If you’ve ever walked into the kitchen late at night, turned on the light, and seen something furry and black with a long tail scurry across the floor and scare you to death then you’ve experienced mice or worse a rat. Rodents can cause damage to walls, cabinets, attics, but they can also spread disease and carry fleas and lice. There are 2,000+ species of rodents around the world. Squirrels, mice, rats, gophers, woodchucks, hamsters, voles, and moles just to name a few of the more familiar ones.
The two dominant rodents in homes are mice and rats. And there are different types of rats and mice.
There are several types of mice. House mice are the most popular in the U.S. especially in areas with large populations and crowded housing like cities House mice are 12-20 centimeters long and weigh between ¼ and 1 ounce. Mice can be brown, gray, and white. Mice have long whiskers with large ears and long, hairy tails. The average life of a mouse is about a year, but they can live up to 6 years as pets, or in scientific labs.
Mice are active at night and tend to be social mammals but they are territorial. They are dangerous and destructive. Mice gain access to homes through very tiny openings. Once they have invaded your home these pests can contaminate food, spread disease allergies, and sickness through contact on surfaces and food through their droppings. Mice multiply quickly once inside a home.
Mice love attics, food pantries, dog and cat food bags, or containers, boxes, inside walls, and even furniture like couches. Once inside your home, they can cause a lot of damage. Mice can eat through drywall, wood, doors, laminate/hardwood flooring, carpets, and cabinets. Because they are nocturnal they love dark spaces under sinks and kitchen cabinets, closets, attics, and crawlspaces.
Rats are larger than mice. They can grow as long as 16” and weigh between 7-18 ounces. Like mice, there are different types of rats like brown/sewer rats, black/roof rats. They can be black, brown, gray, and white. Their snout is shorter than mice and their tails are scaly and without hair, unlike mice. Because of their size and habitat rats are more dangerous and destructive than mice. Both mice and rats are typically not aggressive unless they are trapped, or cornered by a human, or a dog, cat, etc. Both love to eat grains, seeds, fruits, meat, feces of other animals or rodents, and just about anything in your pantry. Both mice and rats can contaminate your food or home with urine and feces than from consuming your food-related goods.
Rats can be harder to control because they colonize in hard to reach places in homes, reproduce and cause significantly more damage than mice. If you have rats contacting a professional is the best thing you can do instead of trying to battle them on your own.
Rat and mice feces and urine is loaded with dangerous diseases and viruses. Their dried droppings can release airborne particulates that can be inhaled through your nose and mouth when trying to wipe them up, or vacuum them. If you find them in your home, wear gloves, a face mask, and spray them with a disinfectant like Lysol, or other household disinfectants before wiping them up. In severe cases, they can carry a dangerous virus known as Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, HPS. This is one of the biggest reasons homeowners or renters need to contact a professional pest control company to eradicate any mice or rats and prevent future re-infestation.
The pest control professionals at Apex Termite & Pest Control are committed to effective treatment for any type of rodent problem. Our mouse and rat control services help our customers protect their homes and families from these pests. We install the right kind of baiting system and non-lethal solutions. We also offer “free” re-treatment services for our quarterly pest control customers to ensure long-lasting protection from all types of rodents.
Paul Hamilton, Owner
Greer, SC 29651