Rodents such as mice and rats are one of the most common household pests. While they are definitely nuisance pests, they can also cause property damage to your home, as well as transmit serious diseases to you and your family.
The first step in rodent control is to determine that you have an infestation. Common signs of rodents include droppings near food sources; shredded paper, fabric, and other nesting materials; chewed food packages; holes chewed through walls and floors; and stale smells from hidden areas of your home.
Rodents are attracted to unsealed food containers, pet food and water that’s left out, open bowls of fruit and vegetables, leaky faucets and pipes, open trash cans, and compost containers among other things. They enter your home in search of these things. They get in through holes from the exterior of the home, holes around sink and appliance pipes, cracked foundations, unscreened vents, and holes around windows and doors.
The first step in rodent control for your home is prevention. If you can keep these pests from infesting your home in the first place, you won’t have to get rid of them later. Common rodent control methods you can utilize in your house include:
- Sealing entry points with metal mesh.
- Removing those food and water sources they are attracted to.
- Keeping your house clean.
- Avoiding the use of ivy or other vines in landscaping (rodents use these to climb onto your home).
- Keeping compost piles away from the home.
- Keeping grass mowed short.
- Keeping a buffer of at least 2 feet between landscaping and buildings.
- Avoiding the use of birdfeeders.
- Keeping outdoor grills clean.
- Keeping firewood elevated and stored away from the home.
- Using trashcans with lids.
- Sealing food in containers.
- Rinsing food and drink containers before throwing them away.
- Keeping trashcans clean.
- Avoiding leaving pet food and water out overnight.
- Keeping stovetops and countertops clean.
- Keeping your home free of clutter from paper, fabric, and other materials used for nesting.
- Repairing leaky pipes.
- Keeping attics and crawlspaces dry.
- Promoting natural predators (owls, hawks, snakes) around your home.
If you have a problem with rodents or other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
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Miami Pest Control: Identifying Common Rodents
Whether you find them in your attic, basement, crawlspace, or just near your property, spotting any rodents on your property is never ideal. These pests can cause significant property damage and pose health risks to you and your family. To avoid these sneaky creatures, it’s important for each homeowner to be aware of the different types of common rodents that will invade their Miami homes.
One of the largest species of rats, Norway rats measure from 13 to 18 inches in body length, are known to have thick fur, and are usually brown in color. These rats prefer to live closer to humans, searching for any food source available. They will eat any food type but usually prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grains. Rats also need a water source to survive since they don’t get moisture needed from their food source and will look for any standing water.
Norway rats will burrow to make their nests underneath buildings, concrete slabs, around ponds, in garbage dumps, and more. In homes, they will typically look to areas that usually go undisturbed, such as crawlspaces or basements. These creatures will cause property damage, such as gnawing through plastic materials or lead pipes. Norway rats will bring fleas and mites into the home.
Only ranging from 5 to 7 inches in length, the house mouse has a fur coloration ranging from light brown to black with a tan or white belly. You can usually tell the difference between a house mouse and a rat by looking at their tails; mice tails are long, rough, and have little to no fur. House mice will eat any food to survive, but they usually like to feed on cereal grains. While rats need water to survive, house mice do not, as they get most of their water from the food they eat.
If these rodents find a food source, they typically stick around that area, establishing a territory 30 to 50 feet from it. House mice are incredible climbers, allowing them to jump and reach isolated or withdrawn areas. If they get inside the home, they can be a threat as they are known to create electrical fires by gnawing on wires.
Slightly smaller than a Norway rat, the roof rat measures around 13 inches in length, including the tail. These rodents are brown, black, or gray with a scaly, snaked tail which is longer than the head and body. They are excellent climbers and prefer to nest in high places within structures, including higher levels of homes, trees, and buildings. Roof rats prefer to eat fruit, vegetables, and cereal products. Roof rats eat a lot all at once and will return to that place time after time for food.
If you suspect any of these rodents inside your home, consider contacting your local Miami pest control company for a rodent control plan that will help remove, exclude, and prevent them in the future!
Bonita Springs Pest Control: Keeping Household Pests Out
Whether it’s stinging pests invading your porch, rats inside your crawlspace, or mosquitoes taking over your yard, dealing with an infestation of household pests can be a major headache. With hot, humid weather present in the Bonita Springs area during most of the year, it seems as though pests never go away. Unfortunately, as humans, we can sometimes bring a pest infestation upon ourselves. Check out the top 5 reasons you’re attracting pests into your Bonita Springs home.
Pests such as roaches, rats, and ants are all looking for a food source. Our leftover trash is their dinnertime and, if access is gained, they can create an unwanted mess. If your outside trash can is not secured, these pests can easily get inside and keep coming back for more. Ensure that your trashcan lid is tightly sealed and trash bags are without rips or tears. Don’t forget your inside trash too, making sure that all trash cans have lids to avoid exposed food scraps.
Stagnant or standing water attracts a dreaded pest we’re all trying to avoid: mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to breed, which can often be found throughout your yard without your knowledge. Toy buckets, pet bowls, tarps, old tires, and more are all items that can hold water and make a perfect breeding site for mosquitoes. To avoid this, remove these items from your yard, especially after a rainstorm. Additionally, look for any ditches or uneven spots in your yard that can pool and consider leveling them or filling the areas in.
Clutter makes a great home and hiding place for pests and rodents. Decluttering and cleaning items out to eliminate these hiding places will help prevent pests in the long run. Remove old newspapers, utilize plastic containers instead of cardboard, and make sure that clothes aren’t piled on the floor.
If you leave dirty dishes in the sink, even for one night, it can attract pests like flies, ants, and cockroaches into your home. After each meal, wash and put your dishes away to help combat these pests. Likewise, it’s best to clean up any leftover crumbs or spilled liquids, especially if they contain sugar, as soon as possible. Don’t forget behind and under your kitchen appliances too. Pests like to hide behind stoves and refrigerators, waiting for their chance to consume an available food source.
Most pests need water for survival and prefer a damp environment. Sometimes factors throughout our homes can give them a water source, leading to an infestation. Certain termites eat damp wood, causing significant structural damage and costly repairs. A leaky faucet can attract pests like mice, who are known to return to areas if they’ve found a food or water source. Check throughout your home for any leaky pipes, faucets, or even AC units and repair them as soon as possible. Also dry areas in your basement, utilizing a dehumidifier if needed. If you have a crawlspace, consider crawlspace enclosure to ensure no moisture is found.
If you notice an influx of pests throughout your home or want to stay on top of your pest prevention, consider contacting your local Bonita Springs pest control company to provide you with a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan.
Ants are known for being annoying and persistent, especially when taking over your yard. It’s important to know what type of ant you’re dealing with to determine how to get rid of them outside your home. Removing them from your yard will lessen the chances of seeing them inside your home. We have broken down the most common ants found in the South and how to remove them from your yard.
These bright or dark red ants love the warm climates of the South. They’re one of the smallest ants around but can be found in very large groups. Since they love the warmth so much, you’ll see fire ants building large underground nests in the sunniest parts of your yard.
They typically don’t become household pests, but because of their sting and the large groups they are found in, they deter families from enjoying time outside. They are known to attack in groups and their sting can become very uncomfortable.
Get Rid of Fire Ants:
- Douse the fire ant mound with boiling water. This old-school approach works about 60% of the time, but it won’t hurt to try.
- Bait worker ants in order to kill the fire ant queen. Ideally, the worker ants will pick up bait that is placed around the mound and bring it to the queen.
- Hire professional help. If you have tried everything and it didn’t work, be sure to reach out to a local pest control company to provide the best fire ant control and prevention method.
These types of ants can be red or black and can often be mistaken for carpenter ants, although they are much smaller. They only have two parts to their body instead of the usual three. Often found in driveways, along sidewalks, or in other concrete structures, pavement ants can eventually become house pests.
They become house pests due to their continuous search for food and shelter. If they end up inside your home, that usually means there is a nest nearby. They aren’t as aggressive as the fire ant, but they can bite.
Get Rid of Pavement Ants:
- Keep tree branches and shrubs cut away from the home. This allows them to access your home.
- A store-bought pesticide should be enough. Spray the perimeter of your yard and home to get rid of these types of ants.
If the problem of ants has become more than you can handle, be sure to reach out to your local pest control company and they’ll be able to come up with the best plan of action to rid your yard of ants.
Roaches are resilient pests that have survived millions of years on Earth. Cockroaches are naturally tropical pests, preferring warm, humid habitats to thrive in. In fact, most species of roaches will die off at temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Roaches have learned to adapt and are expert overwintering pests, making their way indoors to avoid exposure to cold temperatures and survive the winter.
There are four species of cockroaches in the United States that can survive year-round with the appropriate overwintering environment.
- American Cockroach: The American cockroach usually lives outdoors but will come inside during the winter months. These roaches like water and are often found hiding out in bathrooms and laundry rooms. If they overwinter outside they can be found in decaying trees and woodpiles.
- German Cockroach: The German cockroach is found throughout the United States. They commonly invade homes and can be difficult to eliminate once an infestation is established. They reproduce quickly, exploding their populations in your house. German roaches can survive winter as long as they find a humid environment and a food source (such as in your kitchen or under your appliances).
- Oriental Cockroach: The Oriental cockroach is an indoor species but they will venture outside in search of food. These roaches must have water to survive and can often be found in basements, crawlspaces, and floor drains. If they overwinter outdoors they will hide out in rock walls or other areas that offer shelter and warmth. Oriental roaches only reproduce in the winter so their survival through the colder months is critical. They can tolerate lower temperatures than most other species.
- Brown-Banded Cockroach: The brown-banded cockroach is found throughout the United States but is not as common as their German counterparts. These roaches are attracted to heat and can be found in near appliances, heaters, or anything else with an electric motor. They are often found in kitchens and prefer to hide out in high cabinets.
To answer the question above, roaches don’t necessarily die off in the winter. As long as they can find a warm place to shelter with a food source they can survive and reproduce year-round. The next question to ask yourself is, “How are they getting into my home?” Roaches can squeeze through openings as small as 3/16″ and will use any opening they find in your walls, siding, baseboards, and ceilings to get inside. Roaches are also notorious hitchhikers and will catch a ride indoors on bags, boxes, firewood, furniture, and appliances.
Keep roaches out this winter by:
- Emptying your trashcans often and keeping them clean.
- Cleaning up crumbs from counters and floors daily, including spilled pet food.
- Sweeping daily.
- Vacuuming frequently.
- Making sure food is not left in sink strainers.
- Running the garbage disposal frequently.
- Keeping food (including pet food) sealed in airtight containers.
- Not leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
- Keeping appliances clean of food and grease.
- Cleaning out clutter in your garage and attic, especially cardboard.
- Using plastic storage boxes rather than cardboard when possible.
- Sealing entrances around utility pipes.
- Ventilating crawlspaces to prevent moisture.
- Storing soap out of reach.
- Not leaving pet food out in bowls overnight.
- Drying all sinks, tubs, and showers before bed each night.
- Using a dehumidifier in your home.
- Carefully inspecting items before bringing them into your home.
If you have a problem with cockroaches or any other household pest, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and treatment plan.
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