Although rats and mice may seem cute as pets, the ones that come and invade your home can be quite a nuisance. Because they are living in the wild, these rodents can carry and transfer diseases. Additionally, they have a tendency to destroy your property—chewing up wires, baseboards, documents, and more. At Frame's Pest Control, Inc., our expert technicians have provided answers to frequently asked questions about rodent control. Read through them and feel free to contact us for more information.
To schedule service, call (419) 495-8283 or fill out our online request form. We have locations in Toledo and Ann Arbor.
How do pests get into my home?
Whether your home was built in the 1940s or in 2017, there’s always a way for a determined mouse to burrow into your home. Mice or rats will find gaps or openings to your home that have not been sealed properly and quickly make your home their own. Mice can also enter the home through sinks or bathtub drains and/or pipes that have not been sealed properly. They can burrow themselves into holes half their size which is why it is so important that your home is properly and professionally sealed!
How do I get rid of mice in my house?
The first thing to do when you notice a mouse in your house is to try to find its point of entry. Look for small holes in the wall or lifted baseboards. After that, seal and package any and all food in your home. Mice and rats can chew through just about anything, so it’s vital to put all food sources in some sort of Tupperware or storage container. Then, it’s time to call Frame's Pest Control, Inc. so our technicians can provide you with safe traps and fully inspect your home.
What are the signs of rodent infestation?
There are several signs you can look for to determine if you have a rodent infestation. Her are some of the most common signs:
Small, dark droppings are a sure sign of an infestation. Depending on the size and quantity of droppings, you can identify the type of rodent present and the severity of the infestation.
Below is a breakdown of the differences between rat and mice droppings:
- Mice: Droppings from mice are dark brown and are typically no larger than ¼ of an inch in length. They are also often pointed on both ends.
- Rats: Rat droppings are also dark brown and range in size from ¾ - ½ of an inch long.
Rodent droppings are often found near walls, in attics, and around food sources.
Rodents use their urine to attract other rodents because it has a very strong musky odor. This odor often worsens over time as the infestation becomes more severe. If you notice stale odors coming from hidden areas, we recommend thoroughly inspecting your home for other signs of an infestation.
Once inside your property, it is likely that rodents will construct nests in areas where they feel safe, like attics.
These nests are often constructed with items found around the house or outside such as:
Rodents are known for digging through trash and squeezing through small, unclean areas, which means their fur is often coated in dirt and grease. When traveling around a property, they prefer to stay close to walls. Check along your walls, close to the floor for unexplained smudges of dirt and grease.
As mentioned before, rodents will use anything they can find to construct a nest. That means that you can often find items throughout your home that have been chewed through such as clothing, furniture, wiring, and books. In addition, rodents will chew holes through walls and floorboards in order to be able to travel throughout your home.
Odd Pet Behavior
Have you noticed your pets are behaving a little more erratically than usual? Pets can sense rodents much easier than we can, so if you notice that they seem extra alert, are barking or meowing for no reason, or are pawing at certain areas in the home, don’t ignore it. They might be trying to let you know that something is going on.
Rodents tend to hide away behind walls and in attics and ceilings. But, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean you can’t hear them. Rodents are mostly active at night, which is when you are most likely to hear them running around. If you hear quiet scampering, chewing, or squeaking sounds coming from those areas on your property, you might just have a rodent problem.
Can mice harm my family?
Yes, they can. Mice may be small, but they carry parasites and diseases that can affect your family’s health. Mice contaminate every surface they touch and continuously defecate throughout your home (yes, it’s as gross as it sounds). An infestation of mice and/or rats can irritate allergies and asthma and these rodents also carry diseases. Here are some of the common diseases spread by rodents:
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a virus spread by breathing in contaminated dust, direct contact with rodents or their feces, and bite wounds. Early signs include fatigue, fever, headaches, and muscle soreness. Over time, it could cause a severe respiratory infection, and if not treated properly, could result in death.
Leptospirosis is a bacterium spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with urine, and direct contact to the skin. This disease is hard to detect and may be mistaken for the flu. If left untreated, it can lead to meningitis, kidney failure, and liver failure. These complications can take weeks to months to recover.
Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)
Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis is a virus spread by breathing in contaminated dust, direct contact with rodents or their feces, and bite wounds. At first, the disease may be mistaken for the flu, with headaches, vomiting, and a high fever. However, this can lead to meningitis or more severe neurological problems.
Rat-Bite Fever is a bacterium spread by a bite from an infected rodent, contact with a dead rodent, or eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with rat feces. Early signs include fever, vomiting, headaches, and, in some cases, a distinctive rash. If left untreated, it can be deadly.
Salmonellosis is a bacterium spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated by rat feces. This disease is also well known to be caused by undercooked eggs. Early signs include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Most individuals can overcome the disease with time, but more severe cases may require further medical attention and antibiotics.
Tularemia is a bacterium spread by handling infected animal carcasses, being bitten by an infected insect, eating food or drinking water contaminated with rat feces, and breathing in bacteria. Symptoms depend on how the disease entered the body. If the bacterium was inhaled, common signs are chest pain, coughing, and trouble breathing. UIcers and swollen lymph nodes are symptoms of a bite. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.
Why Do Rats Chew So Much?
If you’ve ever dealt with a rodent infestation, you’ve also dealt with rodent damage. Rodents, such as rats and mice, are known to cause extensive property damage by chewing through just about anything they can get their paws on. From electrical wires to insulation to walls, there aren’t many objects that are considered to be off-limits to rodents. Rats and mice chew on things to accomplish more than just feeding themselves. Have you ever stopped to wonder why that is? Here are 3 reasons why:
Maintaining Their Incisors
Rodents have incisors—narrow teeth at the front of their mouth—that continuously grow. Without proper maintenance, these teeth can either grow into their brains or grow so long that they cannot get food into their mouths. Rats and mice must gnaw on things every day in order to prevent their teeth from growing out of control. Their constant chewing actually helps them to survive.
Creating Entrance Holes
It is in a rodent’s nature to explore its environment in search of food, shelter, and warmth. Because of this, they will do whatever they can to make their exploration easier and more successful. That is why it is common to see rats and mice chew holes through walls, floorboards, and roofs in an effort to find the perfect hiding/nesting spot.
Female rodents build nests out of almost anything they can find, including insulation, wood, electrical wires, paper, and fabric. They will chew through these things until they gather enough warm material to build a proper nest.
What is the best bait for mice or rats?
Contrary to what you see on TV, cheese is not the best bait for mice or rats. The best possible bait to use is peanut butter. When putting peanut butter on the trap, placement is key. It’s important to put a moderate amount of the bait right in the middle of the trap so the mouse has to fully climb onto the trigger.
What should I do if I see a mouse in my home?
Call us immediately and seal all of the food in your home. If you see one mouse, we can guarantee that there are more. It’s imperative to solve the problem immediately before the infestation gets out of control.
Are there any natural remedies to keep mice and rats away?
There are some natural remedies you can use to help keep rodents out of your home. Mice don’t particularly like peppermint, so soaking cotton balls in 100% peppermint oil and placing them in suspected entry points can help deter mice away. Placing steel wool in holes/gaps can also be effective because it will irritate the mouse’s teeth. There are also humane traps that allow you to catch the mice/rats alive and then release them. It’s important to release them at least a mile from your home so they don’t find their way back.
If you have any further questions, feel free to call us at (419) 495-8283.