When cold weather comes mice and rats move indoors.
They leave those frigid burrows in the ground, and search for warmer environments. Your home becomes their winter retreat. And as if paying their heating bill for them isn’t enough, you give them more food than they ever found outside too.
Once they make themselves comfortable they start looking for groceries. Before long they’re invading your cabinets, chewing by food containers, and spilling the contents to spread them all over the cupboard.
Not only do they leave you a mess to clean up, they contaminate your food so you can’t eat it yourself.
It typically starts with a sound. As you sit watching television you hear the faint pitter-patter of tiny feet as one of these furry pests run across the linoleum on your kitchen floor. Or you hear the noise overhead as the rodents run around above your ceiling.
Then you start catching movement from the corner of your vision. You think you notice something running along a baseboard. You look up, but by that time at all event it is ducks behind a piece of furniture, and out of sight.
Soon those little calling cards, rodent droppings, show up along the walls around your home.
Mice and rats are creatures of habit. They stay mostly near a wall. They like to run along the baseboard where they find furniture and appliances to hide behind, or under, when they see you coming too close.
As soon as you see these pests, or signs of them, in your home it’s time to start treating for them before they get out of control.
Rodents not only dirty your home with their droppings, they carry diseases that you just don’t want exposure to.
Pest control techniques for rodent infestations come in different forms. You need to consider each treatment method, and decide which suits you best.
The fastest treatment for mice and rats is poison baits. You place the bait in a strategic location where it attracts the rodent, but doesn’t scare the pest away.
Baits work well, but they do have one drawback. After the rodent eats the bait it crawls off to die (usually to a identify inside your wall). A day or so later that dead body starts smelling. The smell becomes a stink as the body decays.
A decaying mouse stinks for typically no more than a week. A rat (because of its larger size) stinks for two or more times longer.
Another rodent control method is the proper placement of glue boards.
Place the board next to the baseboard where you find evidence of rodent travel. The mouse or rat runs onto the board, and becomes retained by the glue. For best effect fold the board into a tunnel. Rodents see it as a place to hide.
Glue boards usually work pretty good. I once found one that caught a family of mice (a mother and three babies). I also found boards with mouse fur on them where the pest managed to get free.
Boards for rats are much larger than the mouse boards. During my pest control days I had mixed results catching rats on glue boards. I caught a few, but most of the time I just found rat fur on the boards.
Seems rats are strong enough to pull themselves free of the glue.
Mechanical traps work good, and you have a large number of choices.
Some are catch and release that catch the rodent alive, and you take it far away from your home to set it free. Some are single use that catch and kill the pest, and you throw the trap and all away after it catches that first rodent.
I prefer the old spring bar kind trap (when I use a trap) because of its multiple use capability. Catch a rodent, remove it from the trap, and keep using the trap to catch more of the pests.
Which method you use is a matter of personal choice. The important thing is to learn how to properly position the treatment you choose, and get control of the rodent invasion fast.
You may enjoy that pitter-patter sound of tiny feet, but not when it comes from mice and rats.