Mouse Or Rat Problem? How To Determine Which Rodent Has Invaded Your Home & 3 Tips For Getting Rid Of Them
If you are like many homeowners who have noticed the first signs of a potential rodent infestation in your home, then you may have seen signs of the rodents, yet not seen the rodents themselves. While you may be tempted to start leaving out rodent traps right away to catch the mice or rats that have invaded your home, it is important to first determine which rodent is occupying your home. Once you know whether you have a mouse or rat problem, and even the specific type of rat, it will be much easier to eradicate them quickly and efficiently with extermination techniques that work best for that specific rodent.
Read on to learn how to determine whether you have a mouse, roof rat, or Norway rat infestation and three tips for eradicating your rodent.
Mouse, Roof Rat, and Norway Rat Infestation Signs
While you may think that it would be very difficult to determine which type of rodent is invading your home without actually seeing the rodent, it is actually easier to determine the type of rodent based on the signs of the infestation and not the appearance of the rodent alone. While Norway and roof rats both grow to much larger sizes than mice do as adults, it can be very easy to mistake a baby rat for a mouse, since they look very similar.
Instead, the first thing you should do is look at the rodent droppings you may be seeing around your home. Mouse droppings are about one-quarter inch in length and have pointed ends. Roof rat droppings are about one-half inch in length and also have slightly pointed ends. Norway rats leave droppings that are about three-quarter inch in length and have rounded ends.
Another way to determine which rodent is invading your home is based on where you find the droppings and where you live. Roof rats are only common along the US coastlines, and they dwell in the upper levels of homes and attics. Norway rats typically stay within the first floor of a home and possibly in a basement. Mice can occupy all home floors, so if rodent droppings have been found on all floors of your multi-story home, then you likely have a mouse infestation.
3 Tips for Eradication a Rodent or Mouse Infestation
1. Seal Your Home Thoroughly
No matter what type of rodent is infesting your home, you don't want new ones entering your house while you are attempting to get rid of the ones already occupying it and their offspring. Since house mice are so small and only grow to about .5 to one ounce as adults, if you have signs of a mouse problem, you will have to be sure there are no openings into your home larger than one-quarter inch in size. Roof rats grow to about 5 to 9 ounces in size as adults, and Norway rats can reach a full pound in size. That means that if you see signs of rats and not mice, you can be a little less diligent in securing your home and just make sure there are no openings into your home larger than one-inch in diameter, which is about the size of a quarter.
2. Choose the Right Traps
Once your home is thoroughly sealed (or while you are working on sealing it), you can set out traps to catch some of the mice or rats occupying your home. There are both catch-and-release traps and kill-traps available for both pests, so choose the type that you feel best using. If you secured your home well, then catch-and-release traps can work well. Make sure to choose mouse traps if you have a mouse infestation and rat traps if you see signs of rats. Due to their drastic size differences, this is very important.
Roof rats are very suspicious of new objects in their surroundings, so after setting traps out for them, it may seem like they are not working for a day or two. However, as they become used to the traps, they will get over their fear and likely enter them if you bait them well.
Both mice and rats enjoy peanut butter, so placing a little in your traps will lure either species into them. Rats also love meats, cereals, and produce. Mice also like oats and chocolate.
3. Call a Rodent Exterminator
If sealing your home and trapping doesn't eradicate your rodent problem or you want to get rid of the rodents more quickly, then call a rodent control company. A professional can locate places the rodents are entering your home that you may have overlooked and come up with a more multi-faceted extermination plan that gets rid of the rodents more quickly and efficiently.
If you have seen the first signs of a home rodent infestation, then follow these tips for determining the type of rodent that is occupying your home and how to eradicate it. Visit a site like http://www.greenleafpest.com for more information and to get professional help.