…And he’ll move right in!
As seasons change and the weather starts to get cooler, mice, rats, and other rodents are looking for warm, cozy place to wait out the weather. Of course, no one wants rodents taking up residence in their home (after all, they don’t even pay rent)! But once a rat has food, water, and shelter available, they have no intention of leaving!
So what can you do to prevent a rodent takeover?
The first thing you need to do is make sure there aren’t any openings that a rodent can get access through… the most popular entryway being your garage. That means making sure your door weather seal is installed properly and undamaged. It also means that you’ll need to make sure to avoid leaving your garage door open for extended periods of time, as rodents will leap at the opportunity to get inside where it may be significantly warmer.
Checking the foundation of your home is another way to deter rodents. If caught early, you can prevent rodents from entering the home via gaps in your foundation. Remember, rodents can squeeze through incredibly small openings… AC lines and similar piping holes can be prime targets for infestation points.
After looking “down low,” be sure to look “up high” as well… rodents can get onto your roof via branches that overhang the home, then search for spaces to get into your attic! Be sure to trim back those branches as a deterrent to any acrobatic mice who may feel like “dropping in.”
Whether you’re trying to prevent a rodent invasion or dealing with one already, it appears your best bet is to act quickly. And if you’re thinking of waiting out winter in hopes that they might pack up come spring, think again! Once they’ve started nesting, they won’t stop!
That’s when you know it’s time to call a professional!
After a long day’s work, it can be tempting to crawl into bed; burrow under the covers, and relax. However, there are plenty of rodents and insects out there ready to do the same – in your home!
Rodents, raccoons, and other pests spend their days foraging for food. This means weathering potential predators, harsh environments, and even long treks to get enough food for themselves (AND any offspring). No wonder they share the same sentiments that we do at the end of the day! It’s common for these pests to look for a nice, warm, dry space that provides plenty of relative safety. Unfortunately, YOUR attic is one of the best spots they can choose!
Attic invasions can become a structural or health hazard… or both. Pests often carry lice, ticks, and other unwanted “hitchhikers.” Sometimes they can carry infectious diseases, such as rabies.
So how do you keep your home safe?
The best method is an ongoing professional pest control service. Professional Escondido pest control technicians know exactly what to look for in order to discourage any infestations.
But there ARE steps that YOU can take to prevent infestations, as well.
1). Do a thorough inspection of your home.
Look for holes in the walls or window screening. Check for cracks or gaps in doorways. Pests can enter the home through a surprisingly small space. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, while a raccoon can squeeze through a gap of six inches.
2). Seal any gaps
Use caulking, weather stripping, or door sweeps. Replace screens with tears or holes. Make sure that any under-the-house crawlspaces are protected with plastic lining.
3). Check your work
Be sure to double check repairs or improvements to your home as they are made. Many times pests are able to gain access after a new appliance (such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher) is installed. Most contractors do their best to seal up any modifications, but trouble spots are sometimes missed.
Observation is an important defence. Primarily locating potential entry points can go a long way to deterrence. If you DO notice pests or hear scratching and noises in your attic don’t ignore them. Call a professional pest control service to eradicate any existing infestation and to prevent new ones from occurring.
Ants, Cockroaches, General Pest Control, Gophers, Mice, Pest Control, Rats, Silverfish, Spiders, Uncategorized, Wasp
Spring is officially underway. For many people, that means the long arduous task of “Spring Cleaning.” Most of us will spend a weekend or two cleaning the house of old, unwanted clutter. For other people, it means (FINALLY) putting the Christmas tree/lights away. But aside from a tidier home when guests arrive, spring cleaning can be excellent for your home when pests arrive.
Often, the miscellaneous clutter that we accumulate (and leave forgotten in a nook, corner, or box) makes prime real estate for pests to move in. Low-traffic areas, such as attics, garages, and closets, can become safe havens for rodents and insects to move in and stake their claim.
At Pro Pacific Pest Control Escondido, we’re big supporters of pest prevention over pest extermination. We’ve mentioned it several times before, but it’s far easier (and cheaper) to prevent an infestation than it is to evict one. Here are three handy tips for your spring cleaning efforts to keep the bugs at bay:
1) Drain the Tub… And Everywhere Else.
“I’ve had a very ruff day.”
Moisture creates an ideal spot for many bugs, and often entices them to set up shop wherever they can find standing water. Rodents (such as shiprats and sewer rats) will often find sources of water and decide to set up shop nearby — often within the walls or even in the attic of your home! Mosquitoes use stagnant puddles for reproduction and can often swarm nearby as a result. Silverfish LOVE moist, cool, dark places, and you’ll often catch them scurrying away if you flip on the light in a crawlspace that is not properly sealed. reptiles and other pests will also seek out similarly cool, damp places. Eliminating these sources of water can go a long way to not only preventing the hassle of insects, but it can also prevent disease such as dengue, malaria, and others that are carried by mosquitoes and their kin.
As you’re doing your annual cleanse, check your home to make sure you don’t have a leaky faucet or pipes. Although Southern California doesn’t have to worry about pipes freezing over the winter months, pipes which have not been used in a long time or are in disrepair can be the catalyst for a full-blown invasion!
2)Dust Those Bunnies!
Cleaning in furs. Lucy has always been a class act.
Ever run face first into a spider web? NOT a fun feeling! The flailing, spit-takes, and panicked shuffling that results can be embarrassing, to say the least. One way to avoid such nestings is to sweep and dust nooks, crannies, and eaves inside and outside the house. In some homes, it is harder to reach these areas because a ladder is needed.
This is a prime task for your friendly neighbourhood pest control company! After all, who wants to drag a ladder out of storage, put it up, sweep, climb back down, and repeat the process all the way around (and inside) the house? Pest control companies often have the equipment to do these task quickly and efficiently.
Basically, though, you want to target all those “low traffic” areas in and around the home. Corners, closets, and eaves are prime spots for spiders to set up shop.
3) Don’t Be A Packrat.
“Eat your heart out, chipmunks.”
We get it, some things are just too cool to get rid of, or there’s something “nostalgic” about them, or… well, we’ll admit that maybe we’re just being lazy at times. But keeping those odds-and-ends, scrap materials, or “vintage” goods from the local flea market can cause you more headache than you realize.
Keep your home clear of clutter. If you have a shed or workstation in your backyard, be sure to clean (or at the very least organize) any discarded pieces of wood or tools. Rodents love to nest in piles like those and it can ALSO be a prime location for bees and wasps to form nests. In fact, we’ve seen a bee’s nest between two garbage can lids that hadn’t been moved in months! Clearing out spaces like these can go a LONG way to helping your pest control efforts, and a little bit of effort on the “front end” can keep your cost down in the long run.
Of course, we offer FREE inspection/estimates for pest control and can identify potential trouble spots and offer ongoing solutions to keep your home safe (and beautiful) throughout spring and into summer.
Rodents are not free spirits and do not “go where the wind takes them.” There is a motive to the direction these furry creatures are headed – and it’s usually for food and shelter. Certain environments and layouts of a property make it easier for a rat or mouse to invade, thus making your home more appealing to rodents and more susceptible to an infestation.
But before we dive into what attracts rodents to your home, let’s familiarize with the three common offenders found in Southern California.
Identifying The Type Of Rodent In Your Home
Rats and mice are stealth creatures and generally on the move at night, so all you may see of them is their tiny little gifts they have left behind from the night before. So to make the identification easier for you, each pictured rodent below is matched with its excrete.
Now that you may have a good idea of which type of rodent problem is in your home, let’s go over what attractants make your home or garden a rodent haven.
Easy Entries into Your Home
Rodents are skilled contortionists, acrobats, and climbers. They will successfully land leaps that even your younger self probably wouldn’t even attempt or be able to squeeze through tight spots that would make any claustrophobe faint.
Any hole a ¼” and ½” in diameter are potential entries for tiny mice and rats, respectively. These spots can be around pipes or wires entering a structure, gaps underneath garage doors, crawl space openings, or roof vents.
To make these areas not so accessible or impenetrable to rodents consider installing deterrents. Placing screens with gaps no bigger than 1/4” or hardware cloth around openings are effective methods to keep rodents out. For exterior doors, door sweeps or weather stripping will put up a barrier that will exclude larger pests.
Also, trim tree limbs and tall bushes at least six feet away from roofs. The acrobatic nature of rodents makes this a simple obstacle course to obtain entry into your home. Use the illustration below as a checklist to determine if your home is susceptible to rodents.
Left Out Foods, Unsecured Trash Receptacles, and Even Pet Food
It provides the nourishment that sustains any type of life form and we all seek it – food! Rodents are no different and they are not picky eaters in any fashion, so they will feed on almost any item that is edible – raw, mangled, dirty, cold, etc.
To remedy this problem first begin by thoroughly cleaning areas where food is prepared, cooked, or consumed. This includes vacuuming or sweeping and wiping down tables to remove crumbs or small food particles that can be a feast for rats or mice.
Wash dishes after every meal – or at least daily – so that there are no morsels for any whiskered noses to sniff out or buck teeth to chomp on. This gives no chance for rodents to survive in your household and a very compelling reason for them to leave if they have already infested.
Dry goods, food waste, and pet food should be in secure containers that a rodent would not be able to access. If your pet does not finish the food in the bowl, be sure to dispose of or put back in a secure container – do not leave out overnight.
Ripe Fruits & Vegetables in Lawn & Garden
Bountiful gardens can be the root of a rodent infestation. The ripe fruits that have fallen from trees or garden vegetables that have not been harvested are a perfect food source. Rodents can nest within your attic or crawlspace and go out to feast on this smorgasbord daily.
Pick up any fruit in the lawn and tend to your garden often, collecting any ripen produce. Bird feeders that leave seeds on the ground should be placed over areas where the seeds can be easily swept up.
Cluttered Living Spaces & Unkempt Lawns
The skittish nature of rats and mice make cluttered environments or lawns with tall grass or weeds an ideal nesting location. These gnawing, night roamers can remain stealth and unseen in these conditions, making them more comfortable and giving them less of a motive to leave.
To begin decluttering your property, start by manicuring and tidying the lawn. Remove any old appliances or stationary objects that rodents can nest inside. Ensure that items that must be stored outside remain elevated and away from fence lines or structures.
This may seem exaggerated, but for indoor conditions, make sure you can see the floor – we have encountered some situations like these. Keep items off the floors and into dressers, cabinets or closets. Try not to stuff too many items into closets, and items that are stored in these spaces, try to have them in secure, plastic containers. The same can go for storing belongings in attics.
Past Unsanitized Rodent Infestations
Familiarity is a major attractant for rodents. If familiar scents or nesting materials are present in your home from a previous infestation, another pack will soon follow. Rats and mice feel comfortable living in areas where there was known former rodent activity – it reassures them that it was a suitable living location and that their nest will likely not be disturbed.
Complete sanitation service is recommended after extracting rats or mice. Depending on the severity of the infestation, this can include removing droppings, cleaning grease marks from baseboards, sanitizing nesting areas, and replacing insulation in attics.
Effectively preventing a rodent infestation requires some commitment to a routine, and the payoff is not only a rodent-free home but a cleaner home and healthier living environment.
Please leave any questions on rodent problems below or add some of your own favorite techniques to deter a “hairy” infestation. If you need an expert to control your rat problem, give us a call for a free estimate!
Rodents can harbor a variety of viruses and bacteria that significantly impact a person’s health through respiratory and gastric illnesses. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome tends to flood the headlines in the United States , and recently in California, since it can be fatal. However, an infection from this virus is rare in humans.
Rodent droppings seem to be the source of most diseases transmitted by rats and mice. With no surprise, after finding this statistics of rodents being able to produce 25,000 droppings in one year.
Diseases transmitted by rodents can be categorized into two types: Direct and Indirect. Illnesses that occur from inhalation or ingestion of particles that are contaminated with rodent urine or droppings are considered direct transmission. Contracting a disease via bites from parasites that live off rodents is an indirect infection.
This article will provide details of the diseases from rodents found in the United States that are transmitted directly by vermin.
Diseases Spread Directly By Rodents
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
How It Spreads
Primarily through airborne transmission. Dust particles contaminated by urine or droppings from infected rodents are inhaled or ingested. Bites from rodents with the virus, rare.
Symptoms can develop from 1 to 5 weeks after exposure. Fatigue, fever, and muscle aches are early signs. Eventually, coughing and shortness of breath from lungs filling with fluid.
How To Treat
No vaccines or cures have been developed for hantavirus infection. Receiving treatment soon after symptoms develop can alleviate illness and allow treatment to be more effective.
How To Prevent
Eliminate rodents on property and clean areas with droppings or urine with mask, gloves and sanitizer. Keep rodents from returning by removing clutter, food spills, and securing trash cans.
How It Spreads
Ingesting food or water contaminated with urine of infected animal. Contact contaminated water or soil with open cuts/scratches or mucous membranes – like inside nose.
Two phases of symptoms with second phase being more severe and called Weil’s disease. Fever, chills, headaches, muscles aches, vomiting and diarrhea can occur during first phase.
How To Treat
Antibiotics can treat the infection with a recovery period of a few days to 3 weeks – Several months if untreated. Receiving treatment early can inhibit the second phase symptoms.
How To Prevent
Refrain from swimming or wading in water that can contain urine from infected animals. Wear footwear when outdoors to prevent transmission from contaminated soil or water.
Rat-bite Fever (RBF)
How It Spreads
Transmission can occur from bites or scratches from infected rat, mouse, or gerbil. Handling a rodent with the disease. Ingesting food or drink contaminated with the bacteria.
Streptobacillary RBF symptoms include fever, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and rash. Spirillary RBF symptoms include fever, ulcer at bite wound, and swollen lymph nodes.
How To Treat
Antibiotics will effectively treat the infection and cure the disease. If left untreated, the disease can create a severe illness and be potentially fatal – but it is rare.
How To Prevent
Avoid areas with rodent activity and drink only pasteurized milk and water from safe sources. If you handle rodents or carcasses wear protective gloves and don’t touch mouth until after cleaning.
How It Spreads
Salmonella naturally lives in intestinal tracts of rodents and other animals. Disease is transmitted by ingesting contaminated food – generally from rat, mice or other rodent feces.
Symptoms can last up to 7 days and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea. Approximately 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States each year.
How To Treat
Recovery period for Salmonella is 5 to 7 days and does not require any medical treatment unless infection spreads from intestines. Drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate and flush out disease.
How To Prevent
Do not consume undercooked meat or raw foods that contain dairy products ( raw eggs or unpasteurized milk. Wash hands thoroughly after handling uncooked food items.
We are often asked about the pricing schedule for a rodent control service. And the answer is: pricing varies on a couple of factors. These factors will be explained in detail so you have a better idea of what a rodent extermination service will cost.
Factor #1 – Severity of Rodent Infestation
The bigger the rat pack, the more equipment and man hours it will take to control the problem. Therefore, prices gradually increase as the number of rat traps needed to sufficiently capture the unwanted vermin on your property.
A bigger rodent problem also means that the infestation has existed on your property for an ample amount of time. One can assume that the clean-up of droppings after a severe rat infestation is necessary. Sanitation is an additional service that can be paired with a trapping service.
Trapping and Sanitation can both be completed at an affordable price and you can always request a free, no-obligation estimate.
Factor #2 – Location of the Rat Nest
The second factor of pricing depends on if the rodent problem is indoor or outdoor. Snap traps are used for indoor infestations while tamper-proof bait stations are effective for outdoor rats.
Bait stations can be an inexpensive route to prevent the rodents from entering your home and having to deal with Trapping and Sanitation services.
It is recommended to keep the bait stations in place as a monthly service. This will help reduce the rodent population surrounding your property and allow a rodent control specialist to check your property often for signs of rodents.
Free Estimates are provided for all our rodent control services.
Trapping – Traps are strategically set and positioned to provide instant results and a long-term solution.
Sanitation – Full waste clean-up service with insulation removal & replacement, if needed.
Proofing – All potential areas for rodents to enter your home are sealed with durable materials
Reduction – Bait stations are placed on the exterior of your property to reduce outdoor infestations.
Lifetime Rodent Protection – Combine Proofing and Reduction services for a lifetime rodent-free home.
Pricing for rat & mouse control services may vary but we will gladly inspect your home and provide a free, no-obligation estimate – Call today!
Rats and other rodents that infest your home are not the most hygienic creatures. The grease marks they leave on walls should give you a picture of their bodily filth and repulsive characteristics. And while the smells that permeate a home when live rodents are present can be nauseating, a dead rodent can produce foul odors unbearable to anyone.
Successfully removing a decaying rodent carcass along with the stench that is polluting the air in your home can be tricky. It requires locating the body and collecting with the use of gloves and a mask to protect you from diseases.
Generally, once the carcass is removed, the bad rodent smells are muffled; however, rodents often die behind walls making it difficult to access the body. This happens from baits being used to target an indoor rodent infestation. The baits are ingested by rodents that roam freely inside your home, often in attics or between walls, and die from the poison at a later time. Rodent removal & clean-up can become extremely difficult when indoor baits are used to eradicate the rat infestation. Traditional rat traps are a better solution for indoor rodent infestations, as they offer an immediate kill and rarely make collecting the rodents bodies complicated.
Solutions To Eliminate Dead Rodent Smells
Search attics, cabinets, closets and electrical boxes for dead rodents. If you used rodent traps, check these too. It is best practice to make a map of all the areas you placed a trap so you can easily return to collect the captured carcasses.
As mentioned above, always use a mask and gloves to collect rodent bodies. Also, it is recommended to dispose of clothing worn when removing decaying pest remains.
If a rodent is in an inaccessible area, you may have to remove a portion of your wall to obtain the decomposing corpse. Contacting a pest control professional is recommended to successfully remove dead rodents within wall voids.
If you are not willing to cut into your walls here are some do-it-yourself remedies to resolve your home odor problems:
- Sanitation Bags (Buy Here) – This blessing of a product absorbs foul odors that associated with rodents. Simply, place bag in rooms or areas with a stench and the sanitation bag can eliminate the odor. One bag covers up to 100 square feet and lasts 3 months in use. Plus, it’s all-natural and pet and child-safe.
- Ventilation – leaving a door open or cracking a window with screens can prevent the air from being trapped inside your home. It can also expedite time it takes to get rid of the smell.
- Fans – Use fans in combination with vented doors and windows to assist in blowing the bad scents out.
- Air Fresheners – Tablets or sprays that combat foul odors have some success rate, but usually only mask the odor. Placing cut lemons around your home creates a similar effect as fresheners.
- Time – Like everything, time heals all. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for the putrid smells to dissipate.
You may think you have the surefire way to eradicate the rats and mice from your home, but in reality, most recommended rodent control products are not very effective for rats and mice. Rodent control is not rocket science but it does require the proper tools and procedures.
So, what is the best rat trap to guarantee no more infestations of rats and mice – big or small?
Traditional spring-loaded mousetraps have been replaced by a more effective trap that actually captures rats or mice when they take the bait. Older traps allowed rodents to eat the bait without setting off the trap or it would launch them into the air with no harm depending on the position they were on the trap.
These newer style T-rex traps (as shown in image above) don’t allow rodents to “eat and run”. Once the rodent is taking from the bait, expect the T-rex to snap shut – and get rid of your rodent problem for good! Try using the tips below to make the most of your rodent control efforts.
If you have an indoor infestation and are looking for the best rat trap for a do-it-yourself rodent removal, we recommend strategically setting T-rex snap traps (click on image above to buy) around your house and using effective rodents baits to lure in the critters.
Tips For Using The Best Rat Trap
Each rodent infestation is not the same and may require a different approach to effectively eliminate a pack of rodents and keep them from returning.
For instance, it is not recommended to use lethal baits or poisons to extract rodents nesting inside of a structure. Instead, strategically positioned traditional snap traps will suffice in capturing unwanted rodents that are indoors. And conversely, snap traps are ineffective for outdoor infestations.
However, to make the traps effective you must use a combination of strategic positioning, placement, setting, monitoring, and baits. Thick food pastes are good baits to apply to these traps.
It is also recommended to pre-bait the mousetraps by placing baits without setting the traps. Rodents are reluctant to touch or visit new objects in their environment, so pre-baiting will allow the rodent to test the area without any consequence. Then when more food is placed, the rodent will be more comfortable to eat from the set trap.
If your DIY attempts have failed or you would rather not deal with the traps or rodent carcasses, choosing a pest control professional to eliminate your rodent problem is convenient and affordable. Licensed rodent control technicians will do the setting, monitoring, and positioning of the traps to ensure a successful rodent removal.
It is recommended to contact a rodent control professional when your traps are ineffective or for large rodent problems.
Buy Your Effective Solution To Rodent Problems at our webstore!
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Bees, Cockroaches, Mice, Pest Control, Property Managers, Rats, Realtors, Silverfish, Spiders, Ticks, Wasp
An ideal nesting spot for pests is an enclosed space that offers a nearby food source and has low foot traffic. You may consider these conditions all in one place a rarity but this type of environment commonly exists within residential neighborhoods and densely populated areas. They are typically referred to as foreclosed homes or abandoned properties – Yes; these are a pest’s paradise.
Pest problems within a foreclosed home can significantly increase the risk of pest infestations to adjacent properties. The pest population can outgrow the abandoned house and begin to overflow to other homes in the neighborhood.
Common Pest Infestations In Foreclosed Homes
Mosquitoes breed in pools and bird baths that have stagnant water from the lack of cleaning and rainfall. Rodents use unoccupied structures to nest and hide during the day, then travel to neighboring properties for food at night. Eventually the rodent population will become too large and will be forced to seek shelter elsewhere – possibly your home.
If conditions are right, honeybees will invade any home. It is possible to have a hive of thousands of bees neighboring your house. Be cautious of beehives and nests of other stinging insects during spring and summer months since this is when they are most active. The slightest noises or motions can disturb the nearby colonies.
Ticks can thrive in lawns that are unmaintained and contain high grass and overgrown weeds. Rodents or pets that run through these lawns are subject to become a host for these parasitic creatures, thus indirectly spreading them to your home. Keep your pets away from lawns that are not groomed.
Defend Your Home From Neighboring Pests
If a home near you is not maintained, you should contact the property owner. For foreclosed homes, the party responsible for the property is often banks or managing real estate companies. If no action is taken by the party you contacted, advise the municipal animal control services.
In the meantime, get regular pest control treatments to provide a preventative barrier protection around your property. Most pests will be unable to migrate into your home with bi-monthly treatments.
Applying weather stripping to doors and pest repellent screens to vents and windows is a great preventative measure to keep pests away. Also, seal any exterior hole the size of a quarter or larger on your home with gnaw-proof materials, including steel sheeting, hardware cloth, galvanized steel and concrete.