Don’t Try To Get Rid Of Rodents In Your Cypress Home On Your Own
Unfortunately, rodent infestations are a little too common in Cypress. As often as it happens, homeowners may be tempted to try and get rid of rodents on their own, but do-it-yourself pest control can do more harm than good – especially if you’re dealing with dangerous rodents.
Here’s what Cypress homeowners should know about the types of rodents that may invade homes, how to tell if you have mice or rats, the common ways people attempt to get rid of rodents, and what you should do if you have an existing rodent problem in your Cypress home.
What Types Of Rodents Are In Cypress?
While Cypress is home to plenty of different rodents, you’re most likely to encounter one of three types in your home.
Usually growing up to four inches long (not including their tail), the average house mouse has a long tail, beady eyes, and large ears. Their coloring can range from brown-gray to dark gray, but you can also recognize a house mouse by its cream-colored underbelly.
While their bodies can grow up to eight inches in length, roof rats have tails that are just as long, and can make them around sixteen inches in total. You may also hear roof rats called black rats or ship rats, and they typically have dark coloring with lighter underbellies.
Their name, roof rats, comes from the way these rodents climb through trees and hop onto homes. This rodent’s lean, agile form means they’re an excellent climber, and their favorite way to enter homes is through loose shingles in your roof or even an open chimney.
Norway rats, or brown rats, aren’t quite as agile as roof rats, so it’s unlikely that you’ll find these rodents climbing anything. These rats are much stockier and usually grow slightly larger than roof rats. Their bodies may grow to nine inches, but their long tails can easily add another six to eight inches to their total length.
Since they aren’t great climbers, Norway rats prefer to dig tunnels and burrows and enter your home through the ground floor or basement.
How Dangerous Are Rodents In Cypress Homes?
At first glance, rodents like the ones listed above may just seem like a minor inconvenience, but these pests are more than just a nuisance-they can be incredibly dangerous for you and your family, and here’s how.
They Can Spread Disease
Perhaps one of the biggest dangers of rodents is how easily they can spread disease to you and your family. Some of the most dangerous and common diseases that rats and mice are associated with include:
Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
These pathogens typically get spread through a rodent’s urine and feces, but if rodents break into your food supply, they can also contaminate these items with bacteria.
They May Attack
While mice and rats usually try to escape if they come in contact with people, any rodent has the potential to lash out and attack if they feel threatened. Not only can bites and scratches warrant medical attention, but this is also another way an infected rodent could transmit disease to you or a family member.
They Can Cause Property Damage
While they’re looking for ways to build a nest or break into your home, rodents aren’t shy about causing property damage. Both mice and rats have sharp, powerful teeth capable of chewing through a lot of materials – including wood, plastic, drywall, and even vinyl.
These critters can chew holes through the side of your house or even cause an electrical fire if they chew through the wrong wires.
They Can Bring Parasites In
Sometimes, rodents aren’t the only pest you’ll be dealing with during an infestation. If the rats or mice coming into your home are already infested with fleas, ticks, or mites, these critters could spread to your family or pets.
Can You Have Mice And Rats At The Same Time?
One concern that a lot of homeowners have when discovering a rodent infestation is that they may have both mice and rats – but this is almost never the case. These rodents may share a lot of similarities, but they’re also very territorial, so they don’t often end up living in the same place.
Not only do most homes lack the amount of food they would need to support both mice and rats, but each rodent also has a unique signature scent that warns the other of its presence. If rats smell the odor of a mouse, they may hunt down and kill any nearby mice. For this reason, most mice steer clear of any homes where they catch a whiff of a rat’s scent.
Most of the time, you’re only going to have one type of rodent in your house, but how do you know which one you’re dealing with?
Besides identifying live mice or rats if you see them, there are two major ways to tell what kind of rodent has invaded your home: droppings and chew marks.
Most house mice droppings are small, smooth, and have pointed ends. Rat droppings, however, can be close to an inch long and are shiny black. Most chew marks made by rats are also distinct and can be up to ⅛-inch long, while mouse chew marks are smaller and tend to look scratchier.
Are Rodents Easy To Get Rid Of?
Once they’ve gotten a foothold in your home, rodents are far from easy to get rid of – for a few different reasons.
They’re Used To Depending On Humans
Some pests may end up in your home accidentally, but this is almost never the case with rodents. Both rats and mice have a long history of depending on humans to provide them with what they need: food, water, and warm shelter. Rodents are conditioned to think that being around humans means survival, and as long as they’ve got access to these things in your home, they won’t want to leave anytime soon.
They Reproduce Quickly
Both rats and mice reproduce rapidly. A female mouse or rat can produce close to up to sixty new pups per year. For homeowners, this means you’re almost never dealing with just a few pesky rodents.
Even if the infestation starts with only a couple of mice or rats, it won’t stay that way for long, and you’ll have a full-blown infestation on your hands. If you’re trying to actively battle the infestation on your own, the surviving rodents in your home are still constantly reproducing.
Having rodents in your home is far different than dealing with ants or cockroaches. These pests are incredibly clever, and they’ll use all their brainpower to evade detection. Rats and mice can quickly adapt to new environments, and they’re not as easy to fool as you might think. Traps, baits, and other DIY solutions often fail because the rodents in your home catch on too quickly.
Both rats and mice prefer to spend their time in tight, dark spaces where they don’t have to worry about being found. Because of this, infestations often go unnoticed until they’ve spiraled out of control.
It’s not unusual for rats and mice to hide in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and even wall voids. This is also why a lot of homeowners describe hearing scratching noises in the middle of the night – it’s the rodents scurrying through wall voids and other tight spaces in your home.
Rodents don’t need an open door to get inside your home. Not only can some rats climb onto your roof and get into your home through the attic, but even the tiniest cracks and crevices can serve as an entrance to your house. An adult house mouse only needs a pen-sized gap to get inside, while rats only need space that’s ½-inch wide.
In some cases, rodents may even chew through smaller holes until they’re big enough to fit through.
Common DIY Rodent Solutions And Why They Fail
Unfortunately, some homeowners learn the hard way that rodents aren’t easily bested, especially by DIY solutions and home remedies. Here’s why so many of these do-it-yourself techniques don’t work on rodents.
Mouse And Rat Traps
One of the most popular rodent control tactics is trapping, but this solution isn’t as effective as it may seem. To even catch rodents, these traps need to be placed correctly. For instance, traps that are placed near the center of the room are unlikely to work since rodents prefer to stick near the walls. And if your smell is too prominent on the trap, rodents may avoid it altogether.
Even if you’re able to catch one or two rodents with your traps, the remaining rodents may realize you’re trapping them and stop interacting with these devices.
Ultrasonic Rodent Repellers
Ultrasonic rodent repellers emit a frequency that’s meant to be disruptive to rodents like mice and rats. While this method may seem to work when you first implement it, most of the results are only temporary. You may see a decrease in rodent activity at first, but it’s unlikely that the mice or rats in your home have actually left.
Rodents are clever, and if they figure out where you’ve placed the ultrasonic rodent repellers, they may just find an alternate pathway to access food and water.
Ever heard of putting mothballs near rodent holes? Mothballs contain naphthalene, which can serve as a deterrent for moths and other small insects. However, there’s not enough naphthalene in mothballs to truly affect rodents.
The amount of mothballs you’d need to repel or harm rodents would have to be large enough to also harm humans or pets in your home, so this isn’t a safe solution for rodent removal.
If you’ve ever taken a whiff of peppermint or peppermint oil, then you know this oil has a strong scent but is it enough to repel rodents? Homeowners may dab peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them near rodent holes to deter mice and rats, but this isn’t an effective solution.
Peppermint oil may be strong, but there’s no evidence to suggest that it can harm or deter rodents. Even if the rodents decide they don’t like the stench, they’re more likely to just find a new hiding place in your home than they are to completely leave.
The Most Effective Way To Deal With Rodents In Cypress
Given how dangerous rodent infestations can be for you and your family and how ineffective DIY rodent control usually is, there’s no reason to waste your time and money on remedies that won’t solve the problem. In fact, there’s only one safe, effective way to rid your home of rodents, and that’s with pest professional help from Modern Pest Control.
We’ve been serving Cypress and surrounding areas for more than fifty years, and we’ll put that experience to good use when we take on the rodent infestation in your home. Using only the safest, most reliable, and most advanced treatments, we know our job isn’t done until your Cypress home is completely rodent-free.
If you are finding signs of rodents in your home, you shouldn’t wait any longer – call us today at Modern Pest Control to learn more about how our rodent control services work.