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rodent control

SECURITY PEST ELIMINATION

Serving the Southborough MA Area Since 1993

1-800-362-2687

Professional Mice and Rat Elimination

Mice and rats are referred to as Rodents (from the Latin rodere meaning ‘to gnaw need’) their need to gnaw constantly is necessary to control the size of their incisor (front) teeth. Mice can chew through anything softer than their teeth. Mice teeth can grow up to 5 inches a year. They often turn their destructive instincts to pipe work, structural building materials, electrical cables, thus they are the number cause of structural fires.

mouse close-up

House Mice:

Mice are nocturnal creatures and are rarely seen by the homeowner. When only a few mice are present in the home you might notice some droppings or hear them at night. After the mice start multiplying, they begin to get noticed running across floor areas late at night. If you see house mice in the daytime, it is an indication of a large mouse infestation.
The greatest economic loss from mice is not due to how much they eat, but what must be thrown out because of damage or contamination. Food, clothing, furniture, books and many other household items are contaminated by their droppings and urine, or damaged by their gnawing. In homes, besides fire, the real damage or harm by mice is contamination. Rodents are also the vectors of human disease, they are incontinent and consequently foul wherever they travel, their droppings and fur will contaminate food preparation surfaces and foodstuffs. Mice also spread diseases; salmonellosi, rickettsialpox and lymphocytic choriomenigitis and exposure to mice feces can cause asthma in humans.

There are three species of mice in New England that enter our homes (house mice, white-footed mice and deer mice). The white-footed mouse in eastern North America is the most popular host for the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and the ticks that transmit it. This species is similar to the deer mouse. Like the deer mouse, it may carry Hantaviruses, which cause severe illness in humans. It has also been found to be a reservoir for the Lyme disease causing spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. In comparison to the house mice, white-footed and deer mice have larger eyes and ears. They are considered by most people to be more “attractive” than house mice, and they do not have the characteristic mousy odor of house mice. All three of these species of mice cause similar problems and require similar solutions.

House Mouse Damage

house mouse chewing electrical wiring

House mice gnaw through electrical wiring causing fires and failure of freezers,
clothes dryers and other appliances.



house mouse contaminating food

House Mouse Contaminating Hamburger Rolls

Are there Mice in the House?

Mice are the most common rodents found within structures, particularly in the fall and winter. The most obvious indicators of their presence are droppings (1/8 to 1/4 inch long, dark and pointed at both ends).

mouse droppings

House Mice Droppings

Also, hearing sounds of them running, gnawing or squeaking, or seeing damage to stored food or materials for nesting. Don’t be surprised if your pets paw at walls and cabinets where mice are hiding. Cats will stare at walls for extended periods when they hear rodents moving within. You may find mouse droppings in various areas of your kitchen cabinets or under the counter. Look for dried urine in pots and pans. Watch for mice droppings in storage areas like garages and basements, especially along the wall edges in the corners. You might not see the mice, but you can probably hear them after dark, as mice are often more active at night. Nests are usually made of materials like bits of cloth or shredded paper. You can check for mouse tracks by dusting suspected areas with a light coating of unscented talcum powder or mason’s chalk dust. Wait a day and then shine a flashlight across the area. If you notice small tracks in the powder, then you’ll know that mice have been there.

How to Get Rid of Mice – Solution

Security Pest Elimination will send out a licensed Pest Control technician to inspect and check for entry points. If a main entry point is found we will seal it with a material mice can’t chew through. Field mice will come and go through exterior openings, but house mice tend to stay inside most of the time.
Note: Mouse traps are not the best way of eliminating house mice. They are best used for mouse control, not mice elimination. They tend to catch just some of the careless juvenile mice, not many of the adult mice. So, using mice traps for getting rid of a mice problem is an ongoing measure requiring constant removal of dead mice. Since our customers want us to rid their home of all the mice as quickly as possible, using mouse traps is not an option. Getting rid of house mice, deer mice and white footed mice inside a structure is best accomplished with the correct rodent baits. We have different baits for various parts of your home. The bait must be attractive enough for the mice to eat even if they already have a food source stored inside your walls, or above your ceilings.
Note: This stored food in your walls and ceilings leads to pantry pest infestations (such as, Indian meal moths and various types of grain beetles) that can linger for up to 8 years after the mice are gone. The best way to get rid of mice is to use the proper mouse bait for each type of location in your home. i.e. The right bait for eliminating mice in the attic, will be useless in a damp garage location (it would quickly spoil and the mice won’t eat it ). We have the proper baits for each location type, so the bait will be quickly eaten and last in each type of environment for an extended period of time.
Note: If proper baiting is done for house mice, white-footed and deer mice will also be controlled. Behavioral differences may result in white-footed and deer mice carrying off and hoarding more bait than house mice normally do. For this reason the use of properly designed bait stations and the correct bait formulation will prevent this from happening.

White Footed & Deer Mice – Damage Identification

The principal problem caused by white-footed and deer mice is their tendency to enter homes, sheds, garages and other structures that are not rodent-proof. Here they build nests, store food, and can cause considerable damage to upholstered furniture, mattresses, clothing, car interiors, paper, or other materials that they find suitable for their nest-building activities. Nests, droppings, and other signs left by these mice are similar to those of house mice. White-footed and deer mice have a greater tendency to cache food supplies, such as acorns, seeds, or nuts, than do house mice. White-footed and deer mice are common in suburban residential areas where there is considerable open space (fields, parks) nearby.
In mid-1993, the deer mouse was first implicated as a potential reservoir of a type of hantavirus responsible for an adult respiratory distress syndrome, leading to several deaths in the Four Corners area of the United States. Subsequent isolations of the virus thought responsible for this illness have been made from several Western states. The source of the disease is thought to be through human contact with urine, feces, or saliva from infected rodents.

house mouse with offspring

Mice are prolific breeders, producing six to ten litters throughout the year.

Cleaning Mouse Droppings

When cleaning areas previously used by mice, take precautions to reduce exposure to dust, their excreta, and carcasses of dead mice. Where deer mice or related species may be reservoirs of hantaviruses, the area should be disinfected by spraying it thoroughly with a disinfectant or a solution of diluted household bleach prior to beginning any sweeping, vacuuming, or handling of surfaces or materials with which mice have had contact. Use appropriate protective clothing, including vinyl or latex gloves. Contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Hotline for current recommendations when handling rodents or cleaning areas previously infested.

Frightening

There are no methods known for successfully keeping white-footed or deer mice out of structures by means of sound. Ultrasonic devices that are commercially sold and advertised to control rodents and other pests have not proven to give satisfactory control.

Repellents

Moth balls or flakes (naphthalene) may effectively repel mice from closed areas where a sufficient concentration of the chemical can be attained in the air. These materials are not registered for the purpose of repelling mice, however, and will leave your home with a foul smelling odor for years.

Facts about Mice:

  • After 2 months of age, house mice produce 6 – 10 litters of 5 -10 pups per year.
  • Like all rodents, mouse teeth never stop growing, they can grow up to 5 inches a year.
  • Mice can jump down 12 feet without injury; they also have a 13-inch vertical jump.
  • Mice chew through anything softer than their teeth, including electrical wiring a fire hazard.
  • Mice can transmit salmonellosis when food is contaminated with infected mouse feces.
  • Mice constantly leave droppings and urine in the areas they frequent.
  • Mice squeak at very high frequencies, often above the range of human hearing.
  • The average mouse has a life expectancy of under 18 months.
  • Mice may make 20 to 30 visits to different food sites each night.
  • Mice see best in dim light. Their eyesight is weak, but their other senses are acute.
  • Mice can scale rough vertical surfaces and walk along thin ropes and wires.
  • Fresh mouse droppings are dark, 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length and pointed at both ends.
  • They forage only short distances from their nest, usually not more than 10 to 25 feet.
  • Mice explore their territory daily, showing no aversion to new objects (neophobia).
  • Each year in the US alone, rodents cause more than one billion dollars in damage.
  • What do mice eat? Mice prefer grains, seeds and insects, but will consume almost any food

Mice Control Tips:

  • Place dog food, birdseed and human food inside rodent-proof containers
  • Keep shrubs, vines and tree limbs trimmed away from structure
  • All gaps should be less than 1/4 inch to prevent entry
  • Door thresholds and frames fitted with gaskets or brush shields
  • Utility openings sealed with sealant or pipe collars (escutcheon plates)
  • Do not stack lumber, firewood, bricks, pipes or other debris next to foundation
  • Storage areas organized and clutter-free with access to perimeter walls
  • Garbage removed daily and stored outside in closed containers
  • Food spills and soiled dishes should be cleaned promptly

RATS

norway_rat

Common Norway Rat

The rats found in Massachusetts are called brown rats, street rats, sewer rats, Hanover rats, Norway rats, or wharf rats, but they’re all the same species of rat (Rattus norvegicus). They’re most commonly called just rats or Norway rats. The Norway rat has a body length up to 10 inches long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 12 oz. and the female 9 oz. Brown rats in New England have originated from northern China, not Norway. This rodent is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America. This rat type lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas. In addition to being a major nuisance pest, the brown rat can transmit certain diseases to people and animals, and can damage or contaminate large quantities of food products and crops.

Description

The fur is coarse and usually brown or dark grey, while the underparts are lighter grey or brown. The body length can be up to 10 inches, with the tail being another 10 inches. Adult body weight averages 19 oz. in males and about 12 oz in females, but a very large brown rat can reach 32 oz. Rats weighing over 32 oz. are rare and stories of rats as big as cats are just exaggerations, or misidentifications of other rodents, such as the much larger muskrat.

Biology and Behavior

The Norway rat is extremely adaptable and once indoors can nest in wall or ceiling void, crawlspaces, attics, or inside furniture or other stored items. A young rat can gain entry to a building through an opening only slightly larger than 1/2-inch. Brown rats can travel along pipes or conduits, climb brick or rough walls, and can gnaw through various building materials including cement block. They sometimes enter buildings by traveling and swimming through sewer lines. They have been known to come straight up into our homes through the bathroom toilet. The brown rat is nocturnal and is a good swimmer, both on the surface and underwater. Brown rats live in large, hierarchical groups, either in burrows or subsurface places, such as sewers and cellars. Rats are known to burrow extensively. Rats generally begin a new burrow adjacent to an object or structure, as this provides a roof for the section of the burrow nearest to the ground’s surface. Thus, our cement foundations make good locations for them.

Diet

The brown rat is a true omnivore and will consume almost anything. There teeth are very hard and grow continuously, so they are constantly chewing on objects to keep their teeth from growing to long. They can chew through almost all food packaging containers.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

The brown rat can breed throughout the year if conditions are suitable, with a female producing up to five litters a year. The gestation period is about 21 days, and litters can number up to 14, although seven is most common. They reach sexual maturity in about five weeks. Their normal lifespan is one to 2 years, but they can live up to 3 years.

Rat Control

Control of brown rats usually requires multiple strategies; baiting, sometimes trapping and rat-proofing to keep them out. Call our experts at Security Pest Elimination if you have a rat problem.

We offer safe effective & 100% guaranteed rodent control services.
Get your FREE Estimate Today!
Our toll free number in Massachusetts is 1-800-362-2687

Local Southborough MA number is 1-508-481-6888
Southborough MA, Zipcode 01745

 

 

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