Mice & Rats
Mice vs. Rats
Although some people think of mice and rats as child and parent, these two are different organisms. Their biology is different and their life history is different. Therefore, it's important to point out a few key distinguishing characteristics.
The body of a mouse will grow from as little as 2" to as much as 3-1/2" when fully grown. The rat's body will be as small as 7" but grow to a length of nearly 10".
Mice will weight as little as 1/2 ounce to to up to 1 ounce whereas a large rat may weigh more than a pound. Color will vary in both mice and rats though they are most commonly seen as gray to brown.
A mouse will squeeze through an opening as small as 1/4". A rat manages to get through an opening as small as 1/2". Both rodents have poor eyesight and rely on their acute sense of smell and hearing to compensate.
Management of Rodent Problems
The most effective means employed to control rodent is exclusion. If openings are eliminated, in most cases, rodents cannot get into a structure. However, sometimes a dirt floor may exist inside a structure to which a burrowing rodent may find entry. Exclusion or rodent-proofing, requires strong material through which rodents may not be able to gnaw such as concrete, sheet metal, coarse grade steel wool, hardware cloth and crushed glass. We sell a repair product called Stuf-fit, a copper mesh that is malleable and rust proof, for this purpose.
The next step in controlling rodents is eliminating food sources. People are often surprised to find out that foodstuffs that had long been forgotten are the source of food for rodents. The bird seed up in the attic or in the garage or a box of food which fell down behind a shelf somewhere. Therefore, it is important to seek those things out. Also, any food in boxes or bags as well as the daily garbage must be protected by placing these items into impervious containers of metal or glass.
Outside, to keep rodents away, our company offers Rat-A-Way repellent granules which may be placed as a barrier around garbage areas to repel rats and mice. If you would like a description of Rat-A-Way, click here.
The last step in rodent management is removal of rodents from a structure. It may be achieved in a number of different ways. There are electronic devices such as the Pest Chaser which emits very high frequency ultrasonic sounds which frighten rodents out of a building. For product information on Pest Chaser, click here.
Trapping would be the another possible step in rodent control. There are "humane" traps such as Havahart TM Traps and multiple catch traps such as Mouse Master which usually capture rodents without harming them. There are also snap traps and glue traps which may be used for this purpose.
Finally, the most common rodent control technique is the application of rodenticide bait. Most products used today are anti-coagulant type baits. These kill the rodent by thinning the blood until the animal hemorrhages internally. The animal suffers some dizziness, then dies from the loss of blood. Elimination of rodent using anticoagulants typically takes from five to ten days. Our company offers Contrac Meal Bait Pack for our customers who wish to use anti-coagulant poisons. Unlike pellet baits which are sometimes horded and stored, meal baits are consumed from the package which helps to assure success. Bait packs must be placed in areas that are inaccessible to children or pets.
Outdoors, water resistant paraffin wax or extruded block formulations of anti-coagulant baits such as Ditrac Cake are placed in rodent burrows or in tamper-resistant bait stations (boxes). These prevent other organisms from eating the blocks. An alternative to baits is The Giant Destroyer. This products contains sulfur which is ignited with a wick to create poisonous sulfur dioxide smoke as it burns. The smoke will kill rats living in the burrow.
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