For most of us, discovering an unwanted rodent in your home can be an incredibly unsettling experience, not to mention a major pest control issue. Rodents such as mice and rats can cause serious health issues as they can transmit a number of serious diseases such as Legionnaires’ disease, Salmonella, Hantavirus, and Lyme disease. They can also cause extremely-costly structural issues once they find their way indoors.
Here are some guidelines on recognising when you may have an issue, and what to do if it happens.
How do I know if there’s mouse or a rat in my home?
First off, rat droppings are an obvious sign that a rat is present. These droppings are typically the size and colour of coffee grains, unlike mouse droppings which are much smaller. Another clear sign that a rat has made itself at home, are signs of gnawed or chewed objects and furniture. Male rat’s urine also has a particularly foul odour, another easy tell-tale sign to the presence of rats. They can eat through anything even outdoor tiles or skirting boards.
If you think you have mice in your home, check for droppings that are typically a pointy shape and the approximate size of sprinkles on an ice-cream. Mice are particularly active at night, so if you hear scratching noises coming from either the attic or cavity walls, this is a clear indication of the likely presence of mice.
What attracts mice and rats?
There are two main things that tend to entice mice and rats into your home or business – food and shelter. Food waste on the floor or surfaces is irresistible to these rodents, so it’s always important to tidy up properly around the home. As well as this, as the Irish winter sets in, rodents can seek shelter from the cold weather in homes, warehouses, offices, and schools.
Mice are extremely agile and can squeeze through a hole roughly the size of a pen. Rats only need slightly more space than 2cm. that means that any small hole to the outside can serve as a rodent gateway straight into your home or business.
How can I deter mice and rats?
One of the simplest ways of deterring mice and rats from entering your property is by sealing off possible entry points. These entry points can present themselves as gaps near drains, water pipes, or external electrical wiring, leading to the inside of your home.
To avoid attracting mice and rats near your home in the first place, always ensure that you remove any plants or fruits that have fallen on the ground in the garden, or that have started to rot. Remember to also regularly clean inside your home! Pay particular attention to the kitchen areas as this is where rodents often ‘hang out’. Frequently sweep the floor and also check hard-to-reach areas such as under the fridge or the toaster for bits of food waste.
What if I have a rodent infestation?
If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to deal with rodents in your home and suspect an infestation, it’s always best to call the professionals. At House and Home Pest Control we have years of industry experience and expertise in providing tailored pest control solutions to our clients.
Simply get in touch with us today for advice about your pest concerns, or for an effective, lasting pest control solution.