The Ultimate Guide To Effective Rodent Control For Houston Homeowners
Rodents are common home invaders in Houston, and these pests can cause a lot of trouble when they enter a house. Perhaps you have been hearing the scratching or squeaking sounds of rodents in the walls or noticing droppings near food packages that are torn open. Whatever the case, if you suspect rodents are infesting your house, it is time to take action and get rid of them as soon as possible.
This guide will explain everything you need to know about effective rodent pest control in Houston. We’ll start by reviewing the characteristics of the most common rodents that nest inside homes and explain more about each. Because many rodents are nocturnal and try to avoid people, we’ll provide some tips to help you identify which type of rodent you have by the signs they leave around your home.
We’ll also review some of the potential issues that come with an infestation of rodents. These dirty pests are more than an annoying inconvenience. They can endanger the health and well-being of your family, so it’s a good idea to get them out of the house as soon as possible.
Prevention is the key to rodent control in Houston, so we will review some simple rodent exclusion tips to help prevent another infestation. These practical tips can help to protect your family from rodents and many other pests that infest homes.
Finally, we’ll explore the best option to eliminate a rodent problem. The sooner you get rid of these pests, the safer your home and family will be. Continue reading to learn all about rodent control with the pest management professionals at Modern Pest Control.
Characteristics Of Common Rodents
Rodents are the largest order of mammals in the world. The common trait that all rodents share is a pair of upper and lower incisors that never stop growing and the lack of canine teeth. This order includes mice, rats, gophers, porcupines, and beavers, although we will focus only on the most likely to infest homes.
Correctly identifying the pest inside your house is the first step in figuring out how to control them. We’ll provide a list of common rodents that invade Houston homes and then elaborate on their descriptions and characteristics below:
- House mice
- Norway rats
- Roof rats
These types of rodents are commensal, meaning they often live close to humans and can become dependent on people for food, water, and shelter. If any of them enter your house, they are likely searching for one of these resources. They all share the trait of being social animals that stick together in groups, so if you find one mouse or rat in the house, there are probably many more hiding throughout.
House mice are the most common rodents to infest homes in Houston. These rodents are between 2 1/2 and 3 3/4 inches long, not including the tail. Their round bodies are typically dusty gray, with a cream color on their undersides, and they have large ears and a pointed muzzle.
A female house mouse can give birth to half a dozen babies every three weeks, so it is easy to see how quickly an infestation can go from bad to worse. These pests are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, giving them easy access to your house. Their territory is generally not larger than four or five feet, and they live in close quarters with other mice and use their urine to communicate.
Norway rats range from 7 and 9 1/2 inches long, not including their tails which are shorter than their body length. These rats have long, thick bodies with bristly brown fur that has some black mixed in, and their undersides tend to be gray or off-white. Norway rats have blunt muzzles and small eyes and ears, making them easily distinguishable from other rats.
Norway rats also reproduce quickly, with a female having between three and six litters yearly, with each litter having around eight pups. Multiple females and litters often occupy a nest, with the mothers caring for each other’s young. Indoors, Norway rats typically nest in the basement or ground floor, although they sometimes enter the attic.
Roof rats have long, thin bodies that measure around 6 to 8 inches with equally long scaly tails. They have soft, smooth brown fur, with some black mixed in, and their undersides can be black, white, or gray. These rats have large eyes and ears that help to differentiate them from Norway rats.
Female roof rats produce about 40 offspring yearly and live in colonies. As their name suggests, once inside, these rats nest high up in structures and usually infest attics. However, these rats are highly adaptable and can thrive in various environments.
Because these pests are nocturnal and tend to stay hidden from humans, it can help to know some signs they will leave around the house. The following evidence around your home can help you determine which of the different types of rodents you have:
- Roof rat droppings are capsule-shaped and have pointed ends.
- Norway rat droppings are also capsule shaped but have blunt ends.
- Mouse droppings are rod-shaped with pointed ends.
- Mice will build nests in walls close to their food source using shredded paper.
- Roof rats nest high up in the home, while Norway rats tend to stick to the lower levels.
- Rats tend to move food to a secure location, while mice will eat where they find food.
If you need help determining the type of rodent in your home, the pros at Modern Pest Control are here to help. We can quickly and efficiently get rid of rodents in your house and help you to prevent them from returning. Contact us today to learn more about our rodent control services.
Rodent Infestations Are A Major Health Risk
One of the worst parts of having an infestation of rodents is the health risks they bring into your house. Rats and mice can spread illnesses if you handle them or through bites. Their droppings, urine, and saliva can make you sick through direct contact.
Learning more about the risks of rodents in your home can help you make informed decisions about the best way to handle an infestation. The following list explains some of the illnesses rodents can bring into your home:
- One of the diseases mice carry is lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) which is spread through contact with their waste and causes neurological problems.
- Some diseases rats carry and transmit include rat-bite fever, jaundice, cowpox virus, and trichinosis.
- Both rats and mice can spread bacterial infections, including leptospirosis and salmonellosis.
- Rodents can also spread tularemia through contact or by drinking contaminated water.
- Rodents also introduce fleas and ticks into your home, which can spread even more diseases, such as typhus.
Having house mice in your home can also exacerbate allergies for some people. Even micro-droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children, and inhaling the bacteria in their fecal dust can cause allergies and asthma flare-ups for many.
If you suspect a rodent infestation in your home, avoid eating any food they potentially came in contact with. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of illness, let the doctor know you might have an infestation. Contact us today at Modern Pest Control for rodent pest control to eliminate these dangerous pests in your home and prevent future infestations.
Simple Rodent Exclusion Tips That Work
After eliminating your infestation, it is time to learn more about rodent prevention. You can take some simple steps to keep these pests outside where they belong. Here are some effective exclusion tips you can start with:
- Seal any cracks or gaps on the siding and foundation of your house.
- Replace any loose mortar and weatherstripping around the basement foundation and windows.
- To prevent rodents in the attic, cap the chimney with mesh and check for gaps between roof awnings.
- Keep shrubs and tree branches cut back from the house to prevent rodents from accessing higher areas.
- Repair damaged screens, install door sweeps, and ensure the garage door fully seals when shut.
House mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and rats can get inside a hole as small as a quarter. You’ll need to fill the holes with strong materials because these pests can chew through almost anything. We suggest filling gaps with silicone-based caulk, steel wool, or other construction material that can help to keep them out.
You can also use proactive measures to ensure you won’t attract rodents to your property. Taking the garbage out frequently and storing it in containers with a good seal can help you stop attracting these pests. Another great tip is to keep all your food in rodent-proof containers and make sure not to leave any food out, including dog food which Norway rats find particularly appealing.
Home storage areas that are messy and damp, such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics, can also attract rats and mice. But there are a few steps you can take to make these areas less attractive to rodents.
Keep storage areas clean, rescue clutter, and place boxes on shelves instead of the ground. Consider investing in plastic storage tubs that will be harder to get into rather than using cardboard boxes. Ensure these areas are adequately ventilated, or install a dehumidifier to reduce moisture that attracts these rodents.
Exclusion and proactive control methods can significantly help with mouse and rat prevention. If you need help determining how they are getting in or assistance with exclusion tactics, contact us today at Modern Pest Control. Our pest management professionals can locate any potential rodent entryway and seal it up to keep them out.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of A Rodent Problem
Mouse and rat control is a frustrating process when you are using DIY methods. These animals are clever and can often avoid detection for quite some time. All the while, their numbers are multiplying.
You’ve probably already tried placing traps, bait, and other store-bought options, and if you’re like most people, you have found these methods aren’t very successful. Rodents are intelligent creatures who can smell humans on traps and avoid them. Traps may catch one or two rodents but aren’t enough to deal with an infestation.
Rodents can cause other severe problems inside your home besides health risks. While searching for water, Norway rats chew through seemingly indestructible materials, including plastic and lead pipes, and house mice will chew on the wiring inside the walls creating a fire hazard. The sooner you get these pests out, the safer your home and family will be.
Modern Pest Control offers rodent control near you to help protect your property and family from the dangers of these pests. We have been assisting local homeowners to keep rats, mice, and other troublesome pests out for over 70 years. Our pest management professionals have the tools and knowledge to eradicate your rodent problem quickly and efficiently.
We understand how stressful it can be to have pests in your house. Knowing what to expect when a pest control company comes to your home can help to alleviate some of that stress.
After you call to schedule a consultation, our pest management professionals will come out and thoroughly inspect your property. They will be looking for any signs of pests, and potential entryways, taking care to check along the roofline and utility access points. They will then review their findings with you and offer a quote for rat and mouse control based on the severity of the infestation.
Next, we will implement a trapping strategy to eliminate the infestation. After we remove all of the rodents in your house, we will use exclusion techniques to ensure they can’t return. Contact us today at Modern Pest Control to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Houston and to schedule your free inspection.