While there are several types of pest rodents in McAllen, rats and mice are the worst. The reason they're so bad is that they don't stay in your yard like other backyard rodents. Gopher infestations are unheard of in McAllen homes. They're lawn rodents. Voles are mice-like critters, but they're also lawn rodents. Chipmunk infestations are extremely rare, but occasionally they'll find their way inside for a short time. Squirrel infestations are somewhat common, but those furry-tailed rodents stay in attics. Only rats and mice get inside and explore your entire home. If you're thinking, "Um, no thanks. I'll pass." You've come to the right place. We'll tell you how to detect rats and mice, why it is essential to get rid of them, tips to drive them out, and tips to easily keep rodents off your property. If you want an even easier solution, you can jump over to our contact page for rodent pest control in McAllen. Our highly-trained technicians use advanced Integrated Pest Management to get immediate results and long-lasting protection against rodent infestations.
Signs Of Rodents In Your Home
Do you know for sure that you have rats or mice in your home? If so, you can move to the next section. If not, we have some helpful tips for diagnosing a possible rodent problem.
Droppings: There is no easier way to tell that you have rodents in your home. Rodent droppings are black. Rat droppings are larger than a grain of white rice and mice droppings are slightly smaller. Look for these in hidden and secluded spaces next to walls.
Damage: Rodents make holes in building materials, stored items, and food packages. Search for these holes and patch them (or remove the food item). Check back in a few days to see if new holes appear.
Grease: Rodents run along baseboards and the grease from their fur creates dark marks. The darker the marks, the more rodents you have.
Sounds: Rodents don't always make noises, but hearing noises can alert you to an infestation. If you have a dog or a cat, watch to see if they notice noises.
Smells: Rodents leave urine as they explore. The longer you have rodents in your home, the more noticeable the scent of urine is going to be.
Ongoing inspections help you catch trouble early so you can deal with rodents before they create a large population—because that is exactly what they'll do. One mouse or rat will not remain one for long. These critters reproduce quickly. As the population grows, so do the risks of having rodents in your home.
Can Rodents In Your House Make You Sick?
Do you know that rodents spread bacteria, ticks, fleas, and other harmful organisms, or that they damage property and chew on wires? If so, you can move to the next section. It is not common knowledge. Many people see rats and mice and furry, little woodland creatures. But rodents are urban scavengers that expose themselves to unsanitary environments. For this reason, they are considered a health risk.
- Rodents can spread salmonella, E. coli, Leptospira, and other harmful microorganisms. These invisible organisms can cause flu-like symptoms or worse.
- Rodents can carry diseases such as Hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and plague.
- Rodents pick up and spread ticks and fleas. Both can transmit diseases such as Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, typhus, and bartonellosis.
Along with disease transmission, rats and mice are a threat to property. The holes they chew in your exterior can allow moisture in. That moisture can cause wood rot or mold issues. When rodents get into attics and storage rooms, they can damage items by chewing on them or by soiling them with their droppings and urine. The worst way rodents damage property is by chewing on wires. Experts warn that rats and mice are prone to this behavior and are considered a serious threat.
We could say more, but the goal of this article is rodent prevention. We added this section as a motivator. Rodent management is hard work. Let these facts inspire you to roll your sleeves up and do that hard work.
The Safest Way To Get Rid Of Rodents In McAllen
Do you know that rodent control products usually fall short and that the safest way to get rid of common rodents is to control food? If so, you can move to the next section.
Rats and mice live close to food. A little mouse will eat 15 to 20 times a day! While it doesn't eat much each time, it needs frequent meals. Do you know what happens when it doesn't get enough to eat? It enters a low-energy state called diapause, which resembles hibernation. In laboratory studies, mice entered this state after only hours of fasting. All of this is to say, rodents want enough food to stay active and avoid hunger. They won't want to live in a home that doesn't have enough food. The question is, "how do you control food resources and drive rodents out?"
- Keep trash in a covered container. Use scented bags to mask the smell of food.
- Put food in sealed containers. A rodent can smell food inside paper or cardboard packages. Transferring these items will help keep rodents out of your stored foods.
- Deep clean your kitchen. Rodents get into tight spaces, so clean up potential food sources around and underneath appliances.
- Clean as you go. Don't leave any food debris in your kitchen.
- Consider only eating in your kitchen and dining room. Snacking on the couch and in other places can lead to food being made available to rodents at night.
- Pick up pet food dishes before you go to bed. Rodents are nocturnal.
- Clean dishes as you go or store them in the dishwasher.
Use ideas like this to make your home a food-free zone for rodents. They won't like it, and they'll likely leave. If they decide to stay, your efforts will limit their population growth and guard you against rodent-related sickness.
Tips To Keep Rodents Away From Your Home For Good
Do you know that altering conditions around your home and sealing entry points work to keep rodents out? If so, you can move to the end of this article. Let's quickly look at the five pillars of exterior rodent prevention.
1. Remove Food
Rats and mice eat seeds, nuts, fruit, and food inside your trash receptacles. Consider removing bird feeders if you have them. Rake up nuts and fruit that fall to the ground. Make sure your trash receptacles are covered and that they don't have a rodent-attracting odor.
2. Remove Ground Objects
Rats and mice have poor eyesight. One of the methods they use to navigate is touch. Their heads swing back and forth as they listen to sounds and feel for objects around them. A yard that is free of ground objects is resistant to rodents.
3. Protect Voids
Rats and mice get under decks, stairs, sheds, and other exterior structures. An application of hardware cloth can keep them out. Doing so will deter nesting and hiding. When you install the material, insert it at least a foot into the ground to keep rodents from tunneling under.
4. Seal Entry Points
Rodents prefer to use holes and gaps that already exist because it is easier and quicker. Inspect your exterior and address any entry points you find. Don't pass over any holes because they're too small. Mice are small rodents that can get through a hole the size of a dime.
5. Block Routes
There are many vulnerabilities on your roof. It is best not to allow rats and mice to get up there. As you work to exclude these rodents, you need to block routes. Take some wire mesh and stuff it into your downspouts. Trim tree branches away from your home so rodents can't leap onto your roof from nearby trees. Install guards on any pipes that run up the sides of your home, particularly if they go all the way to your roof.
Now we come to the heart of our conversation today: how to easily keep rodents in McAllen off your property. The bottom line is that it isn't easy to keep rodents away if you do it yourself. Products used to control rats and mice are hard to deploy successfully if you don't have training in pest control, and you can get undesirable results, such as rodents dying in your walls. The best solution is pest and home maintenance. But that is also hard to do.
The only easy way we know to keep rodents away from your yard and to prevent them from getting into your home is to get year-round pest control that includes coverage for rats and mice. Pest control technicians know what products to use, where to use them, and how to evaluate the success of rodent control. If you're in McAllen, contact Bugworks Termite & Pest Control. We take care of the hard work of rodent control that many other service providers don't, such as finding and patching entry points. Our technicians use wire mesh and foam to seal the small holes rodents use to get inside, and we provide ongoing and sustainable rodent management. We can help. Reach out to us today!
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