Rats and Mice: How to Keep Them Out of your Home

Do You Have Rats or Mice?

It’s a common question homeowners often ask us: Do I have rats or mice? Neither are good news but it’s important to know which type of rodent is inhabiting your home so you know how to properly get rid of them.

Rats

If you’ve had the misfortune to actually see a rodent in your home, a rat would be significantly larger than a mouse. There are 2 common types of house rats – the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.

The Norway Rat is the largest of commensal rodents with small ears, a blunt nose, and a short tail relative to its head and body. Their droppings are up to 3/4 inch with blunt ends. They usually gnaw on wood but will also chew on electrical wiring, causing damage. Typically, they will reside outside your home in burrows or in your crawl space or basement, entering the structure at night for food and water.

The Roof Rat is usually darker in color than the Norway Rat and smaller, weighing less than a pound. They have large ears, a pointed nose, and a long tail. Their droppings are spindle shaped with pointed ends. Unlike Norway Rats, Roof Rats prefer to live higher above ground, making your attic an ideal environment.

Both are cautious and will be suspicious of any foreign objects or changes in their environment. This makes rodent control tricky as they usually will not approach a recently placed trap or bait box. Proper placement and patience is crucial.

Mice

Mice are smaller than rats and usually a lot less suspicious, making them easier to trap through routine pest control methods. They’ll eat mostly anything so your home likely has a food source that’s appealing to them. Mice breed often and offspring can reproduce in less than 6 weeks, so it’s important to catch them early before they multiply. Like rats, mice are nocturnal and mostly come out of their nest, looking for food, at night. They have the ability to fit into tiny spaces, needing only 1/4 inch gap or opening. Also like rats, mice will leave behind droppings (much smaller, rod-shaped, with pointed ends).

How to Get Rid of Rats & Mice in Your Home

DIY Pest Control is not recommended for rodent control. Rats and mice have very specific habits, making them harder to catch and eradicate. Because rats are cautious by nature, any differences in their routine may cause them to move into other areas of your home. Depending on where they are nesting in your home and the type of rodents, an exterminator can then determine the best plan of attack; whether to use baits, traps, a combination of both, and the size of traps required. And because rats and mice multiply quickly, its essential that you call a pest control company at the first signs of infestation:

  • Droppings
  • Gnawed areas
  • Tracks or tail marks in dusty areas
  • Noises at night in less-frequented areas of your home, commonly attics & basements
  • Unusual odor

Preventing Future Mice & Rat Infestations

Because these rodents require only a tiny gap or space to enter your home, it’s essential that you implement good exclusion and sanitation practices. Every gap in your structure larger than 1/4 inch should be properly sealed, especially those around drainage pipes, vents, utility lines, doors & windows, etc. It’s also important to remove any available food sources, like trash cans, pet food, and bird feeders.

If you think you have a rat or mice infestation, call your local pest control company for an immediate inspection.

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Spiders in Your House?

Spider season is upon us! Chances are, you’ve seen a couple of these creepy crawlers in and around your home lately. While most of the common house spiders don’t pose any real threat to you and your family, they’re still considered unwanted houseguests by the majority of people. So why are you seeing spiders and how you can keep them out?

Why are you seeing spiders?

While spiders are active throughout the year, they’re more likely to come indoors in the late summer and fall months. Outdoor spiders usually reproduce in the Spring, so young spiders slowly mature through Summer and become adult spiders later in the year, making them more visible to us. As male spiders mature, they begin seeking a mate, which may be inside your home (eek!).

To find out what type of spiders you’re seeing, visit our Spider Learning Center.

What health threats do spiders pose?

Not all spiders are dangerous. And if you’re less creeped out by spiders than other common pests, like roaches, flies, and mosquitoes, then it may be best to coexist. Spiders will eat these pests…free pest control! They also eat other spiders, thereby reducing your spider population naturally.

On the other hand, spiders can pose certain risks to your family. If spiders feel threatened, they may bite…and spider bites can be painful and unpredictable. The reaction caused by spider bites is different for everyone, depending on the type of spider and the individual that’s bitten.

How to control spiders in your house

If you’re don’t like the idea of spiders hanging out around your house, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from coming inside.

  • Avoid bringing in anything that spiders may travel in – wood, debris, plants, etc. (anything that’s been sitting outside for an extended period of time)
  • Regular pest control – professional or DIY – to keep other common pests out of your home. If you have other pests, spiders are likely to make an appearance, looking for a steady food source
  • Dust your home frequently, including areas where spiders like to live: corners, windows, any dark areas that are less frequented
  • Keep mulch away from the perimeter of your home

A comprehensive pest control program by a professional will include protection against spiders and other household pests. Our advanced pest control service, NorPest Green, is kid and pet-friendly and utilizes the latest technology, products and equipment to safeguard your family from unwanted bugs.

 

 

 

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

Ants in the Kitchen?

You’re not alone. Our phones have been ringing non-stop for the last few weeks with one common problem: ANTS IN THE KITCHEN. So you may be asking yourself: 1) Why are they here? 2) How can I get rid of them? 3) How can I keep them from coming back? 4) Should I call a pest control company?

Why are Ants in the Kitchen?

Let’s start with why you’re suddenly seeing ants. Ants are always looking for food. Most likely, your kitchen has food. Simple. But maybe you don’t have any food laying around, easily accessible to the ants. No spills or messes left uncleaned. And still… those pesky ants are trailing around your sink or across the countertops. Why? They’re foraging for food and even the smallest supply (that you can’t even see) will keep them busy for days.

How to Get Rid of Ants?

Next question: How to get rid of ants? Start with the basics. Clean any kitchen spills immediately. Wash dirty dishes after using them. Take the trash out daily. Don’t leave any unsealed food out. Kill any ants you see with a household pest product and clean the areas thoroughly. Try and find where the ants are coming in. Clean these areas too and seal any points of entry. Apply an ant bait product near entry points, preferably on the outside of your home so the ants don’t have to come back inside to eat the bait. The goal here is for the ants to take the bait back to their colony, therefore eliminating the source.

How to Prevent Ants?

So now that you’ve eliminated the ants you’re seeing today, how can you keep them out tomorrow and the next day? The answer isn’t as simple. Ants are everywhere and they are constantly looking for food to feed their colony. You can eliminate one tribe and another will appear within days or weeks. This is why preventative pest control is so important and necessary.

DIY or Professional Pest Control?

If you have the time and patience for DIY pest control, you should repeat the above process regularly, in addition to treating the perimeter of your home with some type of granular pesticide. Or you can save time and your sanity and call a pest control company.

Our comprehensive pest control service covers ant control and so much more. Trained technicians will inspect your home quarterly for current pest infestations or entry points, treat and correct these issues, and implement treatment methods that will prevent future infestations. Our unique pest control program, NorPest Green, utilizes the latest professional products (all of which are completely environmentally, kid and pet friendly) and equipment, and comes with a pest-free guarantee.

For more information or to schedule a free pest inspection, visit our pest control services page or call (888) 466-7849. If you’re seeing a few ants now, most likely there are hundreds more that you can’t see. Our advice: act quickly before the ants takeover and move into other parts of your home.

 

Mouse Control

The house mouse is a small, slender rodent, weighing 0.5 to 1 ounce, with relatively large ears, and a pointed snout. The tail is as long as the head and body together, and coloration varies from light to dark gray. Droppings are rod shaped and inch in size or less. The house mouse can subsist without a free water supply and generally maintains a territory 10 to 30 feet in size.

A difficult mouse problem generally calls for the use of snap traps or glueboards. Use traps in large numbers wherever you find droppings, food sources, and signs of gnawing. Traps should be placed perpendicular and close to the wall, behind furniture, and behind or to the side of large appliances. A line or concentration of droppings is usually an indication of a rodent runway; mice repeatedly travel back and forth across the area, and this runway is an excellent location to place traps. Also, look for openings in the wall behind stoves and under dishwashers or adjacent cabinets, these are frequently entrance points for rodents; traps placed to either side of the opening can give quick results. Drop ceilings are also a very common area for rodent runways. In a drop ceiling, mice will travel along under ducts and near electrical lines as well as the walls.

Exclusion work on the exterior should be done with copper or steel wool, foam, and small wire mesh. A mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime, so a technician will want to seal entrance points thoroughly. Proper weather stripping and exterior doors that close tightly will reduce both insect and rodent problems.

At Northwest Exterminating, our inspectors will do a thorough inspection to determine a plan to control mice in your home. Mouse control is covered under our NorPest Green Pest Control Program. Call us today – 888.466.7849 – or click here to schedule a free inspection.

References

Bennett, G. W., J. M. Owens, and R. M. Corrigan, Trumans Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations 5th edition Cleveland, OH: Advanstar Communications, 1997. 329-331 pp

 

Beat Georgia's Heat and Start Saving Money!

Looking for a way to save on energy costs while still keeping comfortable temperatures in your home? The Department of Energy recommends properly insulating your home: Energy Savers: Attic Insulation.

Northwest Exterminating can help with TAP – Thermal Accoustical Pest Control Insulation. What makes it different from other insulation products?

1. It’s a loose-fill cellulose insulation that is composed of 87% recycled newsprint.

2. It provides permanent pest protection in your attic.

3. It acts as a sound barrier…outside noise is minimized while inside noise stays inside.

4. It’s Energy Star Rated…install TAP before December 31, 2010 to take advantage of the 30% tax credit, up to $1500!

5. You’ll feel noticeable temperature differences in your home right away. If you live in Georgia, your AC is probably running ALL the time and still not keeping your house as cool as you would like. TAP keeps the hot air out and the cool air in…without your HVAC system having to work overtime. This will also reduce your energy cost by up to 30%!

Call Northwest today – 888.466.7849 – and start saving money!

 

Spiders: Interesting facts

http://buginfo.com/article.cfm?id=85

 

Bug Bites

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Are You a Mosquito Magnet?

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Northwest ranked #2 in "best green business" and "best pest control company" in Savannah, GA!

Savannah Magazine recently released the results for the 2010 Best of Savannah Homes. Northwest ranked number 2 in Best Green Business and number 2 in Best Pest Control Company…quite an honor!

Our Savannah location provides green solutions for homes and businesses, with the Sentricon System, Green Pest Control,Attic Insulation, Mosquito Control, and sand gnat control.

 

Termites in Atlanta…facts and myths

If you live in the Atlanta, GA area, chances are you know what termites are…and that they eat houses.

Here’s some information you may NOT know…

Common Myths:

  • Termites can chew through concrete
  • Termites are like ants
  • Termites colonies have a king and a queen
  • Only the queen can lay eggs (true for most ants)
  • Ants and termites will kill each other
  • Aerial nests can happen
  • Termite colonies contain millions of individuals
  • All termites eat live trees
  • All termites make carton nests
  • Water will drown termites
  • Old exterminating products worked better than current ones
  • Termite baits don’t work
  • Termites must have moisture to survive

Facts:

  • Termites can fit through a 1/32″ crack
  • Termite colonies consist of males and females
  • Termite colonies have one queen and potentially many kings
  • There are many sources of eggs in a mature termite colony
  • Ants and termites can be found together
  • Most termites colonies come from the ground and go up
  • Native termite colonies contain hundreds of thousands of individuals
  • Formosan termites eat live trees
  • Formosan termites can live away from the ground – carton nests
  • Formosan termites survived the flooding of New Orleans
  • Exterminating products lasted longer in the past…at the expense of our environment. Today’s products are just as effective, but with a lower environmental impact.
  • Termite baits must be ingested to work
  • Dry wood termites do not require water to survive