Weaver’s Wildlife Control often receives calls from customers that are experiencing issues with mice. We control mice and rats by employing an aggressive trapping program using wood-based snap traps, exclusion methods, and habitat modification. Trapping has several advantages: (1) it does not rely on inherently hazardous rodenticides; (2) it permits the customer to view our trapping success; (3) it allows for proper disposal of the mice, eliminating odor problems from decomposing carcasses that may remain hidden when poisoning is done within buildings. We do not use rodenticides, repellents, or fumigants because of the risk of poisoning non-target animals such as cats and dogs.
Following their arrival on colonists’ ships, house mice spread across North America and are now found in every state. A very adaptable species, the house mouse often lives in close association with people and therefore is termed one of the “commensal” rodents along with the Norway and roof rats. House mice are much more common in residences and commercial structures than are rats. House mice are considered among the most troublesome rodents in the United States. House mice live in and around homes, farms, commercial buildings, and in open fields. The onset of cold weather each fall in temperate regions cause mice to move into homes in search of food and shelter. House mice eat many types of food but prefer seeds and grain. They are not hesitant to eat new foods and are considered “nibblers”, sampling many kinds of items that may exist in their environment. Unlike Norway and roof rats, house mice can survive with little or no water. They obtain their water from the food they eat. House mice are mainly nocturnal. Mice have poor eyesight, relying on their hearing and their excellent senses of smell, taste, and touch. House mice burrow into the ground in fields or around homes when other shelter is not available. Nesting may occur in the ground or in any sheltered location. Mice breed year round, but when living outdoors, they breed mostly in spring and fall. A female may have 5 to 10 litters per year. Mouse populations can therefore grow rapidly under good conditions.
House mice have physical capabilities that enable them to gain entry to structures by gnawing, climbing, and jumping. Mice constantly explore and learn about their environment, memorizing the locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter, and other elements in their domain. They quickly detect new objects in their environment, but unlike rats, do not fear them. When house mice live in and around structures, they almost always cause damage. In homes and commercial buildings, they feed on various stored food items and pet food. In addition they contaminate food with their urine, droppings, and hair. House mice cause structural damage to homes by their gnawing and nest building activities. They quickly cause extensive damage to insulation inside walls and attics. Utility entrances are prime entry locations for mice; and masonry surfaces provide ideal climbing surfaces for high entry. Mice, like all rodents, can chew through aluminum. Mice also damage stored items in attics, basements, garages, and museums. Damaged family heirlooms, paintings, books, documents, and other items that may be impossible to replace.
Among the diseases mice or their parasites may transmit to humans are Salmonellosis, Rickettsialpox, and Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis. They also carry The “Plague” (fleas associated with rodents spread the plague), Leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tapeworms, and organisms that can cause ringworm in humans. The most serious is Hantavirus. This is usually contracted when cleaning up mouse fecal matter, urine and saliva causing the virus to become airborne and breathed in. Care should be taken when cleaning and proper respiratory equipment should be used. The presence of house mice can be determined by a number of signs including droppings, tracks, urine, smudge marks, gnawing, sounds, nests, and odors. Accumulations of mouse droppings or “toilet sites” indicate areas of high mouse activity. Effective prevention and control of house mouse damage involves three aspects: sealing all entry points, sanitation, and population reduction by means of trapping. The first two are useful preventive measures, but when a house mouse infestation exists, population control is always necessary. Control of house mice differs in important ways from the control of rats. Mice are smaller and therefore can enter narrower openings, making rodent-proofing more difficult. Physical barriers can prevent mice from gaining entry to structures where food and shelter are available. Rodent-proofing is an important and often neglected aspect of rodent control. It is a relatively permanent form of control that can prevent damage from occurring. Using snap traps is the fastest and most efficient way of reducing mouse numbers in residential buildings. Weaver’s Wildlife Control is ecologically responsible, ensuring that only environmentally sound solutions and humane wildlife removal techniques are used for all rodent removal situations. Call us today at (757)725-1558
Weaver’s Wildlife Control often receives calls from customers experiencing issues with rats. Dead rats in the walls of homes and businesses is a common call we get in the winter time each year. Dead rats will occur in walls for several reasons. Somewhere outside your home is an accessible entry point that has allowed the rat to enter your home. This will also allow the rat access to all areas of your home including walls and ceilings. Pest Control companies using Rodenticides (poisoning blocks, toxicants, etc.) to control rats and mice often times will cause an already daunting situation to become even worse. This is not the correct way to handle a rat infestation in your home. Rodenticides also pose a serious health risk to your family and pets. Pest Control companies use this method of control simply because it is easy to do. A dead rat in your wall will require special equipment such as a fiber optic scope to locate the carcass and this procedure will be time consuming and expensive.
Here is some information to help you better understand rats and how to properly manage a rat invasion. First introduced into the United States around 1775, the rat has now spread throughout the contiguous 48 states. Adult rats weigh an average of 1 pound. Their fur is coarse and usually brownish or reddish gray above and whitish gray on the belly. Rats live in close association with people. In urban or suburban areas they live in and around residences, in cellars, warehouses, stores, docks, and in sewers. They burrow to make nests under buildings and other structures, beneath concrete slabs, along stream banks, around ponds, in garbage dumps, and other locations where suitable food, water, and shelter are present. Rats will eat nearly any type of food. They prefer cereal grains, meats and fish, nuts, and some types of fruit. Food items in household garbage offer a balanced diet and also satisfy their moisture needs. Rats are primarily nocturnal. They become active at dusk, when they begin to seek food and water. Individuals may be active during daylight hours when rat populations are high. Rats have poor eyesight, relying more on their hearing and their excellent senses of smell, taste and touch. Rats usually construct nests in below-ground burrows or at ground level. Litters of 6-12 young are born 21-23 days after conception. Females come into heat every 4 or 5 days, and they may mate within a day or two after a litter is born. Breeding often peaks in spring and fall, with reproductive activity declining during the heat of the summer and often stopping completely in the winter. The average female rat has 4-6 litters per year and may successfully wean 20 or more offspring annually. Rats have a life span of 1-3 years.
Rats have physical capabilities that enable them to gain entry to structures by jumping, climbing, gnawing, and other tactics. Rats constantly explore and learn about their environment, memorizing the locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter and other elements in their domain. During its daily activities, a rat normally travels an area averaging 100-150 feet in diameter. Rats cause structural damage to buildings by burrowing and gnawing. Rats also gnaw on electrical wires or water pipes, either in structures or below ground. They gnaw openings through doors, window sills, walls, ceilings, and floors. Considerable damage to insulation can occur as a result of rat burrowing and nesting in walls and attics. Among the diseases rats can transmit to humans include Murine Typhus, Leptospirosis, Trichinosis, Salmonellosis, Rat-bite fever, and can carry fleas associated with the Black Plague.
The presence of rats can be determined by a number of signs such as droppings, tracks, runs or burrows, smudge marks, gnawing, and sounds. Rats will leave scattered droppings behind like mice and may also have “toilet sites” with large accumulations of droppings. Rats are Neophobic, meaning they stay away from new things and sudden changes in their environment; therefore, they can be slow to respond to control methods. Rats create pheromone scent trails which provide an advantage for new rat recruitment. Large rat infestations often have well defined trails usually 3-4 inches wide in grass and weeds between den sites and feeding areas. Like other small rodents, once inside your house, rats can easily move throughout the structure. Plumbing and ductwork chases are prime travel paths, often showing staining from dirt and oils from their fur. Small tracks in dirt crawlspaces and basements usually indicate a rodent larger than a mouse is present. Physical barriers can prevent rats from gaining entry to structures where food and shelter are available. “Rat-proofing” is an important and often neglected aspect of rat control. It is a relatively permanent form of rodent control that prevents damage from occurring. To exclude rats, seal all holes and openings larger than 1/2 inch across. Rodent proofing should be done with heavy materials that will resist rodent gnawing. These include concrete mortar, galvanized sheet metal, and heavy-gauge hardware cloth. Clutter around your home including excessive vegetation combined with feeding wildlife outdoors (bird feeders) is a recipe for rat infestation. Sanitation can play an important role in controlling rat populations. Poor sanitation is one of the basic reasons for continued existence of moderate to high rat populations in urban and suburban areas. However, even well-kept homes can still be inviting when food and shelter are available.
Weaver’s Wildlife Control has been successful at rat control for many years because we employ an aggressive management program that includes the use of habitat modification, exclusion, and trapping. We do not use Rodenticides, Toxicants, Repellants or Fumigants because of the risk of poisoning non-target animals such as cats and dogs. Trapping has several advantages : (1) it does not rely on inherently hazardous rodenticides; (2) it permits the customer to view our success; and (3) it allows for proper disposal of the rat carcasses, eliminating odor problems from decomposing carcasses that may remain in buildings when poisoning is done. Weaver’s Wildlife Control is ecologically responsible, ensuring that only environmentally sound solutions and humane wildlife removal techniques are used for all rat control situations.
We provide Rodent Control Services for:
- Property Management Companies
- Industrial and Commercial Complexes
- Local Municipalities and Communities
- Government Agencies
- Military Installations
- Apartment Complexes
- Small Businesses