The Fall Season and Rodent Control.

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The Fall Season and Rodent Control.

Norway Rats and House Mice... the unwanted guests.

The cool autumn nights not only bring out the fall colours but also the unwanted little critters that make their way into your home.

It can start with that late night noise coming from the attic or scratching sounds in the basement. At first hand it seems like a simple task. You think to yourself; “its only a mouse and a good trap will deal with it.” And sometimes that is all it takes. However, there are those times when you just can’t get a handle on the situation or you may be dealing with something a bit larger. That may be the time to call the professional. A licensed structural exterminator can determine if it is a mouse or rat and identify possible entry points. They should conduct a full external and internal inspection of the structure and outline a rodent control program that meets your budget. As in any service industry, programs can vary based on how bad the problem is and what maintenance measures are needed to prevent future access. The Norway Rat and House Mouse are the two most common rodents that invade our structures at this time of year. Both are great climbers and seek shelter and food inside our homes. They usually exist outside but the cooler weather will bring them inside. A rat’s home range can be up to 450 feet from its burrow. While the house mouse can range up to 100 feet. The one good thing about mice and rats is that they do not coexist.

House mouse foraging for food

House Mouse

An important part is prevention. This is the key when it comes to rodent control and any other pest management issue. Eliminate possible harbourage sites near your home. Maintain good landscaping practices by keeping shrubs and bushes cut back and remove dense vegetation. Do not store firewood near the house and remove any other debris and clutter. Thick vegetation and wood debris can provide good cover in close proximately to the foundation windows and doors. Also check vents, A/C, gas and other pipes that access the house to ensure they are sealed properly and in good condition. A mouse can fit through an opening the size of a dime.

There are many options when it comes to dealing with the unwanted pests; snaps, live traps, bait stations, glue boards, electrical traps and high frequency noise repellants. Each device has its own benefit and preferred application but they all must be used effectively. If you do buy a rodenticide, please read the instructions carefully so that pets do not accidently ingest the bait. A licenced professional will use tamper resistant bait stations if a rodenticide is used for rodent control.

Rat looking out a hole

Norway Rat

Bird feeders and other wild life feeders are a major problem when dealing with rodent control. Seeds, nuts from feeders fall to the ground and are exactly what rats are looking for. If you are dealing with a rat issue, you will need to stop the feeding until the situation is controlled.

Rats in winter feeding on bird seeds that have fallen from a feeder

Norway Rats Feeding in Winter

Recently, Kitchener City Council approved a recommendation that a bylaw be enacted to amend Chapter 408 Animals - Regulation of the City of Kitchener's Municipal Code to add a section to the bylaw prohibiting the feeding of wildlife. For additional information click here. Check with your city on local bylaws regarding Urban Wild Life.

Mice and rats may carry fleas and mites which can attack humans resulting in the transmission of disease. When handling traps or cleaning debris always wear proper personal protective equipment. This is especially important if renovations reveal nests in wall voids or soiled insulation with high concentrations of mouse droppings. There is a possibility of contracting the Hantavirus. Wear a HEPA filter mask while sweeping up rodent droppings because the virus can become airborne as tiny particles which can enter the lungs.

Click here for more details concerning this virus.

In Ontario, all exterminators are licenced by the Ministry of Environment. We work on the principle of Intergraded Pest Management and only apply chemical control measures when the severity or situation requires it. Licenced exterminators are subject to strict regulations and guidelines ensuring all control measures take into account the environment, domestic animals and human safety.

For additional information please see our web site at SAFEGUARD247.CA or email stan@safeguard247.ca.