With fall weather arriving you might find the change of season brings with it more than just cooler temperatures. The mice and rats that may have gone unnoticed over the summer months are now coming inside to escape the cooler weather and might be looking to make a cozy home out of your house.

Once these rodents make their way into your home, it can quickly go from unnoticed to a serious problem. By design, these creatures are able to access buildings and hideaways through surprisingly small spaces, with mice able to fit through holes the size of a nickel and rats squeezing down to the size of quarters. Once they’ve found themselves a home, mice reproduce at an average rate or 5 to 6 new pups each, 5 to 6 weeks per adult female. Once a female reaches 6 weeks, she too can start producing at this rate. With this rapid rate of reproduction, a mouse population can grow to over 100 within 3 months.

The larger the rodent population in the home, the greater the health risks for you and your family. On their search for food and water, rodents travel through some of the dirtiest places you could imagine and they spread disease quickly through their feces and urine. On average, each mouse will consume up to a quarter pound of food and leave behind over 500 droppings throughout the home every week.

Mice and rats carry tapeworms, ringworms, mites, and fleas. Deer mice are also often infected with the deer tick, which causes Lyme disease. Rodents carry at least 25 diseases including:

  •       Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
  •      Rat Bite Fever
  •       Leptospirosis
  •       Bordetellosis
  •       Encephalomyocarditis
  •       Pseudorabies
  •       Salmonellosis
  •       Swine dysentery
  •       Swine erysipelas
  •       Toxoplasmosis
  •       Trichinosis

To keep your home safe from the risks rodents carry, it is important to deal with these unwelcome visitors quickly, before the population has a chance to grow and the problem compounds itself. Begin by removing nests, typically found in the kitchen beneath the stove or fridge and in storage areas or drawers. The home will need to be sealed;  all holes from the outside, as well as all holes inside the home, even small ones around electrical outlets, plumbing or other wiring must be closed. Holes need to be patched using rodent resistant metal mesh or wool, to prevent the pests from chewing through your new patches. All areas will need to be thoroughly cleaned with a strong astringent to be certain all traces of urine and feces are removed. All food sources need to be cut off and traps need to be placed. Rodent poisons may be used, but it is important to remember the added risk that poisons might bring into your home if not properly handled. In order to keep your family and pets free from the risks associated with such poisons, it is best to deal with a professional.

For more information about keeping your home free from rodents and the health risks they carry, Contact Us today.