Number 3 on our list of Top 5 Most Disturbing Things in Pest Control is Rodents. Rodents are one of the toughest, if not the toughest, pests to control. Rodents are mammals, which in turn means that they are smart and can learn and adapt. No rodent job is ever the same and you can never get comfortable in your rodent control routine or you’ll get fooled. The two most common types of rodents we deal with are roof rats and house mice.
* Grease marks – that’s right they are greasy enough to leave marks
* Tunnels or pathways appearing in the insulation
* Chewed wood, wires, or insulation
* Scratching or digging sounds inside the walls or attic, mainly at night
Not only are rodents tough, they’re gross, which is why they made this list. Whether you’re dealing with rats or mice, you are sure to have a mess somewhere. Rodents poop and they poop a lot! A roof rat will put out 30 to 180 pellets and ½ oz of urine per day. Mice put out closer to 500 pellets per day. With these numbers, even one rodent can create enough poop for the human nose to detect. Along with the poop smell, one dead mouse can stink up a room for a week or more. In addition to all the smells, roof rats are so greasy that their trails in your attic or at entry points will be coated with a layer of brown grease.
Rodents carry diseases like hantavirus, bubonic plague, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, leptospirosis, weils disease, and rat bite fever, and spread a lot of dirt, grease, germs, and bacteria. Ever heard of the Black Death? That was plague was bubonic plague spread to people by fleas infesting roof rats. They can also carry fleas. If all that isn’t enough, more than 60,000 people are actually bitten by rodents each year in the U.S.
Finally, rodents are disturbing because of the potential hazards caused by their chewing. They are thought to cause more than $20 billion in damage per year in the U.S. Chewed wires can lead to electrical fire hazards and chewed wood is unsightly and susceptible to wood rot.
There are an estimated 1.25 billion rats living in the U.S. More than 50% of premises contain at least one rat or mouse. You could trap and remove seemingly endless amounts of rodents and they’ll keep coming. You could even try throwing bait in your attic – if you want to hunt for stinky dead rodents in blistering temperatures. We have found that the only true way to eliminate a problem from your property is to eliminate their entry points from the outside (i.e. How are they getting in?). They can chew through drywall, expanding foam, and even wood so we use other methods to block entry points and exclude rodents from getting in. Traps and baits are used to trap rodents stuck inside and to kill rodents outside that are trying to get in.
Do you have bird feeders or squirrel feeders in your yard? Sometimes those just don’t help the situation. This should also answer the question of whether they are good climbers or not?
No rodent job is ever the same as rodents, like us, continuously adapt to their environment. Often people try for months to trap or poison rodents themselves, and spend a bunch of money on stuff from the hardware store just to be left frustrated. Professional pest control technicians are heavily trained to correctly identify and eliminate rodent infestations, and can save you a lot of sleepless nights in the end. Oh, and a nasty stinky mess too!