Living with rats or mice is distressing—they steal food, make strange noises in the night, and, worst of all, spread disease. One mouse might seem cute and innocent, but a large infestation will gradually destroy your home. Professional pest control is often the only way to get rid of rodents for good.
Rodents are naturally timid and nocturnal, so you might never see one until the infestation gets out of hand. If you find a rat or mouse in or around your home, there are almost definitely others hiding nearby. Rodents have large litters (between 6 and 12 pups at a time) with a gestation period of only three weeks, so it’s never too soon to call an exterminator.
Other signs of a rodent infestation include:
Until recently, rats were thought to be the biggest perpetrators of the Bubonic Plague. Despite new research proving this theory incorrect, rodents remain a significant public enemy. Wild rats and mice often spend time in unsanitary spaces collecting dirt and bacteria on their fur.
They also have excellent immune systems, allowing them to carry a multitude of germs without getting sick. A good example is hantavirus—a germ that can infect humans and cause severe respiratory illnesses.
You can catch this virus by breathing in air contaminated by infected rat droppings or touching them. It also spreads through rat urine and saliva, which they leave everywhere they go thanks to their constant need to gnaw. You can contract rat-bite fever or another bacterial infection if a rat bites or scratches you.
Rodents also often carry fleas – a health risk to humans and their pets.
The best rodent control removes an infestation and prevents it from happening again. There are many ways to eliminate rats and mice, but they’re all based on three fundamental pillars: clean up, trap up, and seal up.
At Sage, we thoroughly inspect the property to identify the types of rodents you have and their origin. Then, we approach the problem from four angles:
Rats and mice like to shelter in warm, dark places that protect them from rain, snow, and predators. Outdoors they might live in bushes or log piles and are attracted to compost heaps and firewood stores. Tree branches on your roof, ivy on your walls, and dense shrubs near your foundations can quickly become rodent highways into your home.
The first step to eliminating rodents is sealing all their entry points with strong wire mesh. You will also need to seal all the interior entry points, for example, holes gnawed in the drywall behind a cabinet.
Despite the children’s stories, rats and mice do not love cheese. They prefer dry and processed foods like cereal, crackers, and chips. They’re big peanut butter fans and will even eat pet food left out overnight. They may gravitate towards leaky pipes behind appliances or in crawl spaces for water.
Sealing your food and trash is an essential component of rodent control. During treatment, you must practice extreme kitchen cleaning discipline—never leave dirty dishes or leftovers out, and transfer all groceries into sealed containers the day you buy them. It’s also advisable to rinse your recyclables and keep them in a box with a lid.
Once you’ve secured the building, you must catch and remove all the remaining rodents. Pest control technicians will place rat/mouse traps in strategic positions around your home using bits of their favorite foods as bait. There are different types of rodent traps:
Once the traps are in place, you must monitor them carefully. If you’re catching live rats, they may urinate inside the trap when left for too long, increasing the spread of rodent-borne diseases. Leaving them unattended in fatal traps attracts other vermin.
If you have rats in your house, you need an exterminator. However, you can rely on natural rodent control after acute infestations. Owls are the best long-term defense against rodents, with some species catching thousands of rats and mice a year.
Check with your local council about installing an owl box in your yard or local park to keep neighborhood rodents at bay. Of course, you can also adopt a kitten. Studies show that the scent of a cat deters rodents, so keeping one as a pet is never a bad idea if you have a history of mouse problems.
Unlike roaches and termites, rodents are intelligent creatures requiring sophisticated pest control. They can often outsmart a dog or cat and run circles around carelessly placed traps. They’re nimble and fast, quickly running over every surface and leaping from furniture to countertops. For these reasons, the SRC warns against rodenticides.
Poisoning a rat or mouse may not kill it immediately, giving it plenty of time to contaminate your food or find its way into the jaws of an unsuspecting pet. It also poses risks to local wildlife, such as owls and snakes that may hunt for rats and mice in your area.
A more eco-friendly approach is to trap and release them into the wild. Sage Pest Control technicians are GreenPro Certified. We’ve passed the board exam on keeping pests out without causing unnecessary environmental harm or animal cruelty, focusing on sanitation and prevention above short-term solutions.
A restaurant is a rodent’s paradise, with plenty of food, heat, and hiding places. Regular pest control helps you weed out scavengers before they cause extensive health and safety problems. It enables you to maintain high food safety and create a hygienic environment for your guests and kitchen staff.
We’ve been in the commercial pest control business for over a decade, helping dozens of food service companies keep their properties clean and rodent-free. We service restaurants, bars, and hotels in Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and throughout North Carolina.
Rodents also gravitate towards multi-unit dwellings like apartment blocks and housing estates. The more people living in one building, the more food there is for rats and mice. Rodents can squeeze through tiny holes in floors, foundations, walls, and ceilings to easily travel between apartments. They can even swim through drainage pipes and climb into the building through air vents!
Conducting regular pest control in residential buildings is a must. Whether in a big city or a small town, rats and mice do the same damage. Sage Pest Control offers integrated pest management for homes and apartments throughout North Carolina.
Despite their timid nature, rodents can cause serious property damage. They spread diseases and compromise a building’s structure, so removing them from your house is not an option. Get in touch with us to learn more about our rodent control service or book a same-day appointment to start treatment today.