5 Rodent Facts Every NOVA Homeowner Should Read

02/17/2015


Mice   

All across the country, including in Northern Virginia, the cold, winter weather has taken over, and people are spending more time in their homes to get out of the elements in an effort to stay warm. It is important to remember this winter that you and your family may not be the only ones trying to stay warm in your home. This is the time of year when rodents, like mice and rats, try to sneak their way inside of Northern Virginia homes and other buildings to find warmth, food, and even nesting spaces.

Listed below are five facts about mice and rats, and the problems that they can create within Northern Virginia homes. Taking the time now to understand these pests and prevent them from entering into your home will protect both your home and family now, and throughout the rest of the year as well.

  1. Rats and mice can cause significant and costly damage to homes. They can chew through wires, plumbing pipes, insulation, walls, and flooring. These damages can lead to fires, water leaks, and mold issues. They can also chew through and destroy personal property, like clothing, furniture, pictures, and books.

  2. Rats and mice are similar to Hansel and Gretel, but instead of leaving a trail of breadcrumbs, they will leave a trail of urine and feces throughout your home. The urine and feces will contaminate counter tops, utensils, dishes, cups, and food.

  3. They can be difficult to keep out of your home because they can go through very tiny spaces. Rats can squeeze through a hole the diameter of a quarter (1/2 inch), and mice can squeeze through a hole the diameter of a pencil (1/4 inch).

  4. Plague, Hantavirus, rate bite fever, leptospirosis, dysentery, and salmonellosis are all examples of diseases that rats and mice can introduce in homes and pass onto people. These diseases can be very dangerous and have the potential to make people very ill.

  5. Mice rarely travel more than 30 feet from their nest. They tend build their nests in close proximity to their food sources. Their nests are usually shaped into the form of a loose “ball” and are made from paper, string, insulation, fabric and other materials that the females gather. Their nests are generally found behind walls, under kitchen appliances- like stoves and refrigerators, under sinks, inside furniture, and in the clutter of stored items.

Signs that mice have decided to room with you this winter may include hearing scratching, tapping or gnawing noises in ceilings or behind walls in the evening. You may also find feces (black and about the size of a grain of rice) in kitchen drawers, along the floors, in cabinets and in closets. Rodents constantly chew so finding chew marks on furniture, rugs, food, flooring, food packaging, and clothing is also an indicator of their presence.

If you see an actual mouse or rat, or just see signs of their presence in your Northern Virginia home, professional pest control experts should be contacted. DIY rodent control is not effective and does not address the route of the problem-how the rodents are entering into your home. Professionals have everything necessary to eliminate a current infestation, find and fix the areas of your home that are letting them inside, and then with routine services keep your home rodent and pest free for the rest of the year. Don’t let mice and rats take over your home this winter season get help and evict them today!






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