The Snow is falling, football is on TV, chili is in the crock-pot, and the mice are moving inside to join the festivities. As the cooler nights move in the mice and rats are looking for a place that’s warm to “set up shop” for the winter. Robert Russell of American Pest Solutions says, ” We’re really on the edge of what I call the fall migrationperiod for mice, they really have a difficult time in maintaining their body temperature, so they’re looking for the stable temps in the 70 degree range to winter over”.
Russell always says that the un-wanted house guests could pose problems to your health. Mice and Rats enjoy the same environments as humans for the simple reason is that our homes provide easy access to the three main things for their survival: food, water, and shelter. However, once the get in, they pose many threats to you and your family………..
Rodents are nocturnal – Rodents use this as a self-defense mechanism, as most of their enemies and predators sleep at night. Rodents also typically feed at night; daytime activity is a sign of a large infestation.
Feeding Habits – Commensal rodents are omnivorous and opportunistic foragers; they eat a variety of food items (grains, meats, fish, fruits, etc.) and take advantage of the food items they encounter. Rodents also tend to hoard food, as rats normally hoard enough food to last them for weeks and pregnant female mice will build up large food supplies in their nests. An important fact when trying to get rid of the rodents is that they will only engage bait in an area where they feel comfortable feeding. Also, mice don’t need a lot of water, they’re highily efficient at keeping their bodies hydrated with the moisture from the food they consume.
Travel Behavior – Mice and Rats have an amazing ability to squeeze through small holes and openings to get into your house. A young mouse can easily fit through a hole even smaller than a dime; a young rat can squeeze through a hole smaller than a quarter. If they can fit their head into the hole, they can squeeze the rest of their body through, plus if they need just a tiny bit more space, they simply use their teeth to gnaw the edges and make it bigger. Rats are very agile mammals and can reach roofs (in which they then access the attics) easily by “tight-rope walking” along utility lines and tree branches, by climbing up pipes, and even up through gutter down-spouts. This enables them to enter through cracks, roof and chimney vents, and around fireplace flashing.
For advice on how to prepare your home for the yearly rodent fall invasion, please see our our page on preparing your home for winter. If you currently notice signs of a mouse or rat problem in your home, we have a monthly rodent baiting program that runs October through March in which we come to your home around every 30 days and place bait containers around the perimeter of your home in locked, tamper-proof containers that will protect the product form the elements and animals. For more information on this service, please contact our office for more information.