How Do Mice Differ From Rats?

Rats or mice in Washington - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestMice and rats are two of the most dreaded pests for homeowners here in the Pacific Northwest. Rodent problems can leave a big mess behind when they infest properties, and they can be dangerous as well. All rat and mouse species share the common identifying feature that is their constantly growing incisor teeth. But how do they differ? Rats are obviously bigger than mice, but their differences don’t stop there. At Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest, we want our customers to be well aware of the pest they are dealing with. For that reason, we are outlining all you need to know when it comes to learning how to identify rats and mice here in Washington.

What to Know About Mice

We all know that mice are significantly smaller than rats, but how else do they differ?

  • The house mouse is usually just 2–4 inches long.
    Mice have larger ears and a longer tail compared to its body length.
  • Mice are often gray or brown in color, with a lighter shade or white color on their bellies.
  • Mice droppings have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
  • Most mice feed on fruits, seeds, grains, and occasionally meat.
  • They produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.
  • Mice forage at dusk and nest in attics, garages, basements, and more.

Mouse or rat in Marysville WA - Vermont Pest Control

7 Rat Facts

Rats are known to be more aggressive than mice, but their differences don’t stop there.

  • Rats have thicker bodies and tails that are shorter than the length of their body.
  • They possess small hairy ears and larger feet.
  • They weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 grams.
  • Rat droppings are banana-shaped and much bigger than mice droppings at 10–20 mm.
  • Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
  • Rats are adventurous, omnivorous eaters who will feed on a variety of grains and meats.
  • They forage overnight and nest in garages, trees, and basements.

Do You Need Rodent Exterminators?

Rats and mice may differ in many ways, but they’re similar in the dangers they can bring into your home. Rodents can spread germs and disease, trigger allergies in people, and make a huge mess with their droppings and chewing habits. If you suspect you have these pests in your property, it’s time to call your local rodent exterminators at Western. We can identify which species you’re dealing with before implementing the best rodent control plan. Contact us today to learn more!

Rodent Problems Surging Due to COVID-19

Rodents are entering more WA homes during the pandemic - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestWith everything else going on this year, the last thing you have time to deal with is a rodent infestation. Unfortunately, rats and mice are more rampant than ever right now in due part to the pandemic. When restaurants and bars shut down here in Washington, rodents were suddenly deprived of their once-reliable food source. This has directly correlated to a rise in residential rodent problems. And with the weather getting colder, rats and mice will be looking to make themselves at home in your property soon. Because rodent infestations can be so dangerous, it’s crucial to learn how you can protect your property from rats and mice. With Rodent Awareness Week upon us, Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest is here to share their top tips for prevention.

Why Are Rodents More Aggressive During the Pandemic?

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While their presence may be more prevalent than ever, you thankfully do not need to worry about rodents transmitting COVID-19 to you or your family.

That said, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. They also can cause significant damage to your home. Because rodents are competing for more food sources, they have been a tad more aggressive as of late. This can lead to more dangerous infestations in your home, making it crucial to learn how to prevent them.

Prevent Rodent Problems In Your Home

To avoid a rodent infestation, try out our top tips for preventing them:

  1. Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside holes the size of a dime.
  2. Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  3. Securely store all food in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  4. Clean inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  5. Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  6. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  7. Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

Rodent Awareness Week 2020

Rodent Awareness Week may just be a week out of the year, but Western strives to educate our customers about the dangers of rodents all year long. With infestations on the rise, now is the time to protect your home. Our rodent exterminators can help. Contact us today to learn more!

Protect Your Home From Rodents This Fall

Rodents enter homes in Everett and Marysville WA in the fall - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestPest infestations are more common than you think in the fall. Rodents are one of the most common offenders. Just like other pests, rodents will seek out warmth, shelter, and food inside your home. Rats and mice inside aren’t just a nuisance, they can be dangerous as well. Not only are rodents destructive, they can spread germs and disease too. The team at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest knows how important it is to keep your family safe from rodents. We also know you want to feel comfortable in your home and enjoy the fall season without worrying about an infestation in your house. Keep reading to learn our top tips to protect your home from rodents this fall and all year long.

Why do Rats Get Indoors in the Fall?

If you’re hearing rustling in the walls or gnawing noises, chances are you may have a rodent problem. When they get inside, rats and mice will take shelter in the attic, basement, and garage. They also will infest kitchens, laundry rooms, and are highly likely to invade your trash cans if given the chance. A rat or mouse problem often begins when the rodents get in through your chimney, pipes, air vents, and more. With incisors that never stop growing, their chewing habits can be destructive. They also are known carriers of germs and bacteria that can cause disease. For these reasons, it’s crucial to learn how to keep them out.

Tips to Protect Your Home From Rodents

No one wants rats or mice inside their home. Unfortunately, they can get in easier than you want to think. Some of the best ways to prevent a fall rodent problem is to keep them outside. Try out the following tips:

  1. Cover all vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  2. Use a tight-fitting lid on your trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  3. Protect your eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.
  4. Store food and items properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  5. Seal cracks and crevices. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes.

Year-Round Rodent Prevention

Rodents aren’t just bothersome in the fall. To keep your Washington property protected all year long, the team at Western can help. Our rodent exterminators will customize a rodent control plan suited to the unique needs of your property. Contact us today!

The Risks of a Rodent Infestation

A rat can chew on electrical wires, causing a hazard in your Everett WA property. Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest can protect you from the many dangers of rodents year-round.If you own a home or business, the last thing you want to deal with is a rodent problem. Not only do rats and mice cause a mess in your property, they can also spread dangerous diseases and contaminate food. These diseases are most commonly spread through their droppings, but can also be transmitted indirectly through fleas and mice. It’s important to understand the dangers of rodents in order to protect you and your family. Keep reading for expert info from the exterminators at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest.

What Diseases Are Spread by Mice?

Several of the world’s most infamous diseases have been tied back to rats and mice. We now know the bubonic plague was transmitted by fleas, but rats and mice carried the fleas and contributed to the outbreak. Today, some of these diseases are still a threat, including:

  • Hantavirus
    • Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases, it can lead to kidney failure or worse.
  • Salmonella
    • The bacteria spread by rats and mice can track onto food. The most infamous bacteria is of course salmonella, known as food poisoning.
  • Lyme Disease
    • This is of course transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.

Types of Rodent Damage

One of the reasons why rodent problems are feared is because of the property damage they can create. Rats have incisors that never stop growing, which encourages them to chew constantly. They often chew on cords and wires, which can short circuit and cause a fire hazard. Mice and rats alike will tear through a number of materials to create nests, leaving behind a mess every time. Rats have also been known to cut through extremely tough materials like steel, concrete, and wood, which can cause structural damage to your home or business.

Trustworthy Rodent Exterminators

To avoid dealing with the many dangers of rodents, it’s best to team up with a professional rodent exterminator. DIY rodent control is simply not an option due to how dangerous these pests can be. In addition to providing effective, quick mice extermination, the team at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest can protect you from future rodent infestations as well.

Fool-Proof Tips For Setting a Mousetrap

Mousetrap in Everett WA home - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest provides tips on setting a mousetrap properlyMice infestations are any homeowner’s worst nightmare. In addition to being gross, rodents cause destruction and spread filth. Because they reproduce at such a rapid rate, it’s crucial to act quickly as soon as you notice a problem in your property. One of the most common ways to control an infestation is with a mousetrap. In order for them to work properly, it’s important to educate yourself on setting a mousetrap properly. Keep reading for expert tips from Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest.

Which Mousetrap is Best?

Electronic, glue, and catch-and-release mousetraps are some of the most common types. All of these have a number of advantages and disadvantages with varying degrees of success. However, the most common—and likely the most popular—trap is the spring-loaded mousetrap. This classic design has been used for decades to catch mice, and is easier to set up than you may think. Still, there are several tips to keep in mind when setting a mousetrap in order for them to work effectively.

Expert Tips for Setting a Mousetrap

Mousetraps take more effort than setting and forgetting them. Some of the top tips for setting a mousetrap include:

  1. Using the best mousetrap bait
    1. Not all mice like cheese!
    2. You only need to use a small amount of bait that cannot be reached unless mice step on the trap. If they can swipe it without standing on the trap, they will!
  2. Starting with unloaded mousetraps
    1. Try setting traps out with bait (without loading them) for a couple of nights. This will trick mice into a false sense of security with the mousetraps.
  3. Setting more than one trap
    1. Always place more than one trap out—each two to three feet apart each—to have a better chance at catching as many mice as possible at once.
  4. Setting out mousetraps strategically
    1. Place mousetraps where mouse activity is common, including along walls and behind furniture, with the bait placed nearest to the wall.
  5. Checking the mousetraps on a regular basis
    1. Mice can, in some instances, grab bait without setting off the trap. They can also set the trap off without getting caught! Get in a habit of checking on the traps for efficiency.

Professional Mice Extermination

Mousetraps may work to lessen the population of rodents in your property. However, they aren’t always a long-lasting solution to a serious mouse infestation. If you’re noticing growing numbers of rodents in your property, it’s time to call the mice exterminators at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest. Our mice exterminators know how frustrating these tiny rodents can be and have the experience needed to get rid of them. For more tips on setting a mousetrap or to learn about our removal methods, call us today!

Protect Your Home from Rodents in the Winter

Winter window in Everett or Arlington WA home - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest provides rodent prevention checklist.Rodent infestations are a problem throughout the entire year, but they’re especially common during Washington winters. When the weather cools down, rats and mice look to escape the weather outdoors by entering homes and businesses. According to The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 21 million homes in the U.S. are invaded by rodents each winter! To protect your property from rodents this time of year, it’s important to thoroughly inspect your home and make repairs to keep them from getting indoors. Keep reading for top tips on rodent prevention from the exterminators at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest.

Do Rats & Mice Hibernate?

Although many types of animals and even some pests hibernate in the winter, rats and mice do not. In fact, they likely will appear more active than ever as they try to escape freezing temperatures outside. Once inside, a rodent infestation can cause a lot of destruction with their gnawing and nesting habits.

In addition to being destructive, rodents are known to carry dangerous bacteria and pathogens. To protect you and your family from rats and mice in the winter, it’s important to learn how to seal your home from them.

8 Spots to Check for Rodent Prevention

Rodent prevention checklist for your Snohomish or Everett WA home this winter - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest

As with any type of pest, the best way to prevent an infestation is to know how to prevent them in the first place. By thoroughly inspecting your property, you can locate the spots that could possibly invite rodents inside. The eight areas to inspect include:

  1. Roof: Replace and repair shingles or any other roof damage
  2. Gutters: Clean debris from gutters and downspouts
  3. Outside: Securely seal trash cans and keep a clean yard
  4. Garage: Make sure your garage closes flush to the ground
  5. Foundation: Seal any cracks or crevices larger than a dime
  6. Vents: Cover all vents securely
  7. Screens: Fix or replace any damaged window, door, or porch screens
  8. Vegetation: Keep a tidy yard and cut tree limbs back away from your home

Year-Round Rats & Mice Control

Rodent infestations may be at their highest in the winter, but they’re a problem throughout the entire year in Washington. If you’ve done all you can to prevent rats or mice and still find them inside your property, it’s best to call the professional rodent exterminators at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest. We specialize in preventing pest problems before they begin, making us your local leaders in rodent control and removal. For more information on how we can keep you rodent-free, give our team a call today!

How to Stay Pest-Free This Winter

A rodent is one of the many winter pests that may infest Snohomish WA homes - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestPest infestations are most common in the spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen in the winter, too! In fact, pest infestations this time of year are more common than you think. Just like us, pests and insects seek out warmth in the winter, which is why they squeeze their way inside of homes this time of year. To stay pest-free this winter, it’s important to learn how to protect your property. Keep reading for expert tips on preventing winter pests from Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest!

Pest Problems in the Winter

Some pests enter homes in the colder months to wait out the freezing temperatures in favor of the spring. A few common winter insects are ants, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs. These insects typically won’t be seen until the springtime. In addition to these insects, there are a number of other winter pests that may invade your Washington home this holiday season:

  • Rats & mice: The house mouse and Norway rat are able to squeeze their way indoors.
  • Spiders: House spiders and even black widows will hide indoors in dark, secluded corners.
  • Cockroaches: German cockroaches hitchhike indoors in grocery bags and boxes.
  • Bed bugs: Known to withstand extreme temperatures, bed bug infestations are common in the winter.

Preventing Winter Pests Infestations

To properly protect your property from winter pests, it’s important to implement preventative measures into your home maintenance routine. To start, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect your home before the months of winter hit to locate any vulnerabilities.

If you find any cracks or crevices in the foundation, seal them properly. In addition, you should place screens over vents and chimneys, store firewood away from your property line, promptly fix leaks or broken pipes, and keep a clean home to prevent winter pests.

When to Use Professional Winter Pest Control

Everyone knows pests are a nuisance in the spring and summer months, but they can cause problems in the winter, too. If you’ve done all you can to prevent pests and are still noticing pests inside your property, it’s time to call in the experts for winter pest control services. The team at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest can help with preventing winter pests—call today!