EXPERT TIPS ON RODENT CONTROL INSPECTION: KNOW YOUR ENEMY!
Expert tips on rodent control Inspection: Know your enemy!
Droppings Fecal pellets are the most commonly encountered sign in a rodent inspection and serve as primary evidence to confirm an infestation. Even a small population of mice can produce literally thousands of droppings in a short period of time. By identifying the rodent droppings, you can determine who is infesting your home:
House Mice ◊ Qty: 50 to 75 pellets daily
◊ Size: ¼ inch long
◊ Shape: Small with 1 or both ends pointed Norway Rat
◊ Qty: 40 to 50 pellets daily
◊ Size: ¾ inch long
◊ Shape: Larger, rectangular with blunt ends
◊ Found in small groups Roof Rats
◊ Qty: 40 to 50 pellets daily ◊ Size: ½ inch long
◊ Shape: Larger, curved, sausage shaped with pointed ends
◊ Found scattered ID the age of droppings Fresh droppings are dark in color and soft in texture, but after three days they harden and lose the dark color.
Size of Infestation The more you have the larger the infestation. This will help you determine how many traps or bait need to be placed in a particular area. More traps are better than not enough traps…the little money you may save by not putting those extra 5 traps out can be lost 10 fold in damage caused by your house guest. Gnawing Damage Evidence of recent gnawing is an excellent sign for determining the presence of rodents. Mouse ◊ Hole Size: ½ inch in diameter; small, clean-cut ◊ Gnawed Material: Wires, plastic, wood, corners of cardboard boxes, bags Rat ◊ Hole Size: 2 inches in diameter; rough, torn edges ◊ Gnawed Material: Wood, corners, floor joists, wall studs Rodent Nests & Burrows
To check that you still have an active burrow, wads of paper can be stuffed into the opening or the burrow can be caved in with dirt and rechecked a day or two later. If it is the same then the burrow is old, if the paper is moved you got yourself an active location.
House Mouse Mice are not typically burrowers, instead they create indoor nests of shredded paper, string, and other similar materials. Nest are commonly located in secluded corners, beneath cabinets, at the base of kitchen appliances, and in cluttered garages.
Norway Rat Norway rats’ burrows are typically in the ground outside and burrows usually measure about 3 inches in diameter. It is common to find burrows along foundations and underneath debris, low-lying shrubbery, woodpiles, and storage sheds.
Roof Rat Roof rats typically nest above ground in palm trees, fruit trees, attics, ceiling voids, and among utility lines connected to the exterior of homes. Rodent Runways Runways or Pathways Runways are usually evident in rodent infestations because rodents repeatedly use the same pathways between their nests and food sources. Common linear pathways include foundation or sill ledges, tree branches, electrical lines, pipes and sewer lines.
Mice typically travel 6-30 feet from their nests to a food source. Rats will venture out 25-100 feet from burrows. Rub Marks These grease marks are created from oil and dirt on the rodent’s skin and often appear along wall areas next to runways. Urine Odors Both rats and mice urinate frequently during their daily travels. Research has shown that a mouse is capable of depositing 3,000 droplets in just 24 hours. Rodent urine is often deposited in their runways and other frequented areas.
Rodent odors may be particularly pronounced in larger rodent infestations and may persist for prolonged periods. Also, cats and dogs may excitedly sniff and probe an area where rodents are present. Sounds High-pitched squeaks, gnawing sounds, scratching and digging noises, and sounds of rodents fighting can commonly be heard during night inspections.
Exclusion Exclusion or rodent proofing you home is critical in controlling rodents.
It can be difficult to exclude mice as they can pass through only a 14 inch opening (size of a dime). Rats require only the size of a nickel.
So do a through inspection and do the best you can to eliminate as many opportunities for entrance as possible.
Rodent Access Points
1. Garage doors are particularly prone to rodent entry if not kep pest proof
2. All door thresholds much be no more than 0.25” wide
3. Chimneys are capped
4. All tree branches are trimmed back from buildings 5. All exterior lines leading through walls should be sealed off 6. Crawl space vent covers must be tight Rodent Proofing Materials ◊ Concrete ◊ Caulking ◊ Copper or Aluminum Mesh ◊ Coarse Steel Wool ◊ Hardware Cloth – 19 gauge ◊ Sheet Metal – 26 gauge thickness Sanitation All rodents must have th 2 main factors to survive food and shelter.
By limiting and hopefully removing these things you can prevent and control rodent problems. Indoor Food Keep areas free of food, clean up areas under refrigerators, and stoves.
• Keep the counter tops clean of any food
• Store food in closed containers • Pick up any pet bowls ( empty water bowls at night) Outdoors
• Keep your landscaping properly maintained and harborage areas trimmed.
• Remove piles of debris, old equipment, etc.