Are Rodents Causing You Strife In Western Massachusetts

Are Rodents Causing You Strife In Western Massachusetts?

Rodents have a way of making people miserable. They don't do it on purpose, but their behavior patterns cause them to do things that drive us crazy, make us sick, and cost us money. Our topic today is centered on this issue. Join us as we look at common rodents in Western Massachusetts, how their activities can present problems, and five exclusion tips that work to keep mice from causing strife. If you've wondered what to do about rats and mice, or the occasional furry-tailed rodent pest, you'll find some great tips here. Of course, help is always available if you'd rather have a service technician keep rodents out of your home for you. For assistance with rodent pest control in Western Massachusetts, contact us for assistance. The service team at American Pest Solutions is one of the best in the area. We know how to keep backyard rodents from becoming indoor troublemakers.

How Mice And Rats Differ In Appearance

The biggest troublemakers in your backyard are mice and rats. These two kinds of rodents invade homes and explore every level. But they're not quite the same in every respect. Rats are big rodents that require robust food sources. They're not going to live on crumbs in your home. The need for heartier food can cause them to make appearances in your kitchen, pantry, and storage rooms. It is not fun to see a big ol' rat scurrying along your baseboards! Mice tend to stay hidden because they can chew holes to access areas where food debris or minor food sources are located and they can survive on crumbs. So, it is helpful to know how to tell big rodents from little rodents.

  • Size is a good place to start with identifying mice from rats. An adult rat is larger than an adult mouse. A mouse is about 8 inches from nose tip to tail tip. An adult rat is 10 to 12 inches. Size varies with species but not to a great extent. In general, rats are only marginally larger than mice.
  • A baby rat may look like a mouse in size, but there are key differences. A rat has a rounded snout rather than a pointed snout. Its ears are smaller and may lay against the head. Its tail is thicker.
  • An adult mouse is likely to look dusty gray or a tawny color (like a deer). An adult rat is black or brown. You may see a grey rat, but the coloration is uncommon.

Rats and mice don't prefer to dwell together. You'll have one or the other inside your home. Catching a glimpse of a rodent and identifying it will help you evaluate your rodent control problem.

The Hazards Of A Rodent Infestation In Your Home

When a rat, mouse, or squirrel invades your home, they can present many issues. Some issues are more of a concern than others, and the more rodents you have, the greater the chances will be of them causing harm. Squirrels don't create large populations in man-made structures, which is one reason why we won't focus on those furry-tailed pests today. Rats and mice reproduce quickly and can make a large population in your home. As their numbers grow, trouble grows with them. Here are a few common hazards of a rodent infestation:

  • Rodents chew on wires. At best, a damaged wire can lead to an unexplainable lighting problem. This is frustrating. At worst, a damaged wire can cause a fire. When a fire erupts inside your walls, you may not realize it as quickly as you would a fire you've accidentally sparked, like a grease fire in the kitchen. Experts in the U.S. Fire Administration say 20 to 25 percent of fires that aren't tracked to a definable source are likely rodent-related.
  • Rodents chew on building materials. In most cases, these holes are small and of no consequence. But certain holes can allow moisture into your home, which can cause wood rot, mold, and other significant issues. Structural holes also allow secondary pests into your home.
  • Rodents chew on items in storage. There are many items they may damage, but a good example is furniture damage. Rats and mice chew holes in furniture, nest inside cushions, and soil their sleeping areas with feces and urine.
  • Rodents leave droppings in many places. These droppings are a potential source of diseases. They are also left in air ducts where they can dry, break apart, and become airborne.
  • Rodents mark the areas they explore by leaving droplets of urine. These droplets are used for olfactory navigation. A rat or mouse can map out a room by cataloging smells. The urine they leave about is one smell that helps guide them through pitch-dark spaces. Urine is a disease concern, but it is mostly just stinky.
  • Rodents get into kitchens, chew holes in food packages, and contaminate the contents. They also climb on shelves, counters, cutting boards, plates, silverware, and more. Rodent activity in your kitchen or pantry can lead to stomach illness.
  • Rodents carry ticks and fleas with them. Ticks are associated with Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and other diseases. Fleas are associated with Murine typhus, bartonellosis, and more.

There is more we could share, but you see the problem. Rats and mice are not cute, woodland creatures. These domestic rodents are not domesticated. A pet mouse or rat is kept in a cage, where its waste drops into paper material for easy disposal. Wild rodents in your walls sleep in their waste materials and spread them around your home as they explore. A pet mouse or rat can only chew on the wires of its cage, not your furniture, stored items, and structural timbers.   

Five Easy Yet Effective Rodent Exclusion Tips For Around The House

Are you familiar with the term rodent exclusion? The idea is that physical barriers may be put in place to keep rodents out. In most cases, it refers to patching gaps and holes but that isn't the only way to stop rodents. It is, however, a good place to start.

1. Patch Holes

Your exterior can have many potential entry points for a rat or mouse to access. We recommend getting the following tools: a caulking gun, silicone caulk, cans of expanding foam, wire mesh, and hardware cloth. Use these to seal and patch every opening you find, no matter how small. A tiny rodent can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime or can make a smaller hole larger by using its teeth.

2. Guard Structural Voids

Rats and mice get underneath decks, stairs, sheds, and other exterior structures. In these locations, they can chew on wood with relative safety. You can avoid providing this safe location for rodents to chew a way into your home. Apply hardware cloth around the exterior of structures. Insert your barrier at least a foot into the ground to block rodents from tunneling under.

3. Trim Branches

Rats and mice are expert climbers. They'll get on your roof and access vulnerabilities up there if you don't stop them. Use a trimmer to remove tree branches near or over your roofline.

4. Block Access To Downspouts

Rodents can get up to your roof by wiggling up your downspouts. You can prevent this by blocking the entrance. In some cases, a simple solution is to stuff some wire mesh up in there. The wire mesh allows rainwater to flow out but stops rodents from going up.

5. Repair Protective Materials

There are many building materials that are designed to stop pests from entering your home. The materials you should check first are door sweeps, weatherstripping, screens, and vent covers. While a rat or mouse can easily chew through these materials, they may not. If you have persistent rodent pests, replacing protective materials will help alert you to continued entry.

Once you've taken steps to stop rodents from entering your home (or before you do), you can contact a licensed pest management professional for rodent control services. A professional provides extra protection, expert advice, and ongoing counterpressure to keep rodents out of your home.

The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Rodents In Your Home

Rats and mice are often hard to control, and the methods used by untrained individuals often fall short of providing a complete solution. It is frustrating to have rodents in your home but even more frustrating to keep having trouble with rodents after you have taken the time and expended the energy to try to get rid of them. If you're in Western Massachusetts, let American Pest Solutions guide you in finding the right rodent control solution for your specific needs and budget. Our service technicians are trained in field-tested methods that provide great results every time. We can not only help you remove rodents from your home, but we also can provide an ongoing solution to reduce rodent activity in your yard and prevent future infestation. It is easy to get started. Jump to our contact page and drop us a line to request a service visit. We're standing reading to help.

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