Rats and mice are frustrating pests that make terrible houseguests. They can get into homes and explore every level. As they do this, they damage property, spread harmful organisms, and don't go outside to use the restroom. Also, the longer a rodent problem persists, the worse it becomes. Rodents reproduce quickly. A female mouse can mate immediately after having a litter of pups and can produce as many as ten litters in a year! While mice are little rodents, they are no small problem. So, what can you do about a rodent infestation? Is there an easy solution? Yes. New Braunfels pest control provides an easy solution. Professionals use their training and experience along with field-tested methods to get results. If you're not ready to step out and hire a professional, there are a few things you should know. Let's start by looking at what you can do to protect your health and property.
Signs Of Rodents In Your Home
Rodent detection is the foundation of rodent control. Domestic rodents can live in your home without making any noises that you can detect. You can use rodent detection to evaluate a rodent problem. Some rodent infestations are worse than others. For example, Norway rats often live in yards and go in and out of structures. Detecting these brown rats and taking steps to seal potential entry points may keep them out. As mice go, deer mice rarely infest homes. They prefer garages, sheds, barns, and outbuildings. Exclusion work will go a long way toward dealing with these rodents. And of course, squirrels (the furry-tailed rodents that live in your yard) only occasionally get into homes and are easily deterred by food control and cutting back tree branches from your exterior. But this article isn't about lawn rodents. We're focusing on the rodents in New Braunfels that get into homes and remain. On the top of the list are house mice and roof rats. You can find the following signs to track down a rodent infestation in your home.
Droppings: Rodents leave their droppings in all of the places they explore. These droppings are black when fresh and turn gray as they age. Clean up any fresh droppings that you find and check the area later to see if new droppings appear. The number and frequency of droppings in your home will give you an idea of the size of your infestation. You may also determine what kinds of rodents are in your home. Rats and mice rarely infest a structure at the same time, partly because rats eat mice. Finding droppings that are larger than a grain of white rice is an indication that you have rats.
Holes: Rodents chew holes in building materials to access kitchen and pantry spaces from wall voids. Slide your oven out of its socket and inspect the wall. You may find a small hole back there. Rats create quarter-sized holes and mice make holes about the size of a dime. Use caulk or expanding foam to seal any holes you find and check back in a few days to see if new holes have appeared. Also, check under the overhangs of cabinets in your kitchen.
Nests: Rats and mice often nest in attic spaces. These nests are composed of soft materials found indoors and outdoors. You'll likely find them in recesses, gaps, and sheltered locations. You should also find droppings scattered about in areas where rodents are nesting.
Pets: Your dog or cat can hear things you can't. Watch for strange activity in your kitchen or near your pantry. It may indicate a rodent infestation. Cats typically crouch down and stare. Dogs tend to scratch or bark.
You can use rodent detection to evaluate your rodent problem and help determine if your DIY rodent control is successful. If your issue persists after applying rodent control, you should know what to expect from the rats or mice in your home.
Can Rodents In Your House Make You Sick?
Rats and mice may look like woodland creatures, but they're not. They don't eat bugs and berries and scamper around in the woods. They climb in dumpsters, crawl through sewers, and eat decaying organic matter. In dirty places and when eating dirty things, they expose themselves to harmful bacteria, parasites, and other organisms associated with disease transmission. The CDC warns that rodents can spread the following diseases.
- Lassa fever
- Lujo hemorrhagic fever
- Rat-bite fever
Along with diseases directly spread by rats and mice, they also carry ticks and fleas. Certain ticks transmit dangerous diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, meat allergy, and Lyme disease. Fleas may transmit typhus, bartonellosis, tapeworms, and plague.
Rats and mice also chew on things inside homes and are known to chew on wires, which can spark a fire. Experts believe that 20 to 25 percent of structural fires that spark from an unknown source are likely due to rodent infestations.
It is not good to allow a rodent problem to go untreated, but sometimes DIY rodent control creates a worse threat than rats and mice. Some products are as harmful to humans as they are to rodents. There are also products that, when misapplied, can unnecessarily harm rodents or lead to undesirable results, such as bad smells from wall voids.
The Safest Way To Get Rid Of Rodents In New Braunfels
The certified technicians at Gold Star Exterminators use trusted products and field-tested methods to address rodent problems in New Braunfels.
- We begin by inspecting your property and determining the conditions of infestation. We evaluate activity, routes, conducive conditions, entry points, and other factors.
- We will develop a treatment plan that includes the application of bait boxes, glue boards, snap traps, and other control methods, where appropriate.
- We will share tips to help address entry points, such as the gaps around doors, missing vent covers, and unprotected louvers. Simple home repairs are often the easiest way to get long-lasting results.
- We will return every couple of days for two weeks to check traps and glue boards, and monthly to check bait boxes.
- We evaluate the success of your rodent control program and make adjustments if needed to ensure success.
When rodent control is applied correctly and systematically, there is no risk to you, your kids, or your pets. There is also no unnecessary harm caused to rodents.
Tips To Keep Rodents Away From Your Home For Good
Once the rodents are gone, what is the next step? You can continue to have Gold Star Exterminators provide ongoing pest and rodent control for your property, or apply steps to control rodents yourself. Here are some of our best suggestions:
Control Exterior Food: Rodents look for food on properties and want to live close to food sources. Remove the food (and food smells) to deter rodents.
- Keep your trash in covered receptacles.
- Routinely clean your trash receptacles to remove the scent of decaying organic matter, which rodents can smell from a distance.
- Consider taking down bird feeders. Rodents love seeds.
- Pick up nuts underneath nut-bearing trees.
Remove Clutter: Rodents have poor eyesight and use ground objects to help with navigation. They'll use any objects but are particularly fond of scrap wood, leaves, stone, and other organic materials. Norway rats are attracted to junk piles and create ground burrows underneath. A yard free of clutter is resistant to rodent activity and rodent nesting.
Address Hiding Places: Rats and mice prefer to stay hidden. They'll get into dense landscaping, hide behind stacked wood, and get in the void underneath your deck.
- Trim your landscape vegetation, remove weeds, remove grass, and create space between your plants.
- Move wood piles away from your exterior and consider storing wood on an elevated platform.
- Use hardware cloth to keep rodents out of voids underneath structures.
Seal Potential Entry Points: A full-grown rat can squeeze through a gap the width of a quarter. Use expanding foam, caulk, metal flashing, and hardware cloth to seal openings. Consider doing some or all of the following as well.
- Inspect exterior doors. Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps, align double doors, and protect gaps in storm cellar doors.
- Inspect door and windows screens. Repair or replace damaged screens and seal gaps around frames.
- Trim tree branches away from your roofline.
- Stuff wire mesh into downspouts. This will allow water to run out but prevent rodents from climbing up.
- Put guards on pipes that run up the sides of your home.
Rodent control is tough work, but it is rewarding. The steps you take to keep rodents out will protect your home from many other pests. There are many things you must do to maintain your home. If you add pest and rodent maintenance, you'll add a layer of protection. Remember that Gold Star Exterminators is always standing ready to help you with the tough work of pest control in New Braunfels. Reach out to us any time to request service. We're here to help.