Featured Creature: Rodents in Your Home – House Mice and Norway Rats
January 17, 2013
A little about house mice and Norway rats:
House mice are small rodents, generally only a few inches long, and light brown to black in color. They nest close to their food source, usually within thirty feet of it.
Norway rats are larger, about one foot long, and grey, brown, or black in color. They commonly make their nests in the lower parts of buildings and will generally stay within about one hundred feet of their nest.
Both mice and rats can cause structural damage to your home when they create tunnels or through their gnawing. They can chew through insulation and wires, resulting in electrical fires. They also pose a risk because they carry disease, Hantavirus and salmonella among others, and can bring fleas, mites, ticks, and lice into your home.
Both species are nocturnal. You may see them during the day, but generally you will notice their droppings or the damage before you see the pests.
How did that get into my home?!
Mice and rats often enter homes when food becomes scarce during colder weather. These creatures gain entry to your home through cracks, ill-fitting window screens, or gaps around doors and pipes leading into your home.
What can I do?
To avoid attracting these unwanted guests, store food, especially cereals, in airtight containers and cover your garbage with a tight fitting lid. Clean up any spills and don’t forget to clean around your pet’s dishes too.
Keep rodents out of your home by sealing cracks or holes with metal or concrete as these creatures can and will chew through other fillers. Be sure that you are vigilant when searching out possible entry points: Mice can fit through holes as small as a dime and rats can fit through a hole as small as a quarter.
If your prevention fails to keep out the pests and you find yourself dealing with mice or rats, call a professional exterminator to help. The first step a pest control specialist will take is to do a thorough inspection. An exterminator may set traps or use baits to control the pests inside your home. Professional pest control experts have the knowledge and resources to determine the best course of action and provide a solution to your pest problems.
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