Our Tampa service area has several rodent pests, but two are synonymous with the name. When someone says, "I have a rodent problem," what two animals come into your mind? Mice and rats? These pests are notorious. Let's look at how mice and rats in Tampa create trouble for residents, how to get rid of them, and how to keep them out forever. If you are currently dealing with a rodent problem and you need immediate assistance with rodent pest control in Tampa, jump to our contact page. You don't have to read an article about how to get rid of rodents to address a rodent control issue. We can take care of it for you. With that said, let's get into today's topic.
What Are Some Signs Rodents May Be In Your Home?
There are a few ways rodents will let you know they're inside your home. You may hear bumping and scraping in your walls. You might hear thumping coming from your attic. You may even see a rodent scurrying somewhere on your property. But signs of rats and mice are seldom obvious until they have grown a large population. We don't recommend waiting for them to do that. Here are a few common signs rodents leave for you to find.
Droppings: Rats and mice leave black droppings in all the places they explore. They even leave them in and around their nests. These droppings are the best evidence for figuring out that you have rodents and also which rodents you have. You can tell by the size and shape of the droppings if rats are the animals leaving them. Rats are big rodents. Their droppings are twice the size of mouse droppings, which are slightly smaller than a piece of white rice. Rat and squirrel droppings are about the same size, but squirrel droppings are rounded on the ends; rat droppings are tapered on both ends. That is probably more than you wanted to know about rodent waste, but it is helpful to know these facts to tell which rodents are creating a problem for you.
Holes: When you find holes in your exterior, the holes can help determine if you have a rat or a mouse problem. Mice create small holes about the size of a dime. Rats make larger holes. An adult rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter.
Grease Marks: Rodents tend to have greasy fur because they get into areas with greasy residue. As they move through your home, they may leave grease marks on your baseboards or black marks around the holes they create. Be aware that bats create dark marks around holes as well.
Scent Of Urine: Rodents use their urine to mark their surroundings. The scent of urine helps them navigate pitch dark and low-light conditions. If you go into your attic or a storage area and smell urine, you have a rodent problem. You'll have to use the other evidence to determine whether you have rats, mice, or squirrels.
When you discover rodents in your Tampa home, what should you do about them? Some people go without getting rodent control. We don't recommend doing this as the problem will only worsen. Some people attempt to trap the rodents themselves and have varied results. Trapping rodents is complicated, and property owners often don't realize it when control methods fail. It is best to deal with these interlopers effectively. Let's look at a few reasons why.
The Dangers Of Leaving A Rodent Infestation Untreated
Rodents are not harmless critters. There are many ways they can present a threat to you and everyone living in your home. Only you can determine what risks you're willing to take.
- Rodents damage items in storage. They get into attics and storage areas and get inside stored furniture and cardboard boxes. Inside stored items, they taint the items with feces, urine, and organisms in their fur. They also rip up stuffing, damage fabrics, and chew on wood.
- Rats and mice let moisture into your home when they create exterior holes. Moisture problems can lead to mold, fungus, and wood rot. Holes also can let heat escape in winter and cool air out in summer, raising heating/cooling bills.
- Exterior holes created by rodents can allow secondary pests to get inside. Most pests, like spiders and centipedes, don't make their own holes. They use available holes. Rats and mice are prone to make these holes for other pests because, as rodents, they constantly gnaw to file down their incisors.
- Inside your home, rodents may chew on wires. They're known to do this. A cut wire can cause a spark and lead to a fire. Experts estimate that eighty to eighty-five percent of fires that spark from undetermined sources are rodent-related.
- There are many ways rodents can make you sick. What are the diseases rodents carry? It depends on the species. A few common diseases associated with rats and mice are hantavirus, leptospirosis, tularemia, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
- Rodents pick up harmful microorganisms and spread them around. Examples are salmonella, E. coli, and hookworms.
- When a rodent gets into your home, it brings company. It can have a hundred seed ticks on its body. It also carries fleas. Ticks and fleas can spread diseases to humans. Examples are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus, and bartonellosis.
We could go on, but you understand. Rats and mice are far from harmless. There are many ways they can cause harm. What's worse is they reproduce quickly. As they grow a population in your home, the risks increase. It is best to deal with these animals early and effectively.
The Safest Way To Get Rid Of Rodents In Tampa
When you find evidence of rodents, it is time to take action. But what action should you take to get rid of rats and mice? The best solution is to contact a licensed pest control provider that offers wildlife control. Getting rid of rodents isn't easy, and failing to get rid of them will allow them to continue to threaten your health and property. When selecting wildlife control, choose a company like Haskell Termite & Pest Control for the following reasons:
- You'll get expert guidance for selecting a program to bait and trap the rodents in your home. We have the experience to make sure you receive the correct treatment.
- Your rodent control may include sanitation services. We use products to disinfect your attic. We also remove soiled insulation and replace it with pest control insulation, which helps to prevent future rodent infestations.
- We seal entry points the rodents are using to get into your home. Exclusion work is an all-natural and long-lasting deterrent for rats and mice.
- Our licensed and insured service technicians roll their sleeves up and do the hard work of rodent control. They're not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Contact us if you're in the Tampa area. We'll guide you in selecting the right rodent control for your specific needs. We're here to help. If you're outside our service area, vet the pest control company you select. Make sure they offer all the services you need, not just baiting and trapping.
Six Tips To Keep Rodents Away From Your Home
Once the rats in your home are gone, the next step is to keep them out for good. Use these six steps to make it hard for rodents to get into your home again.
- Remove food sources in your yard. Rodents are constantly looking for food. All that is needed to attract rodents is the scent of food. Make sure your trash receptacles are free of strong odors. That smell might be unpleasant to you, but it lets rodents know food is available. Move bird feeders well away from your exterior. All rodents love seeds.
- Remove water sources in your yard. Clean your gutters to remove obstructions and manage your landscaping to prevent puddles. Pick up objects from your yard that capture rainwater.
- Seal voids underneath structures. Fencing material can keep rodents out from underneath your deck or prevent them from accessing a crawlspace under your home.
- Cap unused pipes that come from the culvert system. Rodents can come up from the city's culvert system. Broken or uncapped pipes must have caps.
- Seal your exterior walls. Use a caulking gun and some cans of expanding foam to seal any gaps mice or rats may use to get into your home. If damaged, replace door sweeps, weatherstripping, screens, vent caps, and other protective building materials.
- Remove routes. Trim tree branches away from your roofline so rodents can't get on your roof and access vulnerabilities up there. Put wire mesh in your downspouts. Put something prickly on wires that contact your home near your roofline.
These steps will significantly deter mice, rats, and squirrels. Contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control if more control is needed. Also, you should know that year-round pest control service for your home can alert you to rodent problems early and provide ongoing protection from many pests that plague Tampa homes. You don't have to wait until you're dealing with a rodent control issue. Reach out to us today.
Efficient, effective and trustworthy. After using them, I paid the annual insurance in case the drywood termites came back. When they did come back, Haskell promptly re-tented the house - no arguing, no cost to me.