Pest Library

Learn more about Pests

Rodents

Have you noticed the chewing, gnawing noise and small dark brown droppings in your premises? If so, you are possibly having an unwelcome problem:  a rodent mischief (rat pack) in your building. Despite creating a menace and nuisance, these tiny souls got some captivating facts that may surprise you. For visual proof you can watch American movie “Ratatouille”.

Rats are extremely social. Being affectionate animals, they love to be surrounded by other rats. Without companionship they tend to become lonely and depressed. Their anatomy allows them to jiggle into spaces as small as a quarter.

They are terrible at learning. Once they have navigated a route for foraging, they will remember it for the rest of their life. Rodent has teeth which never stop growing.  They are adept at chewing everything even your building’s wiring and can set your house on fire. Rats can contaminate 10 times more than the amount of food they can eat with urine, hair, or dropping.

They are territorial so when you have a huge infestation, each group will build its own territory, spreading out all over your building. A mouse has a pregnancy period of about three weeks while a female rat has a period of 3 months. A pair of rats can have upwards of 6,000 Babies in their Lifetime! Yikes!

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Once you find pests, you not only have to get rid of them but also have to find the source of their entry. We are ready to offer you rodent control because it can save your life. Just breathing in the Hantavirus from rat droppings or urine can kill you.

Almost 30,000 species of rodents have been identified and are an important part of food web. They are pests when they compete with humans for food, shelter and survival. They are menace to homes and buildings because they cause damage to human assets, contaminate food with their urine and feces, harbor parasites and transmit diseases including plague, rat-fever, typhus-fever, and food poisoning etc. Rodents generally have well-developed senses of smell, hearing but less vision. Three species of rodents which poses common pest problem and needed to be controlled are Norway rat, Roof rat and House mouse.

Appearance
  1. Brown or Gray in color with coarse Fur
  2. Fat body, snout is blunt and can grow up to 40cm
  3. Tail is shorter than head and body
Diet
  1. Protein based food, Meat, fish, insects, nuts and grain. Need water on daily basis.
  2. Household garbage is ideal food
Habitat
  1. Nest in underground burrows, ground floor of buildings, storage rooms, and cluttered areas.
Range
  1. Commonly travel 100-150 feet in search of food
Droppings
  1. Capsule shaped
Life Span
  1. Maximum 3 years

Appearance
  1. Black or Brown in color with Smooth fur
  2. Sleeker body, snout is pointed and can grow up to 40 cm
  3. Tail is longer than head
Diet
  1. Fruits, nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables. Need water on daily basis.
  2. Occasionally feed on Household garbage.
Habitat
  1. Nest in elevated areas, roofs, ceilings, attics etc.
Range
  1. Commonly travel 100-150 feet in search of food
Droppings
  1. Curved with tapered ends
Life Span
  1. Almost 1 year

Appearance
  1. Light Brown or Gray to Black in color and covered in Short hair
  2. Small in size and can  grow up to 20 cm
Diet
  1. Feed on variety of foods, preferably cereals.
  2. Will drink water if available.
Habitat
  1. Nest in dark, protected environment, grassy and woody areas.
Range
  1. Territorial, seldom travel 30 feet.
Droppings
  1. Rod shaped and pointed on both ends.
Life Span
  1. Almost 2-3 years

Inspection:

An inspection will identify if an area is infested with rodents because they provide many signs of their presence including;

Droppings: A single rat may produce 50 droppings daily while house mouse produces almost 70 droppings per day.

Urine: Check for urine stains. Rat’s urine will glow blue-white under black light while House mouse produces urinating pillars. Mouse urine stains will fluoresce under ultra violet light.

Grease Marks: Both rats and mice produce greasy smears where dirt and oil from their fur marks walls, pipes, openings, ceiling and runways. Look for tail marks and footprints on mud.

Visual Sightings: Rats are mostly active at night while mice can be seen during day hours. Mouse are nibblers, they seek food after dawn and dusk.

Sound: Sounds of squeaking, scrambling and gnawing are common at night when large number of mice is present.

Odors: Both rat and mouse produce odor. Musky odor of mice can be distinguished from rat’s smell.

Control and Management of Rodents:

It is common proverb that Prevention is better than cure. In case of Pest control, it relate that we should reduce infestations of rodents by making conditions unsuitable for their harbourage. It can be done by;

Eliminating hiding places for rodents:

Long term, the most successful form of rodents control is to build them out

  • Seal cracks and holes and repair breaks in building foundations and exterior walls.
  • Caulk and seal doors to ensure a tight fit, especially between door and floor threshold.
  • Caulk and close openings on upper floors and the roof. Seal spaces inside hollow block voids or behind wall boards.
  • Block openings around water and sewer pipes, electric lines, air vents, and telephone wires.
  • Screen air vents, fit windows, and screens tightly.
  • Fix gnaws holes or stuffs them with copper wool.
  • Firmly place metal grates in floor drains and seal large holes to limit the movement of mice into and through a building.
  • Block holes in foundation walls with steel wool or copper mesh.
Good sanitation:
  • Close or repair dumpsters and garbage containers that are left open or damaged. Increasing the frequency of garbage pickup
  • Clean food spills and do not allow food to be left out overnight.
  • In warehouses and food plants, look for spills around tracks and loading areas.
  • Storage of food should be done properly in rodent proof containers. Food should be stored on pallets, not on the ground or against walls. The pallets should be 18-24 inches from side walls and placed so that it permits inspection and cleaning around the stored food. Organize and reduce clutter in rarely-used rooms, basements, storage rooms and equipment rooms.
Physical control:
  1. Snap Traps: Snap traps are very effective in controlling infestations of both rats and mice. It is advisable in those areas where use of rodenticide is too risky. Set traps with bait like peanut butter, fruits, nuts and cereal. Set traps in the areas frequented by rodents or where the evidence of their activity is found. Place traps according to the range of targeted pest. Inspect traps frequently to remove dead rodents and change old bait.
  2. Wind up Traps: Mice like to investigate new things and don’t hesitate in encountering new places while Rats are wary in nature. Place wind up traps at frequent intervals for effective mice control.
  3. Glue Boards: Glue boards are also effective in rodent control. Placement is key for their effectiveness. Provide them with food item to attract rodents.
Chemical Control

Rodenticide: Its use is recommended for high infestations. It is chemical designed to kill rodents. Following formulations are used for rodenticide control.

  1. Poison Bait: These are effective for both rat and mice because food is main attractive part for rodents. Food combine with chemical place in a bait boxes can kill rodent in one or more feedings. Some guidelines should be followed when using poison bait. All rodenticide have warnings on the label telling the applicator to place the bait “in locations not accessible to other life.
  2. Liquid Bait: Liquid baits specially formulated for rodenticide that are mixed with water can be extremely effective in the areas where water supply to the rodents is short or minimum. Use water baits in those areas where no other animal can get to them.
  3. Tracking powder: Rodents groom themselves by licking their fur. Rodenticide carried on a talc or powdery clay, applied into areas where they reside and move. The powder sticks to the rats’ feet and fur, and is swallowed when the rodents groom themselves. Tracking powder should be made in low poison. Its use is not recommended in suspended ceilings, around air ventilators, or near food or food preparation areas because it can become airborne.