Tampa Mice and Rat Removal
The return of winter means you’ll be spending more time in your home, but you won’t be the only one seeking shelter. As temperatures drop, mice and rats head indoors to search for food, and they might pick YOUR house for their new residence.
“There isn’t a home in this world that doesn’t have mice,” says Jeff Norris, owner of highly rated www.FloridaWildlifeTrapper.com in Tampa, Florida “Everyone has at least a few mice coming in and out, or living there.”
These pesky pests invade your home in a variety of crafty ways. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil eraser, while rats can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. “They’ll seek cracks and crevices in the foundation and crawl space, between siding and concrete block and the space where the fascia board meets the decking on the roof,” Norris says.
Rats and mice are both strong swimmers, and have even been known to swim through sewer lines or climb vertically up drain pipes to enter homes.
The two most common rodents in U.S. homes are the house mouse (Mus musculus), roof rat (Rattus rattus) and the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). They live in all regions of the country, but rats are more prevalent in urban and rural areas, while mice are more common in suburban areas.
The house mouse is usually brown or gray and can grow up to a few inches in length. Rats vary in color from brown, to reddish-gray to black, and have a long tail. Norway rats on average will grow to about 16 inches in length. They’re both color blind and have poor eyesight. They rely on their sense of smell, taste, sound and touch to find food.
To find out for sure if you have any rodents in your home or area- please call a trusted professional. You can reach a trusted professional 24/7 at Nuisance Wildlife Removal, Inc. at 1-866-263-WILD or 941- 729-2103.
How do I know if I have rodents in my Tampa home?
Aside from physically seeing the critters in your home, most people realize they have a rodent problem after noticing droppings, evidence of nesting, gnaw marks on doors and furniture, or damage to packaged foods and dry goods.
Mice and rats leave dark brown or black droppings in their walking path, around food sources and nesting areas. The droppings are granular in shape and can range from ¼ of an inch to 3/8 of an inch. You can gauge the extent of the infestation by the amount of droppings you find.
Another sign of rodent activity is greasy tracks along the floor, or footprints and tail tracks in dusty areas, especially along walls.
Rodent activity increases after dark, so you might have more luck looking at night. Listen for squeaks, movement and unexplained sounds coming from behind your walls.
One of the main reasons mice and rats take up residence in homes is due to the abundance of food. Mice prefer grains so you’re likely to notice tears, rips and bite marks to bags of rice and cereal. Rats will eat just about any type of food, and they’re likely to scatter food about as they eat. According to the Purdue University Extension, rat teeth grow at a rate of 5 inches per year so they constantly gnaw to prevent their teeth from growing too large, which would ultimately lead to starvation.
The gnawing can cause considerable damage to your home. Rodents have been known to chew on things like wires, PVC piping, furniture, bricks and anything made of wood. In some cases, rodents have started house fires from chewing through electrical wires. If you suspect that you may have any rodents in or around your home, please call a trusted professional. You can reach a trusted professional 24/7 at Nuisance Wildlife Removal, Inc. at 1-866-263-WILD or 941- 729-2103.
The greatest threat mice and rats pose to humans, however, is contact with disease and bacteria transmitted through rodent droppings and bites.
“If the population gets out of control, one of the biggest dangers is the feces and urine,” Norris says. Exposure to rodent droppings can transmit serious illnesses such as hantavirus, salmonella and leptospirosis. Rodent bites can transmit plague, rat-bite fever or infection. Norris says he’s even heard of people getting sick from drinking out of contaminated soda cans that were stored in an area infested by mice.
The good news is you can take back your home, either by plugging holes and setting traps or hiring a professional pest control service.
Pest control experts say you should evaluate the exterior of your home twice a year for new holes or gaps where rodents can enter. You want to look for cracks in the foundation, gaps around doors and windows and where the gutters connect to the fascia board.
“Rodents can chew through anything that isn’t galvanized or copper,” Norris says. He recommends using caulk, galvanized flashing or copper mesh to plug entry points.
Once you’ve secured the exterior of your home, you can start the removal process.
Pest control professionals say bait boxes and traps are effective for removing rodents, but there are several options available, from traditional traps to no-kill methods that allow you to release the rodent back into the wild.
Placing bait boxes along walls and in corners is an effective method for eliminating rodents.
Bait boxes contain a rodenticide that kills the mouse or rat in a few days. The boxes shelter the poisonous rodenticide and keep it out of reach of children and pets. You should place bait boxes in areas where you’ve seen rodent activity, and in their natural walking paths like along walls or in corners.
You should also make an attempt to take away the food supply. Don’t leave food out on the kitchen counter, and make sure all dry goods and grains are stored in sealed, secure containers.
For large infestations, or if rodents simply make you squeamish, consider hiring a professional pest control company. Norris says that his company will inspect your exterior for entry points, make improvements and come up with a removal plan that meets your specific needs.
So if you see any rats, mice or any evidence that they might be in or around your dwelling, call a professional! You can reach a trusted professional 24/7 at Nuisance Wildlife Removal, Inc. at 1-866-263-WILD or 941- 729-2103.