Possums and House Mice and Rats, Oh My!

September 8, 2016 | Posted in Rodents | By

rodents_1Some people may think these furry critters are cute and cuddly, but when they’re infesting your home, they are anything but. Today we’re talking about three common rodent pests you can find in North Texas and what you can do about them.

House Mice

Did you know that the word “mouse” is derived from the Sanskrit verb meaning “to steal”? These furry creatures have been living up to this reputation for thousands of years, and today, you can find this kind of mouse almost every region of the world. In fact, in most parts of the world, the house mouse is the #1 rodent pest.

Although they prefer grains and cereals, these mice will eat almost anything, including other house mice. It really depends on the food that is readily available, and if they’re able to find a solid source of food, they won’t travel far away unless their circumstances change. You have quite a few options when it comes to dealing with these rodents, and one of our technicians can help you determine the best option for you and your home.

Roof Rats

This creature is known by many names, including black rat, house rat, and ship rat. These rats first arrived in the United States back in the 15th century and can be found along the West Coast and in Southern states from Texas to Virginia. Unlike the ground-dwelling Norway rat, which can be found almost everywhere in the States, the roof rat prefers dwelling in roofs and treetops. Because of this, the roof rat is less dependent on human foods than the Norway rat. But that doesn’t mean the roof rat is a good houseguest. These rodents pose another threat: gnawing damage.

The word “rodent” is from the Latin word meaning “to gnaw.” Rats need to gnaw in order to file down their incisors (their four long front teeth), and they’ll chomp on anything from electrical wiring to wooden beams. Like when dealing with mice, you have lots of options on how to deal with roof rats, and different solutions work better for different situations.

Opossums

You’ll be able to find these creatures in crawlspaces beneath buildings, like underneath porches, or in the attics of houses. If you truly want to protect your house from these creatures, “opossum-proofing” your house is your best option. That means locating the holes where they’re getting into the house and sealing those openings off when the opossums are gone. To get the opossums out in the first place, live trapping is very effective when you use the proper bait.

Opossums are “true omnivores” and will eat anything they can, from small mammals and mushrooms to garbage and vegetables. In fact, that’s one reason you’ll see them by the road so often—they’re trying to feed on roadkill. Uncovered trash cans or trash bags left on the side of the road are easy targets for food, so placing your trash in a covered container will help lower your chances of their meddling with them and making a mess you’ll have to clean up later.

If rodent pests have found a way into your home, Western Exterminating can help get them out (and if we can’t do it, we’ll know someone who can). Give us a call today at 817-834-3121 to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained technicians!

Sources:

Mallis, Arnold. (1997). Handbook of Pest Control (8th ed.).

Information to Your Rat Problem

January 21, 2016 | Posted in Rodents | By

7 resons you need pest control in the winter picture
Human dwellings and outbuildings provide shelter for rats and mice during cold periods. Crawl space areas beneath homes or attics are common rat escapes. Rats will also utilize garages, sheds or even inside your home. They do not like open exposure, mainly foraging at night or with heavy infestation the weaker rat of the nest may seek out food sources during the day.

The reason for the increase in rat infestations during the fall and winter months is due to the weather is changing, therefore rats are seeking warmer habitats which usually consist of inside homes or in garages. Many people notice movement of rats when large areas of land is excavated for construction. This displaces a large amount of rats and mice.

In our area there are two types of rats that infest homes, the Norway rats and Roof rats. Norway rats dwell in burrows found in grass embankments, beneath the roots of trees and at the edges of palings and drain covers. Roof rat nests may be found inside the lofts, attics, beneath floor boards and in other dark infrequently visited locations.

Rats are responsible for the transmission of many diseases. Their feeding habits are destructive, and their nesting behaviors can compromise the structure of infested buildings. However, rats are secretive and not seen by many humans when populations are low. Therefore, an infestation may prove difficult to confirm. The most obvious sign of a rat infestation is the sighting of a rat dead or alive. Rats prefer to hide, given enough space, so if seen in plane sight it is likely there is a full blown infestation. Another sign would be a spotting of rat droppings. Rat droppings indicate a heathy feeding rat population. The last sign, which is probably the most vague, would be if you see a sign of a rat leaving dirt or grease marks along floorboards. Although this is a sign it is not a for sure indication of rats being in your house and could be many other things.

In the event of an infestation it is best to consult a pest control professional. If you see any signs that rats might be in your home call Western Exterminating at 817-834-3121 to set up an appointment for an estimate and evaluation.