So you’ve got a rodent infestation on your hands. What on earth are you to do? In this post, we’ll explain the basic principles of rodent removal. No matter what kind of creature has colonized your home, these basic tips apply.
What Rodent Infestation Are You Dealing With?
Each type of rodent infestation should be dealt with in its own way. Rats and mice are one thing, but squirrels and raccoons are a totally different story. Here are some signs to look for with each creature:
- Mice: The tiny, concentrated droppings are often the first clue that you have a mouse problem. You may also spot tiny chew marks on boxes and bags in your kitchen.
- Rats: In California, we often experience infestations from roof rats and Norway rats. We’ve put together a whole guide to telling the difference between rat and mouse infestations since the two creatures can behave similarly.
- Raccoons: Raccoons in the attic often use the attic to nest, and they go out to find food. You’ll hear heavier noises as they move, and may spot them on your roof in the evening.
- Squirrels: Squirrel infestations are a little less common. You may hear some scratching and notice larger chew marks.
Identify Their Location
Rodents often nest behind large furniture, in walls, basements, and attics. Chances are you already have an idea of where the infestation is located. It’ll be smart to try and pinpoint where the creatures are nesting with better accuracy.
But How Did They Get In, Anyway?
It’s also important to know how the rodents were able to enter in the first place, and whether they’re coming in and out (this is often the case with attic infestations, where they have to leave to find food). This is a must because you’ll want to block up those entry points, to prevent more rodents from coming inside.
Consider Their Food & Water Sources
Next, consider whether the rodents are sticking around because they found access to food and water. Leaking pipes and unattended garden hoses might be keeping them hydrated, while improperly sealed food in the pantry, fruit trees, and leftovers in the garbage might be keeping them fed.
Get to Cleaning
No matter which rodent has infested your home, you always want to clean out the area close to the infestation. As you clean, remove all food sources and any large objects or areas of clutter where they might be hiding. This is also your chance to fix water leaks.
This process will look a little different depending on whether you have an infestation in your walls, garden, or attic. In some cases, by simply clearing away their food and hiding spots, you might actually succeed in driving the rodents away.
Seal and Restore
Next, focus on sealing up the entry points that are bringing more rodents into your home. This is a must, especially in cases where the creatures are coming in and out. Once again, this will look a little different depending on where they’re hiding: You might need to add screens over vents, seal up cracks in your home’s foundation, or cut away branches overhanging your roof.
Just avoid sealing them inside your home. For example, you don’t want to seal up holes in the wall if that means trapping a family of mice in there. The rodents will probably expire in there, leaving you with some truly terrible smells.
Is Trapping Viable?
Finally, you may need to actually trap the offending creatures, especially if your efforts at cleaning and sealing aren’t working their magic.
When it comes to mice and rats, you’ll want to place traps next to their hiding spots. They will probably come out and be more adventurous once they have fewer food sources, so trapping them will be quite easy.
We recommend choosing traps that kill immediately or no-kill traps. Avoid glue traps, which are very inhumane, causing the rodents to die slowly from dehydration.
If you’re dealing with a larger pest animal like a raccoon, we don’t recommend trying rodent removal by yourself. These creatures are larger and feistier, so dealing with them humanely is difficult. Additionally, transferring them somewhere else is usually only allowed with a wildlife specialist license.
When To Call Professional Rodent Control Services
Following our tips above, you can probably deal with minor infestations by yourself. But here are some situations when you definitely want to call for rodent removal services:
- Severe damage to home or attic
- Repeated rodent infestations
- You can’t identify where the rodents are nesting or how they’re getting inside
- You have raccoons or possums that require special wildlife permits to trap and remove
Then again, you don’t need an excuse to call rodent extermination professionals! As rodent control specialists, we have the tools, licenses, and expertise when it comes to getting rid of rodents swiftly and effectively.
We also focus on prevention, so we can take care of sealing those pesky entry points and add safe, eco-friendly rodent repellents. You can always reach out to us for a free quote!