Rats and mice live wherever humans live. They contaminate food, damage buildings, and other property by constant gnawing and burrowing. They also can spread diseases to people and pets. Mice will invade homes in search of food, and shelter and can fit through a hole the size of your finger tip. These rodents have a remarkable ability to adapt.
Rats are infamous for their agility, ability to reproduce rapidly, their ability to damage homes and articles-especially food, and their ability to spread disease. They will often live in the attics or substructures of our homes for months or even years without our knowing it. These rodents damage houses by their nest and tunnel building; they consume, and spoil our stored food: they contaminate kitchen counters, food containers, and eating utensils; and they can spread disease or bite people. Rodents have been known to start fires by gnawing on electrical wiring.
Rats don’t require much water and will eat nearly any type of food, but they prefer foods such as meat and grains. They will jump, swim, and climb to reach a food source. In fact, rats are excellent swimmers and can enter structures through sewers, toilets, and broken drains. They can tread water for several days and can swim in open water up to a half mile, even against strong currents.
Rats have a maximum lifespan of 2 to 3 years, but most die before they are 1 year old. Yet, that year, a female rat can produce up to 5 litters. Each litter has 6 to 12 offspring. When born, rats are helpless, naked, and completely blind. They will mature rapidly and open their eyes after a week or so. It takes a rat 3 to 4 months to reach sexual maturity. There is no set breeding season and they will mate year round.
The mouse like the rat, is nocturnal. It has poor eyesight and identifies colors much like a human with red-green colorblindness. To compensate for their poor vision, they have a keen sense of hearing, smell, taste, and touch. They use these heighten senses to constantly explore and learn about their surrounding environments; memorizing their pathways, and food sources. Rodents quickly detect and tend to avoid new objects, even if it is in a familiar environment. Because of this, Baits and traps are avoided for a few days following placement.
Adult house mice are small and slender, and are about 1 to 2 inches in length not including the tail. The tail is as long as the body and head combined. An adult can weigh anywhere from ½ ounce to 1 One ounce. Relative to their size, they have large ears and small eyes. Their fur color usually varies from light grey to brown, or darker colors.
By nature mice are herbivores. They prefer to feed on cereal grains, but will eat almost any type of food and food scraps. They require very little water, because they obtain most of their water needs from their food. They also store extra food in burrows and other hiding places.
As the outside temperature drops mice seek warmer living areas, which can include homes. Mice choose safe hiding places as their nests. After they establish their nest they begin burrowing and making paths. The paths they create link their nests to their food sources. They compose their nest out of any soft material they can find, but most commonly leaves, paper, and grass. Mice live in one nest for their entire life. They will only search for a new nesting area if their food source becomes scarce.
The average house mouse’s life span is 9 to 12 months. They can be ready to reproduce after 40 days from birth and they can mate year – round. Young are usually born 19 to 21 days after mating and are mature in about 6 weeks. A mother mouse’s litter size on average is 10 to 12. At birth, they are hairless and have closed eyelids and ears.
They can fit through cracks and holes that are about a ¼ inch, roughly the size of a dime. Preventative measures should be taken to ensure that mice don’t find and easy way to enter your home. Cracks, crevices, and gaps that can be used as entry points should be sealed as necessary.
At Positive Pest Management, we offer two rodent reduction methods, trapping and poisoning.
However, prevention is key to avoid future infestations and we consult our clients on the best prevention methods for the conditions.
What to Look for in Your Home & Prevention
Since rodents are so small and secretive, people are often unaware that they have rodents living right alongside them – in wall voids, attic spaces, between floors, beneath the house, or behind a cabinet.
People often discover rodent infestations by the tell-tale signs of rat or mouse droppings or gnawed food packages. Sometimes they are noticed when items are taken out of storage. Sometimes they are only discovered by chance when some repairman or serviceman has to access an attic or crawl space. Because they are so elusive a periodic home inspection is a very good idea.
A periodic inspection is always a good idea. Start by looking rodent entry points such as: ill-fitting door jambs, gaps around plumbing or wiring. Also note improperly stored food items, including pet foods, and so on. The goal with the inspection is to find weak areas that rodents will use for access.
Even trees which give rodents access to roof eaves should be carefully noted.
In order to avoid attracting or feeding rodents one of the most useful things a homeowner can do is avoid over feeding pets, especially outdoors.
Also, pet food must be stored in large pails, preferably metal, with tight fitting lids. We’ve encountered many instances where holes were gnawed at the base of petfood bags and plastic garbage-type pails. Whole mouse nests are occasionally found within\ the base of pet food containers!
Poor sanitation and garbage is an open invitation for a rat infestation. Good sanitation will efficiently limit the number of rats that can survive in around your home. You should always practice good housekeeping and proper storage and handling of food products around your house. Good sanitary practices will not completely eliminate the possibility of a rat infestation, but will make your home less suitable for them to thrive.
The most successful rat control procedure is to build them out and make their access to your living area as much as impossible. All small holes and opening should be sealed shut.
At Positive Pest Management, we take great pride in our organization and strongly believe that our services should always exceed our customer’s expectations. Our highly competent professional staff is always eager to help you with any of your exterminating needs.
Operated by Benett Pearlman, the Regional Director of the New York State Pest Management Association, Positive Pest Management specializes in commercial, residential, and industrial properties. We’re in the trenches everyday, trouble shooting on site and committed to permanently solving all your pest problems in a cost-effective manner.
When it’s time to select a pest control company for bed bugs, termites, carpenter ants or other pest removal needs, Positive Pest Management is the best choice you can make. We have the experience and the expertise you need to exterminate any kind of pest problem. And we have a real passion for pest removal. That keeps us a leader in the industry.
Please feel free to contact us whenever the need arises.
1.800.294.3130 or info at positivepest dot com
The Bug Stops Here!
Positive Pest Management, Corp.