Rodent Control Columbus, OH
Rodent Control: Mice and Rats Extermination
You have probably seen them before – lurking in dark corners, looking for food, destroying your supplies. Here, at Stryker Pest Control, we know what kind of troubles those creatures may bring. Although there are many more species that belong to the Rodentia order, Mice and Rats are the 2 that are normally thought of when the word "Rodent" is mentioned.
What do mice look like?
A mouse is a small rodent that lives approximately 1 - 2.5 years in the wild. Some characteristics are a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long, hairless tail. There are around 40 different species of mice throughout the world. Although having poor eyesight, a mouse more than compensates with exceptional senses of hearing and smell. Although naturally herbivores, they have adapted to feed on most human food. The incisors in the front of a mouse's mouth grow continuously to keep them sharp and strong. Mice must gnaw them down regularly to stop them from getting too long. Besides chewing on inedible objects because of their teeth, a female will use any material she can find to make her nest.
Mice reproduce at a remarkable rate. The female can have a litter of babies every three weeks. Each litter consists of 4 - 12 babies who will go on to reproduce between 4 - 7 weeks of age. Female mice are known as does, males are bucks, and babies are called pups or pinkies because of their bright pink color.
How to Know if You Have Mice
Besides seeing a mouse, there are several ways to determine if you have a problem. Scratching or scuttling sounds in the walls are one such indicator. The smell of urine is another indicator of an infestation. As with most rodents, mouse urine is particularly strong and musky. Most people will find mouse droppings in drawers, cabinets, behind furniture or boxes. Gnaw marks and chew holes are another sign of rodent activity. Mice can cause serious damage to homes. House mice frequently take up residence in electrical appliances and end up chewing into power supplies. For their size, they are excellent jumpers - about 12 inches high from the floor. They can run up almost any vertical surface. They can squeeze through openings only 1/4 inch in diameter, the size of a dime.
Why are mice dangerous?
Mice are known to spread over 35 different types of diseases including Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), leptospirosis, and salmonellosis. Mice are susceptible to fleas, ticks, and mites which also carry diseases that can be spread to humans. Mouse urine and feces are yet another source of bacteria and viruses.
Most repellants and sonic deterrants have not been proven to be effective against mice. Fighting a mouse problem can be expensive, time consuming, and dangerous to your health. It is often safer and easier to allow trained professionals take care of the problem.
What are rats?
Rats are medium sized, long tailed rodents. Most of the time when people talk about rats, they are talking about Norway rats or roof rats. The Norway rat, also known as brown or sewer rats, have stocky, brownish bodies with ears and eyes that are small in relation to their body. They are larger than most other rat species and more likely to inhabit the lower levels of buildings. Roof rats have black or grey bodies and are known for their climbing abilities. They tend to seek out elevated places such as walls, ceilings, attics and cabinets as they prefer warmer climates. Rats live around 1 -1.5 years although most do not make it past a year.
Male rats are called bucks, unmated females are called does, pregnant or nursing females are called dams, and infants are called kittens or pups. A group of rats is referred to as a mischief. Rats have four to six litters a year and each litter has 6 to 12 babies in it. Young rats can start breeding at about three months of age. Breeding happens year round but is most active in spring and fall.
Why having rats is a problem
Rats have caused more human suffering and more economic damage than any other vertabrate pest. From causing plague epidemics to rat-bite fever, whether feeding
on or urinating on stored food, gnawing electric wires, rats are enemies of humankind. Statistics estimate that rats destroy 20 percent of the world's food supply every year through feeding or contamination.
Rats gnaw constantly. Their teeth are so hard that they can chew through building materials such as cinder block, aluminum siding, adobe, brick, wood, and many other things. After gnawing a hole an adult rat can compress its body and squeeze through an opening only 1/2 inch in diameter - the size of a quarter. Besides seeing a rat, signs you have a rat problem can include droppings, tracks in the mud and on dusty surfaces, and runways and burrows next to buildings, along fences, and under low vegetation and debris. Although shy, rats will attack both animals and humans when they feel cornered. Rats can pose a public health risk because they spread disease including: Rat-bite fever, Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, and Hantavirus. Although rats are extremely fastidious, constantly cleaning themselves and each other, they often have fleas, ticks, and mites which can also spread disease to humans.
A vole, also known as a meadow mouse, is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes, and differently formed molars. Voles have exceptional burrowing and tunneling abilities.
Voles are vegetarians, thriving primarily on plants, roots, grasses, tree bark, fruits and nuts. Voles can be found in grassy fields, woodlands, along lakes and rivers and in agriculture areas. Voles can produce up to 12 times a year with an average of 3 to 7 pups per litter. Voles cause damage by feeding on a wide variety of garden plants and often girdle trees, which is often fatal to the tree. Many complaints are made about their underground tunnel system which are often confused with a mole's.
Moles are not rodents, but relatives of the insectivores (insect eaters) such as shrews and hedgehogs. In their search for food, moles burrow in lawns, meadow stream banks, and open woodlots, creating elaborate underground tunnels. They feed on earthworms and insect larvae. Rarely seen above ground, moles are 4 to 9 inches long, including the tail, with long dark gray or brown fur. Their eyes are tiny, like a pinhead, and the tail and feet are usually pink. They have no visible ears. As they burrow they sometimes damage plants, but the major problem with moles is the mounds and ridges that disfigure lawns. They can push up surface tunnels at the rate of a foot per minute.
Professional Pest Extermination Service for Rodent Control
Most repellants and sonic deterrants have not been proven to be effective against rats, just like with mice. Rats are highly intelligent creatures who excel at learning and understanding concepts which can make eradicating an infestation complicated. As with mouse problems, rat problems can be extremely expensive, time consuming, and dangerous to your health. It is much safer and easier to allow trained professionals take care of the problem.
For many year, Stryker Pest Control has been providing Columbus area resident with the best rodent control solutions. If you suspect rodent issue in your residence or business – give us a call. We will find the best solution for your situation.