We certainly get a lot of calls in the fall about insect infestations, but there’s another type of pest that we often have to deal with when the weather gets cold. We’re talking about rodents, of course. Mice and rats love invading people’s homes to make their nests. This is especially true for people who live in wooded areas, though urban centers certainly face their fair share of rodent infestations as well. Rodents carry a variety of diseases and should be treated with caution if found alive.

How do you know you’ve got a rodent problem?

Rodent infestations are often indicated when you find their droppings around the house, small brown specs that can easily be mistaken for just regular dirt. Other signs might be gnaw marks on boxes of food (they love oats and other grains), books, or other paper products. They also like to gnaw through wires sometimes, so if your lights or internet suddenly go out, you may have a rodent problem. They also love to nest and chew on insulation, and it’s quite common for homes to have mouse or rat infestations that the owners don’t even know about! You might not see any evidence but hear scratching in the walls or ceiling.

How do I deal with them?

First, as with any pest, you want to make sure you protect your house first. That means looking for any small openings in your house, especially on the outside. Mice can squeeze through gaps as small as 1/4 inch (rats 1/2 inch), so be sure to carefully examine the exterior of your home. Once you find an opening, you’ll want to seal it up, of course.

Often, the worst rodent infestations in a home are associated with improper storage of pet food, bird seed, and grass seed. Be sure to store any of these items in a heavy plastic or metal container with a tight fitting lid. Don’t allow uneaten food to sit out in pet dishes – it’s like setting up an all-night buffet for both mice and rats! Lots of clutter, both on the interior and exterior of a home, can provide attractive harborage for rodents.

Even if you are proactive about keeping mice and rats out of your home, there are times when the rodents will still manage to find a way in.

Get Professional Help

Eco Care is a family-owned pest-control company. Eco Care owner Erich Grove, a board-certified entomologist, uses science to get insects and other pests under control in Howard County and surrounding areas of Maryland and that means you have science on your side. If you have a rodent problem and feel like you’re in a never-ending game of Tom and Jerry, contact us. We’re happy to help you put an end to any rodent infestations you may have. Please call our office at 410-465-3709 or schedule treatment online.