How To Keep Rodents At Bay: Tips For Effective Rodent Control For Your Conroe Home
Squirrel on a ledge.

How To Keep Rodents At Bay: Tips For Effective Rodent Control For Your Conroe Home

When rodents become a problem, they can be a big problem if you're dealing with rats or mice. Two big reasons these rodents cause such trouble are that they reproduce quickly and like living in our homes nearly as much as we do. But, whether they get inside or not, they can make life frustrating. Rodents can get into your garden and eat your veggies or nibble on the fruit in your fruit trees. Join us today as we look at how to identify rodent pests, how to evaluate the trouble they can cause, and general tips that can help you get control of rodents. We'll even tell you how to protect fruit trees from rodents using a simple home remedy. In this short article, you'll find everything you need to manage problem rodents and stay ahead of indoor pest issues. For immediate assistance, remember that your Modern Pest Control team is here to provide advice or set you up with a service visit. We provide trusted pest control services in Conroe and the surrounding area. Jump to our contact page to reach out.

Common Rodent Species: Identify Rats, Mice, And Other Intruders

Only a handful of rodent pests get into homes in Conroe. The main types of rodents are rats, mice, and squirrels. Within these groups, the primary species are house mice, Norway rats, roof rats, and tree squirrels. Here are a few facts about these potential house rodents.

House Mice: You can recognize a mouse by its gray fur, long, thin tail, and round, perky ears. House mice are the undisputed champions of home invasion. No other furry animal comes close to competing with house mice. They are so adapted to living with people that they no longer have any wild populations. That means they live in or close to structures created by humans. When they get into your home, you can expect a few things from these little intruders. Here are some facts you should know and some tips to help you manage mouse problems.

  • Mice reproduce quickly. A female mouse can have five to ten litters per year, with 3 to 14 pups in each litter. When you combine this with the fact that they are able to reproduce in as little as six weeks, it is easy to see how you can quickly get overrun by mice. If you attempt to control mice with traps, you should know that they can reproduce faster than your ability to catch them if you don't use the right methods.  
  • Mice chew holes in building materials and hide inside walls. You can inspect your home and search for holes to track where mice are active. 
  • Mice can get into surprising locations by climbing, jumping, and chewing. For example, mice can get into some kitchen drawers. They do this by climbing up the back. You can tell if a mouse is getting into your drawers by looking for droppings. Mice leave tiny, moist, dark-colored droppings.
  • Mice live on bread crumbs, seeds, and cereal. It doesn't take much food to fill up the belly of a mouse. But, while they don't eat much, they eat often. Mice in laboratory studies are found to eat 15 to 20 times a day. If deprived of food for a short time, a mouse will go into a low-energy state called torpor, which resembles hibernation. Protecting your food in sealed containers may starve mice out of your home. 
  • Mice are quiet as a mouse. They can live in your home without making any noises you can detect. Keep this in mind if you catch a mouse or two and don't hear any more noises. 

Roof Rats And Norway Rats: A Norway rat is brown, and a roof rat is black. You can tell rats from mice by considering their thick tails, long bodies, and smaller ears. Roof rats are climbers that get into homes through entry points on the roof. Norway rats are ground-burrowing rodents that typically enter homes through ground-level entry points. Here are a few facts you should know about rats in general.

  • Rats reproduce quickly. A female rat will typically have six litters a year with as many as 12 pups in each litter. They reach sexual maturity slower than mice. It takes nine months for a rat to start mating. But don't underestimate them. Experts say two rats can produce about 1,250 rats in a single year.
  • Rats require heavier foods than a mouse but will still eat what a mouse eats. They like seeds, cereal, nuts, and grains. But they'll hope to find fruit, fish, meats, or dry dog food in your home. If you have fruit trees in your yard, you can have trouble with rats. A simple trick is to duct tape an upside-down tin container around the trunk of a fruit tree to prevent rats from climbing up to get at the fruit.
  • Rats can squeeze through gaps that are the width of a quarter. If a rat finds a small hole, it can make it larger using its strong teeth. They're known to scrape at concrete to get through gaps around pipes. Use expanding foam to seal gaps. While rats can chew through this material, they may not try. They're predisposed to chewing on small holes and making them larger.
  • Rats can go in and out of your home, feeding on food sources in your yard. So, you may never detect them in your home until after they've made you sick or caused damage. If you suspect that you have rats, your attic is the first place to look. Check for nests, droppings, urine – and, of course, rats. 

Squirrels: These furry-tailed rodents are easy to recognize. They are common visitors to Conroe yards and are active during the day. In most cases, they're happy to stay outdoors. But there are conditions that can invite a squirrel infestation.

  • Squirrels can get onto roofs if tree branches hang within six to eight feet of the roof. Trim branches to prevent this.
  • Squirrels can run along wires to get onto your roof. Check to see if you have any wires that connect to your roofline. Install rodent guards on your wires to prevent squirrels from getting to your roof.
  • Squirrels typically get into attic spaces and go in and out to find food. They have plentiful food options outdoors and do not need to invade your pantry or kitchen. Protecting indoor food will do little or nothing to stop squirrels. Consider cleaning up nuts in your yard, removing bird feeders, and controlling other potential outdoor food sources.

Now that you have an overview of common rodents in Conroe, let's take a look at what sorts of things these rodents do on your property and in your home. While mice, rats, and squirrels rarely have direct conflicts with humans, they can have a negative impact.     

Rodent Dangers: Health Risks And Property Damage

There are health and property damage risks associated with rodents. Understanding them can help you guard against sickness, protect your property, and deter rodents. The secret to rodent control in Conroe is in counteracting the natural behavior pattern of these animals.

  • Rodents get into trash receptacles to find a meal. It is essential to keep receptacles covered so that these animals don't pick up bacteria, like salmonella, and spread it in your home. On the other end, you can work to prevent illness by keeping food in sealed containers so that rodents don't shed their dirty hair in your food. 
  • Rodent droppings are a potential disease source. Always wear rubber gloves and a respirator when cleaning up droppings. When cleaning up droppings, keep in mind that you are improving your ability to detect rodents. If you return to an area you've cleaned and find more rodent droppings, you know that you still have an active infestation.
  • Rodents get into walls and chew on wires. It is essential to seal holes created by rodents. Doing so will help you track activity (as with droppings) and create physical barriers that the rodents have to overcome.
  • Rodents damage the stuff you store in your attic. They tear up materials to use in their nests, soil materials with their droppings and urine, and gnaw holes to get into soft hiding places, like the cushion of a couch.    

It is best to keep mice, rats, and squirrels out of your home so that they can't do these and other things. The primary solution is rodent-proofing. Let's take a look at how it works. 

Rodent-Proof Your Home: Essential Steps To Keep Unwanted Guests Away

A rodent can chew a hole to get into your home, but you can deter them. They're not looking for a lot of work to do. If they aren't motivated to get into your home, a simple patch will do the trick. You can patch gaps and holes indoors and outdoors. The patches you apply outdoors will help to prevent rodents from accessing your home. The patches you apply indoors will deter them from moving easily from wall voids to common areas. These tips work with all rodents.

  • Seal gaps around your water main and utility conduits.
  • Seal gaps around pipes that enter your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.
  • Replace damaged soffits, fascia, and eaves.
  • Replace weatherstripping on exterior doors and windows.
  • Make sure all exterior doors have sweeps.
  • Repair window screens and door screens.
  • Use a caulking gun to seal along wooden trim, such as baseboard, door framing, and crown molding.
  • Make sure all of your vents have covers.
  • Apply hardware cloth in louvers and other key points of entry rodents exploit.
  • Install guards on any pipes that go up the side of your home to your roofline.
  • Install a wire mesh cover on your downspouts to prevent rats and mice from using your downspouts to get to your roof.
  • Reduce clutter near your home to deter rats from moving about in your yard.
  • Remove weeds and unwanted grass in your landscape and keep your lawn trimmed to further resist rodents. 
  • Get rid of any food source that could attract rodents, such as nuts, fruits, seeds, and exposed food in trash receptacles.
  • Consider a gutter cleaning. When perimeter soil gets saturated, puddles can form and provide a source of water for rats, mice, and squirrels – not to mention a long list of other potential pests.
  • Consider applying a fencing material, like chicken wire, to protect the space underneath your deck or porch.  

If you do this hard work, you will significantly deter rodents. When applied on top of the other tips provided here, you're going to have quite a bit of control over mice, rats, and squirrels. For more prevention tips, check out our other articles. 

Professional Rodent Control: Why Expertise Matters

If you currently have a rodent infestation, it pays to contact a pest control service provider to deal with the problem. Squirrels are gentle animals, and a pest management professional uses gentle methods to guide them out of your home and keep them out. Rats and mice are fast-breeding pest animals with behavior patterns and unique abilities that help them avoid traps and other control methods. An expert uses a multi-pronged strategy that includes monitoring and inspections to ensure that no rodents remain inside your home after the conclusion of your treatment program.

Are you struggling with rodents in Conroe? Contact Modern Pest Control for rodent control near you. We employ career professionals with licensing and certifications to make sure your pest control problem is handled properly. We're also super friendly. When you're stressed out and at the end of your rope, it is nice to have someone show up with an encouraging attitude and the knowledge to solve your problem. Reach out today for help with rodents and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Conroe.

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