Hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and already domesticated rats make terrific pets for many American households, but if wild rodents are a problem at your house they can be difficult to get rid of. They are dirty, destructive, and many of them carry dangerous diseases and shelter fleas and ticks that are unhealthy to your family’s health and safety. Short of borrowing the neighbors’ cats, how do you keep these pesky rodents under control? Here are some quick suggestions.
- Know the signs of rodent presence: You don’t have to see a mouse to know it’s around. Tell-tale signs include tiny piles of shredded paper in the corners of cupboards or pantries, tiny brown or blackish droppings, and dried puddles of sickly sweet-smelling urine on shelves or behind furniture. If you happen to trap one mouse, never assume you’ve taken care of your problem for good! Where there’s one, there are probably many more.
- Clean your house thoroughly: Rodents are attracted by the smell of their own kind in addition as the droppings that are left behind. Always use protective rubber gloves when cleaning since the urine and saliva can spread disease, and work carefully so as to not stir up surrounding dust and send contaminants airborne. Use commercial-grade cleaners designed for effective rodent cleanup, however are safe to use around children and pets. Discard all affected food, wash clothing left on floors, and have your upholstery cleaned.
- Think like a mouse: If you are storing old newspapers, plastic bags, an old mattress or anything else that can be shredded or nested in, either get rid of them altogether or store them in airtight, tamper-proof containers. Look at your stored belongings with a basic eye and think like a mouse: if you could use it for bedding, pitch it.
- Make a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior and interior walls, and either use caulk or steel wool to seal fractures or stop up entryways that may be used by rodents. A mouse only needs an inch or less of clearance to make it by, so be sure to be thorough.
- Get rid of standing water: Rats are particularly drawn to stagnant water such as backyard kiddie pools, rain puddles that don’t dry up quickly, and already ornamental ponds. Drain kiddie pools every night, sweep out puddles, and install an agitator or waterfall characterize to keep your pond from stagnating.
Once you have preventive measures in place, be sure to contact your trusted Utah pest control contractor or similar specialized where you live. Do-it-yourself poisons (especially for rats) are just too risky, and these pros will have the right products and use the safest techniques to make sure you are rodent-free.