One could argue that life is safer in many ways than at any other time in human history. We have warning signs on products, roads, and everywhere else reminding us of impending danger. Our electrical outlets and fixtures are grounded to protect us against electric shock. We don't cook with wood-fired ovens but use contained electric or gas ovens. Our cars have airbags, seat belts, and shatterproof glass. We are constantly working to improve safety conditions in hospitals, factories, and our own homes.
Because we are focused on safety, we get concerned when rodents threaten the place we feel most secure, our homes. The idea that a mouse or rat is moving underneath you while you sleep is troublesome. If you have children in the house, the fear of them crossing paths with a diseased rodent enhances your concern. You begin to think, "What will happen if a rat bites my child?" or "What if my grandchild picks up a dead mouse?" If you have a pet, you may wonder what would happen if your dog or cat caught the rodent.
Stat Pest Control is your Fort Myers pest control solution to a rodent problem in your house. We are the fastest-growing pest control company in southwest Florida because we take rodent and pest control seriously. Before beginning Stat Pest Control, our founder worked in hospitals as an intensive care nurse and saw first-hand how dangerous rodents can be to homeowners, their pets, and family. The following information, coupled with help from Stat Pest Control technicians, will help you stay safe from rodents in your home.
How To Tell If You're Dealing With Mice Or Rats
Rats and mice are active while you sleep, so you may not see them run across the floor unless there is a large nest of these south Florida rodents in your house. Rats and mice hide during the day in walls, under appliances, in dark corners of cabinets, and secluded areas, and although you may not see them, they leave behind these indications:
- Runways: Mice and rats travel the same path to and from their nest and food sources. Outside, you will see two-inch wide trails alongside fences and buildings in the grass or dirt; inside pathways are along baseboards and appliances. You have found a rodent runway when the following items on this list are present. Rats nest no more than 150 feet from a food source, and mice stay closer at around 50 feet or less, so when you discover a runway, you know food and the rat's nest are nearby.
- Droppings: Mouse droppings are 1/8 to 1/4 inch smooth with pointed ends, but rats produce rod-shaped pellets with blunt ends the size of an olive pit. Rats and mice are omnivores that will devour vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds, and other rodents; they will eat unusual items like hair, soup, leather, and animal feces. Rats eat about one-third of their body weight and produce 25,000 droppings annually. Mice consume about 10% to 15% of their body weight in food daily and deposit about 18,000 droppings annually. Both rodents deposit feces near their nest, feeding areas, and along the runways they create between their nests and food sources.
- Holes: Rats and mice create circular holes in rough surfaces or areas with an edge. Rat holes are two to three inches in diameter near the floor in the walls. Mice can slip through holes the diameter of a pencil; the openings they create are smaller than a rat's.
- Tracks: Rats and mice leave four and five-toed prints visible in dusty areas or the dirt outside the home. One way to determine if there are rats or mice in the house is to sprinkle talcum powder in suspected runways; track marks will appear in a few days if rodents are in your Fort Meyers home.
- Urine stains: Mice can go without a water source as long as they can get enough moisture from their food intake, but rats need up to one ounce of water daily to survive. Both rodents release urine as they travel trails in the house and stain floors and objects. If you think you have found a rodent runway in your Fort Meyers home, shine a blacklight over the area to detect urine stains.
- Grease marks: Rats and mice have oily fur that attracts dirt and grim from the garbage, drains, and sewage areas where they forage. When they travel the runways in the house, they bump against walls, objects, and appliances and leave dark smug marks.
- Odor: Mice and rats communicate with each other alerting nearby rodents of food sources. They share information using pheromones which they spread through their urine and tear fluids. You will detect a musty smell when a large infestation of rats or mice is in an area of the home.
- Food: Mice are more apt to leave food along their runways, but rats occasionally leave shells and inedible food along the pathways.
- Nests: Rats and mice build resting places to raise their young in walls, under appliances, in the garage, basement, crawlspace, and attic. Both rodents create nests using cloth, insulation, and shredded paper; a rat's nest resembles a ball four to six inches, while a mouse's nest is three to six inches in diameter.
In summary, rats and mice in Fort Myers have differently shaped droppings, and rats create grease marks, fecal matter, holes, and nests larger than mice. If you see these signs of house rodents, you need Stat Pest Control to remove the pests before they harm your family.
Both Rats And Mice Are Dangerous To Have In Your Home
Although wild rats and mice appear cuddly, they are not pets and can create problems for your house and family. Rodents have long been associated with disease because they forage in rotting garbage, sewers, drains, and compost piles. These areas harbor disease-causing pathogens that cling to the oily fur of the rats and mice as they travel in these areas. When rodents move through a house, the bacteria and viruses fall from their coat onto eating and cooking surfaces.
Rats and mice eat anything, so even rotting foods and animal feces are a tasty delight. When they consume these disgusting items (and other similar ones), disease-causing organisms are digested and infect the rodent. Of course, what goes in the body must go out, so they pollute kitchen countertops, cabinets, pantries, cupboards, and other locations in the house with their droppings and urine. While you may notice the smooth, pointed mice droppings or the olive-sized pellet-shaped blunt feces of rats, you are unlikely to see dried urine on utensils, dishes, and other food-related items.
One characteristic of rodents is that they have two pairs of constantly growing incisor teeth that need trimming regularly. When rats or mice invade your Fort Meyers home, they chew on plastic, wood, aluminum siding, concrete, and electrical wiring to shorten their teeth. If they are chewing on food products, their saliva may contaminate the item and potentially spread disease to whoever is handling the object.
Fire is another risk for homeowners when rats and mice infest a home. As previously discussed, rodents need to chew constantly, and because they often build their nests in wall voids, attics, and appliances, they have easy access to wiring. Many house fires of "unknown cause" are likely the result of rodents. Furthermore, rats and mice eat through internet wiring and disrupt those who make a living at home using online tools. Losing time online may cause a loss of income or job.
We don't intend to scare you, but we want to highlight the importance of effective rodent control from Stat Pest Control.
Prevention Tips For Mice And Rats Are Very Similar
Prevention is the best way to protect your family against future rodent invasions after our technician has removed rodents from your property. Steps you can take to stop wild rodents from infesting your Fort Meyers home include:
- Remove yard debris: To deter rodents from burrowing on your property, eliminate junk, excess timber, stone, and leaf piles.
- Keep the yard manicured: Mow the lawn consistently at a short level, remove dense vegetation and prune shrubs away from the house.
- Elevate firewood: Move firewood at least 20 feet from the house and place it a few inches off the ground for airflow.
- Cover outdoor containers: Keep trashcans and compost containers closed and latched.
- Eliminate feeding sources: Cover and latch containers, remove pet feces, and keep the area around bird feeders clean.
- Provide drainage: Standing water from poorly draining ditches and low-lying areas entices rats who need water daily.
- Seal entry points: Mice can squeeze through openings the diameter of a pencil, and rats only need 1/2 inch to access the house. Cover gaps, cracks, and spaces in the foundation walls, under the roofline, around vent openings, and between incoming pipes and wires. Use steel wool, concrete, or sheet metal to cover pencil-size or larger holes and cracks.
- Add screens to vents: Place 1/4 inch wire mesh over the attic, crawlspace, and chimney openings to prevent access by rodents.
Implementing these tips for outdoor rodent control will discourage them from staying on your property and reduce the likelihood of them entering your house.
Contact The Professionals For Total Rodent Control For Your Home
If you search for "the best rodent control near me," you found it! When you call Stat Pest Control, we will dispatch a highly-trained technician to inspect the interior and exterior of your home. We will create a plan to safely remove the rodents using strategically placed bait boxes and traps. Our technician will seal entry points around your homes to prevent future rodent infestations. Contact us today to learn more and get a free estimate!