Rats and mice keep pest control professionals busy in winter. While most of pests are inactive or hide-out in cold weather, mice and rats are looking for indoor shelters to survive.
There are organic ways to keep mice and rat away. They are simple but not easy. What does that mean. I try to say that every one knows sanitation is the best way to keep bugs away, but it is not easy to always keep up cleaning and maintenance around the house.
Many people may have heard rodent control, rat control or mice control. Rodent is a broad category of gnawing mammal. Let look at the definition of rodent and review the differences between rats and mice.
What is a rodent (definition in the dictionary):
A gnawing mammal of an order that includes rats, mice, squirrels, hamsters, porcupines, and their relatives, distinguished by strong constantly growing incisors and no canine teeth. They constitute the largest order of mammals. Rodents use their sharp incisors to gnaw wood, break into food, and bite predators. Most rodents eat seeds or plants, though some have more varied diets. Some species have historically been pests, eating seeds stored by people and spreading disease.[
Rat vs. Mouse:
Mature mice are about 3 inches long, not including the tail. Rats are much larger, up to a foot long not including the tail. Rats have longer life span than mice do. House mice have naked tails. Roof rats are sleek and their ears extend past their eyes. Norway rats are larger and can cause damage to properties and spead diseases like the plague and Salmonella.
More about mice and rats –
There are many kinds of rats and mice. Three kinds of them like to live with people. They are house mouse, Norway rat and roof rat. They are city mice and live with people for food and water.
The behaviors and risks –understand rodent’s common behaviors and realize the potential risks to human:
1. Rodents can enter buildings for food, water and shelter, especially during the cold weather.
2.. Mice can enter a building through openings or cracks as small as a dime.
3. Rodents could gnaw the electrical wires and put the buildings at risk of electrical fires.
4. Rats could carrying harmful bacterial, such as salmonella, and contaminate the foods.
5. A female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks.
6. Rats and mice like open garbage cans, dumpsters, sewers and rubbish heaps.
7. Rats and mice live as a group. If you see one, you can be sure that you will see more of them.
8. The dropping from rats and mice can transmit disease. Use a dust mask and disposable gloves when cleaning them up.
Rats and Mice Control – Identify what rats like and make the environments less hospitality to them.
1. Block their entrances: Close up holes and repair damaged screens. Seal the cracks. Screen the vents and openings to chimneys.
2. Take away their food: Take out trash for the day or using better trash cans which the lids can be tightly closed. Store food in zip locked bags or airtight containers. Clean up the dog/cat food from their dishes after they are fed.
3. Destroy their homes: Remove old boards, weeds or junk cars. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house. Trim and cut back the vegetation from the house.
4. Remove the water sources: Keep buildings dry. Repair the leaking pipes and clogged drains. Install gutters or diverts to channel water away from the building.
5. Setting up traps with baits