Of all the pests that distress homeowners, rodents are the most upsetting and alarming. Once in, these pesky invaders have everything they need to start breeding inside your home or facility - food, warmth, and shelter. Rodents often enter homes through small cracks and crevices. Their droppings and urine can spread Salmonella and Hantavirus, contaminate surfaces, and trigger allergies and asthma attacks. In addition to these health threats, rodents are known to damage drywall and wood and can chew through wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires.
Abell fully understands the harm that can come to your property and your health as a result of mice or rat infestation. We have experts on staff trained to tackle even your most difficult rodent control needs.
The first important step is a full inspection of the property to assess vulnerable entry points. Whether it’s for a current rodent infestation or preventative actions to keep them out, this step is imperative. With a strong understanding of rodent behavior and habits, our professionals know exactly where to look in identifying entry points and ideal living quarters. In general, chimneys and vents should be capped or sealed, holes in walls and roofs should be repaired, windows should have screens, and doors into garages and sheds should be kept closed as much as possible.
Your Abell Technician has detailed knowledge of rodent travel patterns, behavior, and life cycles, along with state-of-the-art equipment required for successful extermination. When it comes to rodent prevention and control, we’re on it.
Rats will use nearly any means possible to gain access to food, water, and harborage. They are good climbers with excellent balance and can use wires, pipes, and even gutters to find entry points into homes. Rats are also capable swimmers making them right at home along waterways and in sewers. They are most active at night but are seen foraging during the day. The two rats that commonly infest homes are the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat. Both species can measure nearly a foot from nose to tail as adults. However, the Norway rat is the heavier and larger-bodied of the two rodents, averaging nearly one pound fully grown. Norway rats spend much of their time on the ground where they have easy access to garbage or other readily available food sources. Indoors, Norway rats will nest in wall voids, attics, or other similar spaces found throughout a home.
Roof Rats are smaller-bodied than Norway Rats, averaging closer to one-half pound when fully grown. They are often seen traveling along power lines or fence tops and prefer to nest above ground in dense foliage or attics. Roof Rats are also generalist feeders but prefer fruits and vegetables more than Norway Rats.
Norway Rats are primarily nocturnal and often burrow into piles of garbage or underneath concrete slabs. This species tends to enter homes in the fall when outdoor food sources become scarce, typically nesting in basements, crawlspaces, and other undisturbed dwellings once inside. Norway rats only require an opening of ½ inch (12mm) to gain access to a structure.
Mice can thrive under a range of conditions. They are typically found in open fields but can just as easily nest indoors in cluttered closets, behind walls, attics, or other compact spaces. Their small size makes eliminating all access points a challenge, often requiring a professional to inspect and seal the home up properly. They are also nocturnal but will readily forage during the day and are very inquisitive. The house mouse is far smaller than the Norway or roof rat. Nests are commonly found in sheltered locations and usually consist of shredded materials such as paper, cardboard, and insulation.
Deer mice prefer to nest in rural areas in places like old fence posts, tree hollows, and log piles. Deer mice are rarely a problem in residential settings, but they can wander indoors during the winter months while searching for shelter and food. They will often take up residence in sheds, barns, or cabins during the off-season. Deer mice have a bicolored tail that is typically half brown and half white.
House mice typically nest in dark, secluded areas inside structures. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot in height, allowing them to reach isolated or withdrawn areas. House mice can fit through openings as small as ¼ inch in size! Furthermore, although they have poor vision and are color blind, they make up for it with other enhanced senses.
How do mice and rats get inside?
Rodents, such as rats and mice, can enter homes through the tiniest of holes. Mice can squeeze through a hole as small as ¼ inch in size and rats require an opening of just ½ inch in size to gain entry to a structure.
How can you prevent a rodent infestation?
Stopping rats and mice from getting in is critical to preventing an infestation. However, rodent-proofing any building is no easy task. Seal potential entry points and eliminate exterior harborages. Trying to locate every possible entry point can be time-consuming and challenging but is well worth the effort.
How can I rat and mice proof my property?
Can rats and mice cause property damage?
Rodents can cause extensive damage to your home. Gnawing damage to electrical wires can pose a dangerous fire hazard, while chewed water lines can cause leaks or even flooding. Rats and mice also cause considerable damage to insulation by tearing it apart for nesting materials or contamination from feces. Check your home for signs of rodent droppings, gnaw marks, scurrying noises behind walls, and an accumulation of shredded paper hidden in dark corners, indicating a nesting site.
What are some common signs of a rodent infestation?
When rats and mice frequent an area, they often leave behind clues like droppings, urine, and gnawing damage. Other subtle signs can include tracks or runways, rub marks, burrows, and even sounds. These clues can be used to identify where rodents are feeding or nesting. Addressing these conditions at the first signs of rodent activity is important to the success of any rodent management program. Contact us at the first signs of rodent activity so that we can resolve your rodent problems quickly and safely.
Can rats and mice spread disease?
Yes, mice and rats can spread diseases like Salmonella and Hantavirus when they contaminate food and bring fleas, ticks, and lice indoors. Rodents can also cause structural damage by chewing through wood and electrical wiring.
If you’re interested in having your home or business professionally rodent proofed, call Abell for a quote.