Voracious nocturnal pests that eat anything – that is perhaps the most accurate description of rodents in a homeowner’s perspective. In America, many integrated pest management programs focus on rodent extermination and exclusion.
The damage they can do to a household can be quite staggering. In terms of residential pest control here in Utah, exterminators will tell you dealing with these creatures should be a priority.
How do you pest-proof your home against rats and mice? You must get to know them first.
Rats and mice
Rats are large and are a major health risk because they harbor disease-carrying insects such as fleas and mites. They may also carry microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses harmful to humans in their bloodstream. Rats are notorious for their gnawing habits.
They chew on clothes, furniture, and even the beam of a house. When you hear scratching on the walls and ceiling, you are already harboring a colony of rodents. Rarely is one rat the only rat in the house.
Mice are smaller and like to hide in the nooks and crannies. If you track their droppings, then you are likely to find out where they probably nest. They will be chewing on wiring insulation and furniture right under your nose.
They are very sneaky and hardly leave any footprints. Like rats, they live in nests and reproduce rapidly.
Traps versus inclusion
The traditional approach to exterminating rodents is trapping them. There are traps that snap, and traps with sticky surfaces. Traps usually have baits for the creatures, and while they are effective, they only catch one at a time.
Many people frown at traps because of the manner the animals struggle before they expire. Some just do not believe they solve the infestation at all.
Meanwhile, exclusion is another approach—both an intervention and a preventive measure. Exclusion entails blocking entryways such as doors, windows, tiny openings where rats and mice can enter the house. This approach may be effective in preventing re-infestation once the problem is dealt with.
If an infestation is too large for you to handle, you should call for professional help. They can also tell you how to prevent them from coming back once driven away.