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Unwanted Guests

In: Rodents

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Image of a Rat

We've all had our fair share of unwanted guests. Whether it be your grouchy aunt visiting from Brooklyn or a thousand infesting lice, it is never fun. Pests have no business inside your walls. It is even worse when your unwanted guest brings pestilence in with them. That is what puts rats and mice on the top of the most unwanted list. These rodents are known carriers of Hantavirus, Lassa fever, leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, tularemia, and other bacteria related diseases. This is not a critter you want running around in your kitchen and pantry.

Rat and Mouse

Though rats and mice both have fur, whiskers, and sharp front teeth, they are two very different creatures. Here are some of the ways you can tell them apart.

  • A mouse can grow to be 12-20 cm long and weigh 12-30 grams, which is relatively small compared to rats who almost double their size in length and weigh upwards of 340 grams.

  • Mice have large ears compared to their heads while rats have large heads compared to their ears.

  • A rat's snout is blunt, unlike the pointy nose of a mouse.

  • A mouse’s tail is almost as long as their bodies and considerably thinner in comparison to the bulky tail of a rat.

  • Mice kept as pets can live up to 6 years, but wild mice have a life expectancy of about one year. Rats are the opposite. A rat living in captivity without a family, only survives 2-3 years, but wild mice living in large packs can live upwards of 7 years.

Prevention Tips

Though different, mice and rats can be kept out using the same basic techniques.

  1. Search your foundation for gaps, holes or crevices and have these entry points sealed and repaired.

  2. Trim back any tree limbs or shrubbery from the exterior walls.

  3. Store all dead wood or construction materials at least 20 feet from your exterior walls. And keep those materials off the ground.

  4. Fix any leaking pipes.

  5. Keep all food in airtight containers, including pet food.

  6. Keep your home clean. Thoroughly sweep and vacuum under and behind counters and appliances.

  7. Inspect and fix all screen doors if needed.

  8. Empty trash on a regular basis.

  9. For humid areas of your home, consider running a dehumidifier. Rodents thrive in a warm moist environment.

Unfortunately, these tips won't assure the complete banishment of rodents from your home. They can continue to live in your walls even after you take these precautions. Call a pest expert and have them do a thorough inspection, checking for any signs of rodent activity.

No one wants unwanted guests in their homes. The good news with rodents is that you can kick them out without remorse, they're not going to call you a week later and whine about it. Your home is your Fortress of Solitude. Protect it.

Tags: rat vs mouse  |  rats  |  mice  |  pest prevention tips  |  Pest Management professional  |  Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions

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