are necessary for a successful rat management program:
Sanitation measures, building construction and rodent proofing, and, if necessary, population control.

[A] Sanitation:

Sanitation is fundamental to rat control and must be continuous. Sanitation programs must always include both the outside and inside of affected buildings.
Outdoor:

  • Outside all rubbish piles must be eliminated.
  • Improper handling of garbage and re use (e.g. improper selection, use and maintenance of industrial dumpsters) may result in a prime source of food and shelter for rodents and thus, attract them to any building.
  • When it is necessary to accumulate food refuse, it must be kept in rodent-proof containers until it is removed from the premise. Industrial dumpsters, for example-especially those used around food-serving establishments-must be carefully selected for proper proper volume, pick up schedule, cleaning, placement, and other factors so as to not attract rodents to the property.
  • Grass, weeds, and other undesirable vegetation adjacent to building should be removed. If the building is landscaped, it should be properly maintained. Over grown landscape planting can provide rodents with both cover and food.
  • Lumber, rock piles, rubbish, old equipment, construction materials etc.., should all be eliminated if possible. Items that must be kept should be stored atleast 18 inches (46 cm) off the ground and 12 inches (31 cm) away from walls or fences.

Indoor:

  • Indoor, al potential rodent harborages must be identified and eliminated or modified. Such areas as obscure corners, shelves, under and in cabinets, worktable, lockers and equipments must not be overlooked or neglected as these dark, out-of-the way areas provide rodents with ideal harborage.
  • Where possible, rodent proofing of these areas as well as stairwells, machinery, double walls, false ceiling and floors, hollow tile partitions and boxed in pipes and conduits may be necessary.
  • In warehouses and storage areas of commercial facilities, products should be on pallets (preferably 8 to 12 inches (20 to 31 cm) off the floor), 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 cm) from adjacent walls, not stacked more than one to two pallets wide and separated by an aisle.

Around Residence:

  • Homeowners should do proper reuse management, storage practice and the proper feeding of pets and wildlife to attracting rodents to the yard or home.
  • Residential garbage cans must not be overfilled and contain tight-fitting covers.
  • Woodpiles and any other type of outdoor storage should be elevated off the ground to help eliminate potential rat or mouse harborage.

Backyard:

  • Backyard infestation of rats are commonly associated with exterior doghouses, bird and squirrel feeders, improper garbage management, improper composting practice and vegetable gardens and fruit trees that are not properly maintained.

 

[B] Rodent Proofing (Exclusion):

Ideally, the best way to control mice and rats is to make it impossible for them to gain entry into structures. It can be difficult or impractical to exclude mice completely as even adult mice can pass through opening 3/8-inch 91.0 cm) wide. Furthermore, mice commonly enter building through open doors or windows or are carried into buildings inside merchandise. Nevertheless, it is good pest management for building owners to rodent proof a building as much as possible.

When considering rodent proofing, every possible route of rodent access to the building must be considered. Generally, all opening greater than 1/4 –inch (0.6 cm) should be sealed to exclude mice. For rats, all openings greater than ½-inch (1.3 cm) should be sealed.

  • Points where utility lines penetrate a wall are likely access sites for rodents. The opening around service conduits such as water, electricity, air conditioning, drain pipes, and vents should all be sealed. Sheet metal, hardware cloth and mortar can be used to seal the spaces around these and other types of openings. Copper mesh stuffing and coarse steel wool can be stuffed into gaps and holes, but should be sealed with mortar or the appropriate durable sealant to provide for a long term closing of the holes.
  • Broken basement windows, warped doors and unscreened vents are all invasion routes for mice and rats. Vents should be covered with a metal grill-work, backed by rust-resistant screening.
  • The spaces beneath doors should be checked and, if need be, reduced. A 12-inch (30 cm) sheet metal (26 gauges) kicking plate should be attached to the outside of the door with the lower edge not more than ¼ inches (6 mm) from the floor. The door casing should also be protected with sheet metal to prevent mice and rats from widening cracks by gnawing.
  • Rodent can be deterred from climbing pipes on the outside of buildings by fitting metal guards around the pipes. These should be made of 26-gauge sheet metal, fitted close to the wall at the rear and projecting 12 inches (35 cm) outward form the pipe. An added measure to deter climbing by Norway rats and mice is to apply a 12-inch band of hard glossy paint around the outside of brick or stone walls about 3-1/2 feet above the ground. A 12-inch band of glossy paint around a vertical pipe will also help prevent climbing. These measures however, may not be very effective against roof rats.
  • Roof should be checked to see that shingles are down tight and sheathing is complete. Also check roof ventilators, screen vent and louvered wall vents. Use hardware cloth (1/4-inch width screening) to prevent larger animals from entering through vents. Screen chimneys and vent pipes if they are serving as entryways.

Additional Rodent proofing Tips :

  • Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under eaves.
  • Provide a tight fitting cover for the crawl space.
  • Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
  • Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
  • Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
  • Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
  • Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
  • Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.
  • Seal gaps beneath garage doors with a gasket or weather-stripping.
  • Install self-closing exits or screening to clothes dryer vents to the outside.
  • Remember that pet doors into the house or garage provide an easy entrance for rodents.
  • Keep side doors to the garage closed, especially at night.

 

[C] Population Control:

When food, water, and shelter are available, rat populations can reproduce and grow quickly. While the most permanent form of control is to limit food, water, shelter, and access to buildings, direct population control is often necessary.

Size:

Can vary from gray to brown to black.

Color:

External measurements average: total length, 440 mm; tail, 205 mm; hind foot, 46 mm.

They may burrow to make nests under buildings and other structures, beneath concrete slabs, along stream banks, around ponds, in garbage dumps, sewers, basement, and at other locations where suitable food, water, and shelter are present. Although they can climb, Norway rats tend to inhabit the lower floors of multistory buildings.

Norway rats are primarily nocturnal. They usually become active about dusk, when they begin to seek food and water. Some individuals may be active during daylight hours when rat populations are high. Rats have poor eyesight, relying more on their hearing and their excellent senses of smell, taste, and touch. They are considered color-blind. Therefore, for safety reasons, baits can be dyed distinctive colors without causing avoidance by rats, as long as the dye does not have an objectionable taste or odor. Rats use their keen sense of smell to locate food items and to recognize other rats. Their sense of taste is excellent, and they can detect some contaminants in their food at levels as low as 0.5 parts per million.

Norway rats will eat nearly any type of food. When given a choice, they select a nutritionally balanced diet, choosing fresh, wholesome items over stale or contaminated foods. They prefer cereal grains, meats and fish, nut, and some types of fruit. Rats require 1/2 to 1 ounce of water daily when feeding on dry foods but need less when moist foods are available. Food items in household garbage offer a fairly balanced diet and also satisfy their moisture needs.

Using their ever-growing incisors and strong jaws, these rats cause structural damage by burrowing underneath buildings and walkways and gnawing through walls, pipes, and electrical wires. These rats have even started fires by gnawing matches and have caused floods by tunneling through dams. They contaminate crops and food, and may also restrict plant growth by eating large amounts of seeds. More importantly, they transmit diseases directly by biting people and contaminating food, and indirectly by carrying lice and fleas. Historically, they have been vectors for bubonic plague, leptospirosis, typhus, spotted fever, tularemia, salmonella food poisoning, infectious jaundice, and other serious diseases.

Norway rat or Brown rat or Street rat Prevention Tips

[A] Sanitation:

In addition to the above-mentioned techniques of excluding rodents from sources of food and shelter, sanitation can play an important role in controlling rat populations. Poor sanitation is one of the basic reasons for the continued existence of moderate to high rat populations in urban and suburban areas.

  • Sanitation involves good housekeeping, including proper storage and handling of food materials, feed, and edible garbage. Warehouses, granaries and grain mills, silos, port facilities, and similar structures may provide excellent habitat for rats. Store bulk foods in rodent-proof containers or rooms. Stack sacked or boxed foods in orderly rows on pallets in a way that allows thorough inspection for evidence of rats. In such storage areas, keep stored materials away from walls. A 12-inch (30-cm) white band painted on the floor adjacent to the wall will aid in detecting rodent droppings and other rat sign. Sweep floors frequently to permit ready detection of fresh sign.
  • Pet foods often are a source of food for rats in and around homes. Keep all such materials stored in metal rodent-proof containers. Feed pets only what they will eat at a single time.
  • Garbage and rubbish from homes, restaurants, farms, and other such sources should be properly stored and subsequently removed for disposal. A proper refuse storage container is heavy-duty, rust-resistant, rat- and damage-resistant, and equipped with a tight-fitting lid. Galvanized steel trash containers in good condition are better than those made of vinyl or plastic. Racks or stands prevent corrosion or rusting of containers, reduce rat shelter under containers, and minimize the chance of containers being overturned.
  • Bulk storage containers for refuse, such as those used at apartments, businesses, and housing projects, should be similarly rodent-proof. Large metal refuse containers (dumpsters) sometimes have drain holes to facilitate cleaning. These drain holes should be fitted with a wire mesh screen or a removable plug; otherwise, the container becomes a huge feeding station for rodents.
  • Refuse should be collected regularly and before refuse storage containers become filled to excess. Sanitary landfills and incinerators seldom have conditions that will allow rat populations to exist. On the other hand, open refuse dumps are often infested by Norway rats. At a properly operated sanitary landfill, garbage and rubbish are compacted and covered with earth daily. Modern incinerators completely burn refuse, and the resulting residue does not provide food for rats.
  • Sewers are inhabited by Norway rats in some towns and cities. Rats may enter at outlets and through manholes, catch basins, broken pipes, or drains. Since Norway rats are excellent swimmers, water traps do not impede their movement; in fact, they can travel upstream against a current. The problem of rats in sewers is usually greatest in places where sanitary sewers are interconnected with storm sewers, thus providing multiple entry points for rats. The domestic sewage of an average community provides enough food to sustain a large number of rats; this problem has increased as a result of the recent prevalence of garbage disposal units in most new homes.
  • Regular removal of debris and control of weeds from around structures will reduce the amount of shelter available to rats. In some instances, a strip of heavy gravel placed adjacent to building foundations or other structures will reduce rat burrowing at these locations. Gravel should be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and laid in a band at least 2 feet (0.6 m) wide and 1/2 foot (15 cm) deep. In any event, keep the perimeter of buildings and other structures clean of weeds and debris (including stacked lumber, firewood, and other stored materials) to discourage rat activity and to allow easier detection of rat sign.

[B] Rodent Proofing (Exclusion):

Physical barriers can prevent rats from gaining entry to structures where food and shelter are available. “Rat proofing” is an important and often neglected aspect of rat control. It is a relatively permanent form of rodent control that prevents damage from occurring.
To exclude rats, seal all holes and openings larger than 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) across. Rodent-proofing should be done with heavy materials that will resist rodent gnawing. These include concrete mortar, galvanized sheet metal, and heavy-gauge hardware cloth.
Holes and Openings:

  • To prevent rodent entry, seal all such holes with durable materials. Steel wool, copper gauze (Stuff-it brand) or screen wire packed tightly into openings is a good temporary plug. For long-term or permanent repair, mix a quick-drying patching plaster or anchoring such as Fix all into a wad of Stuff-it before pushing the material into the hole, and smooth over the outside. If steel wool is used, rust stains are likely to result. Holes 3 inches (8 cm) or more in diameter should be covered or backed with 1/4-inch (0.6-cm) woven/welded hardware cloth prior to filling with a good patching compound. Another backing material available is Strong Patch TM (D. P. Wagner Mfg. Inc.), a 6 x 6-inch (15 x 15-cm) sheet metal patch to cover holes up to 5 x 5 inches (11 x 11 cm). It has a self-adhesive backing and a mesh on the surface for better adhesion of the patching compound or other texture.
  • To close larger openings or protect other areas subject to gnawing, use materials such as Hardware cloth, if not woven, breaks easily. The woven/welded hardware cloth maintains its shape when cut to fit around pipes or other objects. Hardware cloth used to cover gaps and holes can be filled with foam caulk, Fix-all, Quick-Fix, or other fast-drying interior patching compounds. When used on the exterior, concrete mortar, plaster, or Concrete Patch can be used to provide longer-term rodent-proofing. These are just a few of the many products available.

 

  • Close openings around augers, pipes, and electric cables where they enter structures with Portland cement mortar, Concrete Patch, masonry, or metal collars. Even a small unprotected opening can be an invitation to rodents.

Vents and Windows:

  • Use only metal window screening materials where windows or doors are accessible to rodents. Avoid unnecessary ledges outside windows. When necessary, screen ventilation openings and windows with woven/welded galvanized hardware cloth. Such screening is critical in commercial and farm buildings and where high rodent pressures in residential areas are found. For large openings or where the screen may be subject to abuse, add crossbars to support the hardware cloth. If the opening is an access route, install the screen on a hinged frame. All vents and duct openings for heating and air conditioning should be screened or raised and/or guarded with an excluder device to prevent rodent entry. Residential cold air return grills can easily be mouse-proofed by placing 1/4-inch (0.6-cm) hardware cloth behind the grill where it is not unsightly. In some applications, power vents can be covered with hinged metal plates (louvered) that open with air flow and close when fans are off.

Exterior Doors:

  • Doors should fit tightly, the distance between the bottom of the door and the threshold not exceeding 1/4 inch (0.6 cm). In some instances, it is possible to build up the threshold rather than modify the door. Metal thresholds can be fastened to floors. Mechanical door-closing devices save time and help overcome human negligence. Equip doorways used for ventilation with rodent-proof screen doors, or if the door surface is too slick for rodents to climb, modify the existing door so the upper half can be left open for ventilation. Always use a heavy kick plate and solid frame on screen doors in commercial and agricultural buildings. Light-framed screen doors easily get bent out of shape, allowing rodent entry.

Foundations and Floors:

  • Gaps or flaws along building exteriors where the wall framing or siding meets the foundation provide easy entry for rodents. Such openings can be prevented by well-formed and finished concrete work and installation of tight wall framing and siding, or installing metal screed-type flashing between the siding and the foundation. Use of rodent-proof exterior surface materials such as concrete, plaster, or metal sheeting is also effective if properly installed so that all ribs or corrugations are closed. Rodents can gain entry into buildings with piers or shallow foundation walls by burrowing beneath the floor or foundation. To prevent rat entry by this route, extend foundation walls below ground at least 36 inches (91 cm). This also reduces damage from frost. A horizontal footing extension also may be added to deflect burrowing rodents away from the foundation.
  • Ideally, install floors, slabs, and sidewalks with deep footings or with curtain walls of concrete or 1/4-inch (0.6-cm) mesh wire. The choice between concrete and wire mesh depends on the expected life of the structure. Though wire mesh costs considerably less than concrete, its usefulness generally lasts only 5 to 10 years. Repair cracks in foundations and floors with concrete or masonry grout.

 

  • Maintaining a clean, 3-foot-wide (1-m) weed-free area around building foundations, concrete slabs, and footings often discourages rodents from burrowing as well as eliminates a food source and attractive harborage. Where erosion of bare soil is likely, this buffer can be maintained by regular, close mowing of vegetation or by installing heavy gravel. To discourage burrowing, install a strip of 1-inch-diameter (2.5-cm) or larger gravel laid in a band at least 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 1/2 foot (15 cm) deep.

Interior Rodent-Proofing:
When rats or mice are present in a building, attention must be given to interior as well as exterior rodent-proofing to remove all sources of shelter. A combination of actions is required in such instances, as no single effort is likely to yield the desired result.

  • Concrete floors are preferred to wooden floors. An attempt should be made to seal off rodents. Use traps to remove the rodents, or place poison bait packets through openings in the floor or wall and then seal the openings with galvanized metal or hardware cloth and patching plaster as previously discussed. Promptly treat new openings as they are found. In occupied buildings, always trap the rodents before sealing interior walls to avoid odors, stains, and an influx of insects that feed on decaying rodent carcasses. Eliminate rodent hiding places beneath and behind equipment.

Drains and Pipes:

  • Both rats and mice use drainage pipes or sewage systems as routes to enter buildings. Equip floor drains with metal grates held firmly in place. Grate openings should not exceed 1/4 inch (0.6 cm). Maintain 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) hardware cloth over sewer roof vents in rat-infested areas. If the sewer system is known to be rat-infested, a “Rat Guard” one way flap valve may be placed in toilets. Sewer laterals should be checked for openings that could allow rodent entry. Smoke producing leak detectors are often used by agencies checking sewer lines for leaks or openings. If openings are detected, replace the pipe or wrap the pipe break with 1/4-inch (0.6-cm) hardware cloth and use concrete patching material to seal the area. Rain gutter downspouts are often used by rats to gain access to roofs. It may be possible to screen over openings at the base of downspouts with 1/2-inch (0.6-cm) hardware cloth or a grate, but this will require continued maintenance to remove accumulated debris, particularly where leaves and small sticks are washed from roofs into the gutter system. Flap valves have been used here too—swinging shut except when water is flowing. Openings to floor or driveway drains should have covers. Gutter and other drain covers must be kept clean of debris to prevent water backup.

Food Handling and Storage Areas:

  • Even when all of the holes are plugged, rodents seem to find a way into food storage and handling areas. Sometimes rodents come in with supplies, or they run in through open doors or windows. Often, one or more openings remain undetected. These hidden holes are often below sinks, behind equipment, in false or suspended ceilings, and behind or under cupboards. Once in an environment having all the basic needs, rodents quickly establish viable populations. The solution is to eliminate harborage and exclude rodents from food and water sources inside the building. All equipment such as large refrigerators, freezers, counters, dishwashers, and sanitizers should be raised and easily movable, enabling cleaning underneath and behind them. Insulated walls and closed areas should be tightly closed off to avoid use as harborage. Openings are commonly seen in new stainless-steel work counters in supports under the work surface, or in areas provided for drains.

Size:

Brown with black mixed in, to gray, to black on top with white; gray or black underside.

Color:

Roof rat (black rat, ship rat) adult head-plus-body length is 6-8 inches; tail length is 7-10 inches.

Roof rats are very agile climbers and usually live and nest above ground in shrubs, dead fronds of palm trees, upper portions of buildings, trees, and dense vegetation such as ivy. They are most often found in enclosed or elevated spaces in attics, walls, false ceilings, and cabinets.

Roof rats usually begin searching for food shortly after sunset. If the food is in an exposed area and too large to be eaten quickly, yet not too large to be moved, they will usually carry it to a hiding place before eating it. Many rats will cache or hoard considerable amounts of solid food, which they may or may not eat later. When necessary, roof rats will travel considerable distances for food. They can often be seen at night running along overhead utility lines. They may live in trees or attics and climb down to a food source. This is important from the standpoint of control, for traditional baiting or trapping on the ground or floor may intercept very few roof rats. Roof rats have a strong tendency to avoid new objects in their environment and this can influence control efforts. These rats may take several days before they will approach a bait station or trap. Rats see poorly, relying more on smell, taste, touch and hearing. They are considered to be colorblind, responding only to the degree of lightness and darkness of colors. Roof rats also have an excellent sense of balance. They use their tails for balance while traveling along overhead utility lines and are very agile climbers.

The food habits of roof rats resemble those of tree squirrels, since they both like a wide variety of ornamentals, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Snails are a favorite food, but don’t expect roof rats to eliminate a garden snail problem. In some situations, pet food and poorly managed garbage may represent a major food resource. Roof rats usually require water daily, though their local diet may provide an adequate amount if high in water content.

Structural Damage:

Rats inhabit the dwellings of humans, commercial buildings, industrial yards, and farming operations.

  • Their urine odor can be inhibiting to the operations of these structures.
  • Their scats and grease rubs can become an eyesore and odiferous.
  • They chew and gnaw through construction materials to make dens.
  • They tunnel through insulation and plastic membranes of commercial roofs.
  • They burrow under concrete slabs causing settling of buildings and fractures of foundations.
  • They chew through electrical wires, causing shorts and fires.
  • To obtain water, rats will chew through water pipes and hoses. Rats spend 2% of their day chewing and gnawing on natural and man-made materials.

 

Public Health Damage:

Rat bites are common, especially in areas with high rodent infestations in close proximity to humans. Infants and the elderly are the most vulnerable to foraging rats. Rats are also a reservoir for many zoonotic diseases such as; bubonic plague, septicemic plague, pneumonic plague, sylvatic plague, murine typhus, scrub typhus, rickettsialpox, leptospirosis, rat bite fever, trichinosis, salmonellosis, hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis and rabies.

Roof Rat Or Wharf Rat Or Black Rat Prevention Tips

Three elements are necessary for a successful rat management program:

Sanitation measures, building construction and rodent proofing, and, if necessary, population control.

[A] Sanitation:

Sanitation is fundamental to rat control and must be continuous. Sanitation programs must always include both the outside and inside of affected buildings.

Outdoor:

  • Outside all rubbish piles must be eliminated.
  • Improper handling of garbage and re use (e.g. improper selection, use and maintenance of industrial dumpsters) may result in a prime source of food and shelter for rodents and thus, attract them to any building.
  • When it is necessary to accumulate food refuse, it must be kept in rodent-proof containers until it is removed from the premise. Industrial dumpsters, for example-especially those used around food-serving establishments-must be carefully selected for proper proper volume, pick up schedule, cleaning, placement, and other factors so as to not attract rodents to the property.
  • Grass, weeds, and other undesirable vegetation adjacent to building should be removed. If the building is landscaped, it should be properly maintained. Over grown landscape planting can provide rodents with both cover and food.
  • Lumber, rock piles, rubbish, old equipment, construction materials etc.., should all be eliminated if possible. Items that must be kept should be stored atleast 18 inches (46 cm) off the ground and 12 inches (31 cm) away from walls or fences.

Indoor:

  • Indoor, al potential rodent harborages must be identified and eliminated or modified. Such areas as obscure corners, shelves, under and in cabinets, worktable, lockers and equipments must not be overlooked or neglected as these dark, out-of-the way areas provide rodents with ideal harborage.
  • Where possible, rodent proofing of these areas as well as stairwells, machinery, double walls, false ceiling and floors, hollow tile partitions and boxed in pipes and conduits may be necessary.
  • In warehouses and storage areas of commercial facilities, products should be on pallets (preferably 8 to 12 inches (20 to 31 cm) off the floor), 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 cm) from adjacent walls, not stacked more than one to two pallets wide and separated by an aisle.

Around Residence:

  • Homeowners should do proper reuse management, storage practice and the proper feeding of pets and wildlife to attracting rodents to the yard or home.
  • Residential garbage cans must not be overfilled and contain tight-fitting covers.
  • Woodpiles and any other type of outdoor storage should be elevated off the ground to help eliminate potential rat or mouse harborage.

Backyard:

  • Backyard infestation of rats are commonly associated with exterior doghouses, bird and squirrel feeders, improper garbage management, improper composting practice and vegetable gardens and fruit trees that are not properly maintained.

 

[B] Rodent Proofing (Exclusion):

Ideally, the best way to control mice and rats is to make it impossible for them to gain entry into structures. It can be difficult or impractical to exclude mice completely as even adult mice can pass through opening 3/8-inch 91.0 cm) wide. Furthermore, mice commonly enter building through open doors or windows or are carried into buildings inside merchandise. Nevertheless, it is good pest management for building owners to rodent proof a building as much as possible.

When considering rodent proofing, every possible route of rodent access to the building must be considered. Generally, all opening greater than 1/4 –inch (0.6 cm) should be sealed to exclude mice. For rats, all openings greater than ½-inch (1.3 cm) should be sealed.

  • Points where utility lines penetrate a wall are likely access sites for rodents. The opening around service conduits such as water, electricity, air conditioning, drain pipes, and vents should all be sealed. Sheet metal, hardware cloth and mortar can be used to seal the spaces around these and other types of openings. Copper mesh stuffing and coarse steel wool can be stuffed into gaps and holes, but should be sealed with mortar or the appropriate durable sealant to provide for a long term closing of the holes.
  • Broken basement windows, warped doors and unscreened vents are all invasion routes for mice and rats. Vents should be covered with a metal grill-work, backed by rust-resistant screening.
  • The spaces beneath doors should be checked and, if need be, reduced. A 12-inch (30 cm) sheet metal (26 gauges) kicking plate should be attached to the outside of the door with the lower edge not more than ¼ inches (6 mm) from the floor. The door casing should also be protected with sheet metal to prevent mice and rats from widening cracks by gnawing.
  • Rodent can be deterred from climbing pipes on the outside of buildings by fitting metal guards around the pipes. These should be made of 26-gauge sheet metal, fitted close to the wall at the rear and projecting 12 inches (35 cm) outward form the pipe.  An added measure to deter climbing by Norway rats and mice is to apply a 12-inch band of hard glossy paint around the outside of brick or stone walls about 3-1/2 feet above the ground. A 12-inch band of glossy paint around a vertical pipe will also help prevent climbing. These measures however, may not be very effective against roof rats.
  • Roof should be checked to see that shingles are down tight and sheathing is complete. Also check roof ventilators, screen vent and louvered wall vents. Use hardware cloth (1/4-inch width screening) to prevent larger animals from entering through vents. Screen chimneys and vent pipes if they are serving as entryways.

Additional Rodent proofing Tips :

  • Repair or replace damaged ventilation screen around the foundation and under eaves.
  • Provide a tight fitting cover for the crawl space.
  • Seal all openings around pipes, cables, and wires that enter through walls or the foundation.
  • Be sure all windows that can be opened are screened and that the screens are in good condition.
  • Cover all chimneys with a spark arrester.
  • Make sure internal screens on roof and attic air vents are in good repair.
  • Cover rooftop plumbing vent pipes in excess of 2 inches in diameter with screens over their tops.
  • Make sure all exterior doors are tight fitting and weatherproofed at the bottom.
  • Seal gaps beneath garage doors with a gasket or weather-stripping.
  • Install self-closing exits or screening to clothes dryer vents to the outside.
  • Remember that pet doors into the house or garage provide an easy entrance for rodents.
  • Keep side doors to the garage closed, especially at night.

 

[C] Population Control:

When food, water, and shelter are available, rat populations can reproduce and grow quickly. While the most permanent form of control is to limit food, water, shelter, and access to buildings, direct population control is often necessary.


Falling Temperatures Force Rodents Inside:

With the onset of cold weather in fall, you may start to see more signs of rodents in your home. This is because rodents start to search for food and shelter in a warmer place. They can enter any opening larger than ½-inch in diameter, which means they can squeeze into your home through the space around a pipe or conduit, under doors, and through gaps between a window and the frame. Be sure to seal these openings when you find them.

Our Rodent Control Process:

Our package includes a comprehensive process for Inspection, Treatment, Follow-up and preventing rodent infestations.

Inspection:

For the first part of the inspection, our skilled technicians will complete a thorough investigation of your property. While the inspection costs $135, we waive this inspection fee for customers who decide to join SERVITIX and receive rodent treatments from us.

Initial inspection consists of:

(A) Initial inspection consists of:

  • Droppings
  • Tracks
  • Urine, stains, and odors
  • Sounds
  • Smudge or rub marks
  • Visual sightings
  • Runs
  • Burrows and nests
  • Gnawing marks and wood chips

 

(B) Finding Conducive Conditions in and around Property: Food and Water sources

Rodents need food and water to survive. Baiting programs often fail because the bait can’t compete with the rodents regular foodavailable in its environment. Reducing or eliminating the rodents normal food encourages them to feed on any rodenticide placed in their territory, which is an essential component of success for the rodent population management.

Food sources for rodents in and outside buildings are numerous. The main ones that you have to identify during an inspection are :

  • Garbage and trash bins
  • Bird seeds and bird feeders
  • Pet food and pet feces
  • Spilled food in general
  • Fallen fruits uncollected on the ground
  • Compost bin
  • Stored food in garages and storage sheds
  • Uncleansed cooking areas, grills and BBQ
  • Snails and weed seeds

Water sources for rodents is mainly in the food they found but also in the free water present in the vicinity of housing and human activities. It is necessary to reduce the access to water by inspecting and repairing when necessary :

  • Leaking of faucets, sprinklers, piping, irrigation systems
  • Condensation water from air conditioning
  • Uncovered drains
  • Unnecessary standing water

 

(C) Rodent accesspoints : whatshouldbeinspected, lookingfor gaps

Outdoor :

  • On the roof among the rafters, gables and eaves; openings in roof tiles
  • At junction between roof and tree limbs
  • At junction between roof and chimney
  • Around windows and doors
  • At open vents or screen vents close to ground or at heights on the façade
  • At openings where A.C. line or appliance enter wall
  • Under or on side of garage door
  • Around foundations and crawl space
  • Around holes for electrical, plumbing, cables and gas lines
  • Open building sewers which connect to the main sanitary sewer

Indoor :

  • Inside, under and behind kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and stoves
  • Inside closets near the floor’s corners
  • Around doors and windows
  • Around the fireplace
  • Around plumbing pipe under sinks and washing machines
  • Around the piping for hot water heaters and furnaces
  • Around floor vents and dryer vents
  • Inside the attic
  • In the basement or crawl space
  • At floor/wall juncture

 

(D) Creating Inspection Report:

  • All findings related to the evidence of the infestation (rub marks, paths, droppings, etc), in order to identify the nature and the importance of the infestation
  • The access and entry points, in order to seal them and therefore prevent a new infestation
  • All areas indicating potential shelters, nesting areas, feeding and water sources, in order to remove or limit the access of the established rodent population to shelter, food and water. Restricting completely the access to one factor either food or water is usually sufficient to lead to the population decline

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Initial rodent treatment:

Once you agree with Price initial treatments can take place. Our Servitix Pest Control professionals will install rodent stations and traps where there is frequent activity.

Follow Up Treatment:

On the follow-up visits, we will remove any caught rodents and reset, or replace, traps as needed.

 

Implementinga monitoring sequence

Schedule a monitoring sequence of visits after the initial inspection. Optimally these visits should take place 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 3 weeks after the inspection.

During each visit :

  • Record the efficacy of the preventative measures
  • Sealing of the access points
  • Removing food and water sources
  • Removing food and water sources
  • Removing shelter and nesting areas

 

Identify any new sign of presence :

  • Fresh droppings, urine, gnawing, paths and runs

 

Estimate the efficacy of the control measures :

  • Assess the frequentation of the bait stations, traps, glue boards
  • Record and remove any dead body found
  • Estimate the remaining population of rodents

 

Adjust the preventative measures if necessary in particular by sealing any new entry point

 

Adjust the control measures :

  • Adapt the placement of the bait stations if necessary and replenish them
  • Change the traps and glue boards and adapt their placement if necessary

Get Professional Rodent Control:

There are some other things that you can do to discourage rodents, Rodent Prevention Tips, but mice reproduce at a staggering rate. It requires professional help to prevent an infestation.

If you are hearing activity in your walls, have discovered rodent droppings in your pantry or elsewhere in your home, please contact SERVITIX at 770-469-4294. We have the tools, products, and expertise to solve your rodent problem, no matter how severe!
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