Baby, it’s cold outside! With winter quickly barreling in, your house is an ideal environment for rats and mice. While rodents are happy living outdoors during our warmer months, they always prefer a warmer area in the winter.
In our urban environment, we deal with 2 species of rats; the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat. We only deal with one species of mice; the House Mouse. Some people may refer to a House Mouse as a “Field Mouse,” but this nickname pertains to a House Mouse who lives outdoors. Roof Rats are smaller, more agile rodents and are usually found aloft in attics or trees. Norway Rats are heavier and tend to live at ground level and often tunnel in the ground. Both species can create health issues from their urine and feces, but to make matters worse, they can destroy insulation, wiring, sheetrock, plastic pipes, and other parts of your home. Rodents’ front teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, so they must constantly gnaw on hard objects to grind them down. The gestation period for female rats is 21 days and females can immediately get pregnant again after giving birth. Island County Health Department states that one pair of rats can potentially create 15,000 descendants in a year!
House Mice have all the same destructive abilities as rats, although since mice are about 1/10 the size of rats, the damage is slower in occurrence. They are able to squeeze through an opening the size of a dime, making it much easier for them to move freely around your home. It’s not unusual to find them nesting in a drawer or under false bottom furniture. House Mice reproduce extremely quickly. A small population becomes a large population in just a few short months.
At Pratt Pest Management, our main goal is to provide complete exclusion in order to prevent rodents from entering the crawlspace, attic, or interior of the home. Building adequate crawlspace doors and repairing damaged vent screens, loose siding, and plumbing ingresses are among the many steps we take to guarantee a rodent-free home.
With Pratt’s rodent program, we seal off all visible entry points to the home during the initial service. Also included in the initial service is the placement of traps in the crawlspace, attic, interior of the home, and trap stations on the exterior of the home. One week after the initial service, Pratt will return to check all equipment and provide additional rodent services as needed. Pratt places enclosed baiting stations around the exterior of the home that will allow us to monitor and minimize rodent activity around your home. For the next 6 months, we closely monitor rodent activity at your home by inspecting all interior equipment to guarantee the exclusion work is complete and inspect exterior equipment to reduce rodent population on the outside of your home.
Once your home is rodent-free, we recommend converting to a monthly exterior rodent program to keep population minimized or a quarterly program that includes exterior rodent monitoring as well as an outside perimeter treatment of your home to rid spiders and other nuisance insects. With Pratt on the job, you will be rest assured your rodent infestation has been solved.
If you want to try to do-it-yourself, do not use rodent bait, because it can cause more problems than it solves. Until you are absolutely sure there are no rodent entry points to your home do not use bait and when using bait, only place bait outside of the home in tamper-resistant bait stations. Pratt often receives emergency phone calls from people who have an unbearable dead animal odor that almost prevents them from living in their own home. In most cases, a rodent ate the bait and died in a wall void, between floor joists, or in the crawl space. Pratt recommends to those who do-it-yourself, stick with snap traps and then you will know where the dead rat is located. Be sure to inspect them often. Check them weekly to start and then monthly until all activity ceases.