Rodents control is a strategy, but often it is looked at as a product. New Braunfels residents won't know what product will work best to get rid of rats and mice. While product selection is important, it is far more important to know how to deploy products successfully and appropriately. Let's look at rodent removal from start to finish. We'll examine the signs that house mice and house rats leave in your home and what signs brown rats and squirrels leave in your yard. We'll give you our best tips for keeping rodents away from your home and we'll end by describing how professional rodent control works to control domestic rodents and what you can expect when you contact New Braunfels pest control. If you need immediate assistance, reach out to us. Our licensed technicians are happy to assist you.
Signs You May Be Dealing With A Rodent Infestation
There are only a handful of rodents that pester New Braunfels residents. Some are lawn rodents. They don't get into homes. We're not going to look at those today. Our focus is on the rodents that get inside. These are mice, rats, and occasionally squirrels. Let's start with those cute, furry-tailed rodents.
Squirrels: You see them racing around in your yard, scrambling up trees, running across branches, and darting across powerlines. You know they're out there. Squirrels are active during the day, so you might see them doing things they shouldn't. That is the first warning sign.
- It is not good to see squirrels on your roof. It is also not good to see squirrels running on a power line or tree branch near your roof. Take a moment to walk around your home and look for holes in your eaves.
- If a squirrel has found a way into your attic space, you may hear bumping sounds up there during the day.
- You can remove all doubt about squirrels if you go up into your attic in the middle of the day and look for nests, droppings, or baby squirrels.
In most cases, it is easy to tell when squirrels move in. It is equally easy to prevent squirrels from getting in. We'll talk about that in our prevention section below.
Mice: These little rodents are active at night. Therefore, hearing sounds in your attic or walls at night is a warning sign of mouse activity. Since they are small, they don't make as much noise as rats. But judging which of the two you have based on the sounds they make is not conclusive. Here are a few more ways to tell that mice have gotten into your home.
- Look for tiny holes in your exterior. Mice chew on door frames, weatherstripping, door sweeps, vent covers, and structural wood.
- Look for tiny holes indoors. Get down low in your kitchen or pantry and check under the overhangs of your cabinets or behind items on the floor. Pull your oven out and check the baseboards and wall. If you see a hole, use expanding foam to seal it.
- Look for droppings. Mouse droppings are slightly smaller than grains of white rice. They are black, shiny, and moist when fresh. If you find droppings that are gray and crumbly, those are old droppings. Remove the droppings and check the area later to see if more droppings appear.
- Look for tiny paw marks in dust or powder on shelves and floors. A mouse will leave tiny, four-toed prints with their front paws and five-toed prints with their back paws.
- Look for oily marks on baseboards, particularly in your kitchen and pantry. Mice leave these marks as they run along walls in the dark.
- Look for nests in your attic spaces. A mouse will gather soft materials for these nests. The materials they use are cloth, paper, insulation, cotton from furniture cushions, etc. You may also see twigs or grass. As you search, keep in mind that mice will nest inside stored furniture, boxes, and piles of clothing.
- Use your nose to detect the scent of urine. Mice leave droplets of urine as they explore in the dark. Those droplets help them navigate with their noses.
You don't have to listen to a wall and wonder if you have mice. There are many ways to detect mice so you can tell for sure that you have a mouse problem.
Rats: In our service area, we have two kinds of rats. One is black. The other is brown. A black rat is a roof rat. It climbs trees and lives in tree cavities, so it only makes sense that is likes to get into attics and remain in homes. A brown rat is a Norway rat. It has a strong connection with the ground and likes to create a ground burrow underneath a pile of objects. While it can get into your home, it might not. Rats leave all the warning signs mice do, so you can use the tips above to check for them. Here are a few key points of difference.
- Rats need hearty foods. They won't do well on seeds and cereal, as mice do. You'll find rats getting into areas where dry dog food, meats, and other hearty foods are found. They may also go in and out of your home and live on nuts, fruit, vegetables, and other outdoor food sources. Look for access holes in your exterior to detect where rats are going in and out.
- Since rats often feed on outdoor food sources, you need to look for their large droppings around the exterior of your home, particularly underneath your deck or exterior stairs or in your crawl space. The droppings of rats are slightly larger than grains of white rice.
- You may use a strong flashlight and look for rats at night when they're active. Shine it on your roof, along your roofline, on pipes that run up the sides of your home, and along tree branches.
- Inspect your yard for holes created by brown rats. You'll find these underneath yard clutter, particularly wood or stone.
Rats leave a lot of evidence in your yard. Some of the evidence they leave is damage to your property, plants, and vegetables.
The Damage Rodents Can Create On Your Property
It is essential to understand what mice and rats do in your yard. Not only will this help you with detection, but it will provide you with an appropriate perspective. Some people feed squirrels, not realizing that they are inviting property damage and other issues. Some people feed birds, not realizing that mice, rats, and squirrels eat seeds. Here are a few ways all rodents may damage your property if they are invited to do so.
- They get into gardens and eat certain vegetables.
- They get into landscaping and damage certain ornamentals.
- They create holes in window and door screens.
- They create holes in window and door frames, which allow moisture to get in and wood rot to occur.
- They create holes in sole plates, allowing secondary pests to enter your home.
- They get into walls and chew on wires, which can cause a fire.
It is best to make your yard resistant to rodent activity. Let's look at a few ways that work well.
Effectively Deterring Rodents In And Around Your Home
Whether you currently have a rodent problem or are hoping to prevent one, these tips will help. Mice, rats, and squirrels are looking for an appropriate habitat. Here's how you can deny them one.
- Remove yard clutter. Rats and mice use their whiskers to feel objects on the ground and navigate in the dark.
- Rake up nuts and remove them or store them in a container to remove this food source.
- Move bird feeders away from your exterior walls to keep seeds from attracting rodents to your home.
- Use hardware cloth to seal voids underneath structures and keep rats and mice out.
- Trim tree branches that hang near your roofline.
- Install guards on any pipes or PVC conduits that run up the side of your home.
- Insert wire mesh in the downspouts of your gutter system to stop mice from getting to your roof.
- Trim your landscape vegetation to remove hiding places at the bases of plants.
- Get your gutters cleaned if you notice puddles that sit on the ground near your foundation.
- Keep your trash covered and receptacles free of strong odors.
- Remove leaf litter and sticks as soon as possible.
- Trim grass and remove weeds.
All-natural yard maintenance has a big impact on rodent activity because it targets food sources and habitation. You can do the same on the inside of your home. Clean your home and protect your food in sealed containers and mice or rats may leave. Once they are outside, seal exterior entry points to keep them out.
Contact The Professionals For Total Rodent Control For Your Home
Professionals use traps and bait to control rodents. This is no secret. But these methods rarely work for untrained and inexperienced individuals. Rodents are clever animals that behave in unexpected ways. It is critical to place rodent control products in strategic locations and to apply them in a way that rodents won't avoid them. Along with appropriate placement, a professional is trained to detect rodent activity and conducive conditions. Rodent infestations are a mystery that must be solved. If you need help with your mystery, contact a pest control service provider. If you're in New Braunfels or the surrounding area, Gold Star Exterminators can help.