QUICK COURSE: Mice & Rats

Mice and Rats are commensal. That is, they prefer to share food and shelter with humans. Mice and Rats and their pathogens and parasites share our workplaces, restaurants, hospitals, schools, food processing plants and especially……..our homes.

IN OUR HOMES, they share the food we eat and the furniture where we sleep, relax and store our belongings. They will use plumbing voids as well as circulation vents to travel from one part of a home/building to another. It is this habit that assures the spread of contaminated nesting material, feces, and urine and body hairs.

IN JUST ONE MONTHS TIME, mice and rats can produce thousands of fecal pellets and deposit urine in areas where we eat and sleep. Their feces and urine may contain millions of bacteria or viruses and easily contaminate more than what they eat or with what they come in contact. The damage these rodents do to food and buildings runs in the tens of billions of dollars world-wide. Mice and rats are even a significant fire hazard, suspected in one fourth of all fires of unknown origin. We have a disinfection service that removes their contaminants and prevents their reentry.

MICE AND RATS HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE for some of the most devastating disease outbreaks of all time. Historically more than 10 million people have died from rodent borne disease. Rats and mice are known to carry and or spread about 55 different diseases. Lyme disease, Typhus and the Plague are just a few; the deer mouse is a major carrier of Lyme Disease and has been implicated in the outbreak of hanta-virus in the four corners out west, a rare but highly fatal disease.

SAY IT AIN’T SO MICKEY!

They’re loveable cartoon characters…They’re celebrated in theme parks…and we even wear clothing with their pictures and hats to look like them.

Mice. When they invade your home, they’re not so adorable anymore. In fact, the mouse is the second most destructive vertebrate in the world after RATS…

There is nothing cute or funny about that at all.

MICE: General Facts

  • The Grey House Mouse and Deer Mouse are the two most common among mice that invade our homes and buildings.
  • Body length can range anywhere from 2 1/2 to 4 inches; body weight is less than one ounce, and average life expectancy is up to one year.
  • Mice prefer to eat grains, but will eat anything we eat.
  • Mice can enter and pass through openings as small as a dime.

MICE: Breeding Facts

  • Adult females go into heat every 4-5 days.
  • Gestation is 21 days.
  • A litter size averages 5-6 pups with up to eight litters per year.
  • After giving birth, the female can be in heat within 24-48 hours.
  • The young mouse is sexually mature as early as five weeks of age.

YOU DIRTY RAT!
RATS: General Facts

  • Roof rats and Norway rats are the two most common rats to invade homes and buildings. Roof rats are more common along the east and west coast.
  • The Norway rat is known by many other names. Wharf rat, sewer rat, brown rat, common rat, barn rat, water rat and grey rat all refer to the Norway rat. Most lab rats are Norway Rats.
  • The Norway rat is the only rat of concern in the Midwest.
  • Body length can range anywhere from 7-10 inches; body weight may be up to one pound, and the average life span of wild rats is one year.
  • Rats prefer to eat meat, fish and grains.
  • Like mice, rats are color blind, have poor sense of vision, and a keen sense of smell.
  • Rats can enter structures through openings as small as a quarter.

RATS: Breeding Facts

  • Female adults go into heat every 4-5 days.
  • Gestation is 21-23 days.
  • A litter size averages 6-12 pups with up to seven litters per year.
  • After giving birth, the female can be in heat within 48 hours.
  • The young rat is sexually mature in just 90 days.

HOW WE GET ‘EM

Mice have a social structure similar to the African Lion. There is a continuous battle for territory in your home. We stop this struggle quickly and effectively.

STOP THEM BEFORE THEY GET IN

  • Inspect exterior and interior for points of entry and recommend repairs including materials best suited for long term results.
  • Identify conditions friendly to breeding and interior movements (limiting interior movement forces rodents to spend more time defending territory instead of breeding), recommend repairs.
  • Encourage communication with neighbors that may be contributing to source of re-infestation.

WHAT WE DO ONCE THEY GET IN

  • Estimate population size and likelihood of pest proofing success.
  • Recommend control measures that may involve combination of trapping, as a last resort, bait stations (we only use heavy-duty locking stations) and pest proofing.
  • Perform follow up inspections, evaluate trap activity, location of heaviest activity, and re-inspect areas of heavy activity for potential entry points.
  • Determine how long trapping will be good for and schedule next follow up accordingly (usually every 3-5 days).

Most mouse control services get results with-in 14 days and can be warranted for up to six months (Maintenance contracts available but not usually needed). With our comprehensive pest proofing service, the warranty may extend to one full year!

Rat services may require monthly service visits with a minimum six month agreement.

Helpful tips in prevention are to: Seal points of entry with sealant caulk, especially where utility lines enter structure. Avoid storing fire wood next or inside structure. Rake all grass and leaf litter away from foundation walls. Have roof decking along gutter line inspected for ice jamb damage (mice climb up downspouts), Check door sweeps and overhead garage doors for proper fit. We recommend using a brush type sweep for entry doors. Any opening larger than what caulk can fix should be stuffed with copper mesh (copper choreboys work great). Steel wool will rust too fast to work beyond short term fix. Expanding foam can be injected into copper mesh for air tight seal (be careful, can be messy).

Ask about our complete pest proofing service.