Winter Has Arrived and So Has Rodent Season — How to Manage Infestations
January 19, 2015
It’s cold outside! But it’s warm and cozy inside your home. No wonder every mouse, rat or indigenous rodent in the region will be trying to find a way into your residence. Once they’re in, they are bound to cause enough disruption to live up to their reputation as a household pest. Rodents not only pose a serious health threat to your family, but they are also capable of doing physical damage to your property.
Ever see a mature adult screech in horror at the sight of a rat scurrying across their basement floor or jump on a kitchen stool to avoid making contact with a mouse? There’s good reason humans have a strong natural aversion to spotting a rodent in their home. Since early civilization, people have understood that rats and mice are drawn to human dwellings in order to live off the artificial shelter we produce — especially during the dead of winter. These rodents enjoy excess food that can be found in pantries, kitchens and trash receptacles.
How Can Something So Small Do So Much Damage?
If you see a rat or mouse in or around your home, you can typically be sure of two things. First, you will soon find more — they usually live in groups and procreate with great efficiency. Secondly, your home is in some way being damaged. The truth is, most rodents can and will chew through just about anything, especially when it means getting to a warm place to live on the other side. The presence of rats and mice can result in:
- Holes in interior and exterior walls, including drywall
- Damaged and displaced insulation materials
- Chewed electrical wiring and hoses (in homes and automobiles)
- Destruction of costly appliances and furniture
- Dangerous, unhealthy living conditions and fire hazards
Do Rodents Pose a Serious Health Risk?
Rats and mice living in your home, eating your food, leaving droppings and making physical contact with family members has the potential to cause serious health concerns. In addition to common allergic reactions due to the presence of fecal pellets, dander and hair, there are certain types of diseases directly transmitted by rodents. These include:
- Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) – A viral infection initiated by contact with a rat or mouse carrying the disease, HPS can make your family sick with fevers, chills, muscle aches, headache and other flu-like symptoms.
- Leptospirosis – A bacterial disease shared between humans and animals, leptospirosis delivers a wide range of symptoms from chills and muscle aches to red eyes and jaundice. Sickness can last anywhere from three days to many months if not diagnosed and treated properly.
- Lymphocytic Coriomeningitis (LCMV) – A rodent-borne viral infection, LCMV is a dangerous two-stage disease that begins with flu-like symptoms and is often followed by more serious signs of meningitis or encephalitis.
- Plague – Although rare, this dreaded bacterial disease still lives in parts of the Western U.S. (and other locations around the world). Caused by the bite of an infected flee or direct contact with an infected animal, bubonic plague typically causes swollen and painful lymph glands, chills and high fever. It can result in death if not treated.
- Rat-Bite Fever – A bacterial disease more common with rats than mice, rat-bite fever produces varying symptoms for different individuals ranging from a rash and body aches to lymph node swelling and fever.
- Salmonellosis – Pet rodents are potential sources of salmonella, a bacterial disease commonly caused by eating raw meat, eggs, and unwashed fruit and vegetables. Particularly dangerous to smaller children, salmonellosis can bring on intense cramping, diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
- Typhus – Spread by rat flees, typhus symptoms include mild headache and fever, body pain, fatigue and in some cases skin rash.
How Can I Identify the Presence of Rodents in My Residence?
The experts at Green Pest Solutions can spot the presence of rodents with speed and precision. We also believe the best way to help our clients is to help you identify a rodent problem. If you believe unwelcome furry houseguests have infiltrated your residence, keep an eye out for these obvious clues:
- Noises — The first thing you’ll notice is often the noise rodents make scratching around behind the walls and moving in their nest at night. If you hear something unusual, it could be rats or mice. This means it’s time to follow up with a visual inspection.
- Droppings — Rodents are exceptional at keeping their presence concealed, especially in small numbers, but they aren’t sophisticated enough to clean up their own waste. In cases of infestation, trails of droppings are commonly found along walls, on top of beams, boxes and old furniture. You’ll especially find them in and around kitchen cabinets and pantries.
- Gnaw Marks — In many cases, rats and mice must alter your home to provide a suitable habitat. This means gnaw marks and holes. If you have fought off rodents before, you probably know where to look. If you aren’t sure if gnaw marks are fresh, you can identify new ones as typically being rough to the touch and light colored.
- Burrows — The first place to look for rodents in your home is in areas where they can access insulation or some other material that provides a comfy nest. As you search, keep in mind their natural tendency to seek out dark and secluded places such as basement crawl spaces, storage rooms and attics.
- Disturbed food sources — Aside from warmth and safety, rodents are after your food and will go to it like a moth to a flame. Check food packages such as cereals, seeds, rice and grains, pet food, meat and other proteins for obvious signs of entry.
How Can I Stop Rats, Mice and Other Pests From Entering My Home?
While it’s nearly impossible to make your house 100% impenetrable, there are many proactive steps to rodent-proofing your home. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following suggestions for keeping rodents away during the winter months.
- Close up holes, cracks and obvious entry points to your home. Pay close attention around pipes and utility areas that provide small spaces for a mouse or rat to wiggle through.
- Check window screens and chimney vents, and repair damaged and weakened areas that rodents could penetrate.
- Improve the foundation of your home and around the basement and low windows, replacing loose mortar and weather stripping that could provide an easy entrance.
- Keep clutter to a minimum, especially in storage areas with lots of boxes and hiding places that rodents tend to utilize.
- Store firewood piles or anything else rodents can live in at least 20 feet from your home.
What’s the Best Way to Deal With Rodent Infestations?
The most effective method for dealing with rats and mice is keeping them out in the first place. Remaining diligent in following rodent-proofing and detection tips will lower your chances and reduces risks of major infestations. Trapping and bait are also effective methods in some cases, although they often only temporarily slow down your problem as it inevitably escalates.
For homeowners facing serious, reoccurring rodent concerns, expert assistance is the best way to identify a lasting solution. When you choose a rat or mouse extermination service such as Green Pest Solutions, you not only address the inherent risks related to the health of your family, but you’ll also reduce the ongoing costs and mounting stress of having to deal with the same rodent troubles all the time.
What Can I Expect When Working With a Quality Pest Control Service?
When you come to Green Pest for a solution to your rodent problem, you’ll get the exceptional customer service and proven infestation solutions you deserve. We’ll individually assess your case to find the most efficient way to eliminate pests where they hide and live — we’ll also ensure your home is clean and clear of health concerns and help you keep the rodents from coming back.
Our expert rat and mice control services include:
- Free in-home inspection
- Safe and effective elimination methods
- Friendly technicians that respect your home and family
- Ongoing follow-ups and re-infestation support
- Customer satisfaction Money Back Guarantee
- Additional incentives for new and returning customers
Don’t Let Rodents Ruin Your Winter
Deal With Your Pest Problems Today
Now that winter has set in, it’s time to lock rodents out and identify signs of entry. Considering the destructive nature and potential health concerns of mice and rat infestations, it pays to work with the experts for a fast, cost-efficient solution to your problem. If you’re in the Philadelphia, New Jersey or Delaware area contact a Green Pest Solutions representative today to control, remove and prevent future infestations!