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Rodent Control 101: Essential Tips For Keeping Your Virginia Beach Home Safe

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One of the greatest needs everyone has is the need for safety. We lock our doors before bedtime to give us a feeling of security. Some people install fencing, security alarms, video doorbells, and cameras to increase protection. Despite our efforts, some pests manage to evade our attempts to create a safe space, and one of the most frightening is rodents. 

If rats or mice have invaded your home, you need rodent control in Virginia Beach from Hawk Mosquito & Pest. A full-time firefighter guides our family-owned company, and few people are as safety-conscious as someone who puts their lives in harm's way to protect others. We understand the disruption a rodent invasion causes and the necessity to eradicate them quickly. Because everyone wants to feel confident they are making the right pest control decision, we back our services with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. When you partner with us, you will quickly understand why we are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and why HomeAdvisor recommends us as a top-rated service.

You probably found this article because you live in the area and are looking for a solution to your rodent problem. Please keep reading to know the signs of an infestation, how they jeopardize your safety, learn how to stop the current rodent invasion, and receive tips to prevent a future rodent issue.

rat outside home

Signs Of Rodent Activity: How To Detect A Problem Early

While you sleep, rodents roam through the house, and when you are awake, they are tucked away in their hideaways sleeping. Because of their curiosity, you may occasionally see a mouse scurrying across the floor; however, you may not see a live rodent unless you move a cabinet, appliance, furniture piece, or some object where they hide. 

Although you suspect rodents in the house, how do you confirm their presence? You can determine if you have house rodents by investigating the following: 

  • Droppings

  • Urine stains

  • Gnaw marks

  • Grease smudges

  • Discarded food

  • Holes

  • Tracks

  • Odor

  • Runways

  • Rodents

While some are self-explanatory, others require additional information, so let's work through the list. 

Like all living creatures, rodents take in food and produce waste as they wander around your home. Rats leave olive-pit-sized feces that may or may not have blunt ends (depending on the species), while mice deposit 1/8 to 1/4-inch rod-shaped droppings with pointed ends. 

Liquid is another form of waste living creatures produce. Rodents spray urine to release fluid and to spread pheromones to alert other rodents of food and water sources, territories, or the desire to mate. Rodent urine also produces odor. A musty smell is noticeable when a concentration of rodents is in a room. If you suspect rodents are in a specific area, use a black light to reveal stains on the floors and objects. 

Rodents are similar to other warm-blooded mammals, but a pair of constantly growing upper and lower incisor teeth sets them apart. These teeth will become unmanageable and ultimately prevent the rodents from eating unless they keep them trimmed. Furthermore, the trimming process also sharpens their teeth and enables them to chew through roots, thin aluminum, wood and vinyl siding, wires, plastics, glass, and even concrete. As rodents travel through homes, they chew on furniture, wires, storage containers, boxes, and other materials. Rats and mice use their incisor teeth to make entrances into homes; rats use them to chew holes in walls and floors to create shortcuts throughout the house. 

Rotting plant and animal matter attracts rodents. These attractants are in humid, warm areas like sewers, drains, trash, and compost piles, and these locations are not only foraging grounds for rodents but serve as Petri dishes for bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms. Disease-causing organisms, dirt, and grime stick to their oily fur as rodents scout through these polluted locations. Due to their poor eyesight, rodents bump into walls and other objects in homes, leaving grease marks full of disease-causing pathogens. 

Rodents in Virginia Beach enter homes searching for food and water. If they find these necessary survival components, they create nests in dark, secluded areas in the crawl space, basement, attic, or garage; they may also hide behind appliances and cabinets. Rats are not curious and develop trails to and from food and water sources. Although mice are more inquisitive than rats, they also create paths. Both species often leave discarded foods along these trails. 

Rats and mice are stealthy in their movements at night, but they cannot avoid leaving four and five-toed footprints on dusty floors or objects. If you suspect rodents, sprinkle talcum powder in suspended areas and look for visible prints after a few days. 

The final evidence is seeing rodents run across the floor, scurry from behind a garbage can, etc. Norway rats are common rodents in Virginia. These rodents are 16 inches long from head to tail and have a round body with brown fur interspersed with black hairs, a white belly, and a scaly tail. They tend to live on lower floors of homes in secluded, moist areas. Roof rats live in the attic and the upper floors of a house. They have the same topside colors as Norway rats but can also have a grey, white, or black underside. They are about one inch shorter than Norway rats, and their bodies are slender. 

House mice are usually the culprit in a rodent infestation. These rodents have a 2 1/2 to 3 3/4-inch body (not including the additional 2 3/4 to 4-inch tail) with dusty-grey fur on top and a cream-colored underside. They live in dark, secluded areas in homes. Field mice (deer mice) live more outside than inside homes but will enter if they sense food and water. They are slightly larger than house mice and have brown, grey, or reddish fur with white bellies. When they enter homes, they hide in drawers, storage boxes, and wall voids.

Hawk Mosquito & Pest Technicians know the signs of a rodent infestation and can identify which rodents are causing problems.

The Rodent Menace: Understanding The Threat Of Uninvited Guests

When rodents forage in unsanitary areas, bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms stick to their oily fur and enter their digestive systems through the foods they consume. When rodents defecate inside kitchen cabinets, drawers, cooking and eating surfaces, bathroom towels, and other objects, they contaminate those areas. Another way rodents spread disease is through their saliva on food packaging and other items. 

Rats and mice spread leptospirosis, tularemia, and salmonellosis to humans. Furthermore, each species transmits additional specific diseases. For example, mice spread lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM); rats infect people with rat bite fever, jaundice, cowpox virus, trichinosis, and other illnesses. Rodents serve as vehicles for fleas and ticks. These ectoparasitic arachnids and insects transmit similar diseases as rodents, plus a host of other maladies to pets and humans. 

The health of individuals in homes infested with rodents is also affected by floating fecal matter. When their feces dries, particles become airborne and inhaled by home occupants and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. 

Gnawing by rodents damages floors, walls, and household items. While damage can be expensive, nothing is more tragic than a house fire. Rodents often build nests inside wall voids among wires, which provide convenient gnawing posts. Rodents will chew through the protective coating on electrical and internet wiring, exposing the wires to each other and moisture. House fires, appliance failures, and short circuits are sometimes the result of a rodent invasion. 

Hawk Mosquito & Pest protects your family and hard-earned investment by providing rodent pest control in Virginia Beach.

Rodent-Proof Your Home: Essential Steps To Keep Unwanted Guests Away

Rodents move across our properties at night, but that does not mean they have the right to invade our homes. Here are some rodent prevention tips to stop a future infestation:

  • Remove debris and junk from the yard.

  • Seal cracks and openings in the foundation and along the roofline.

  • Install wire mesh over the attic and crawl space vent openings. 

  • Keep indoor and outdoor garbage containers closed.

  • Repair leaking plumbing fixtures in the house. 

  • Relocate firewood 20 feet from the home and elevate it.

  • Trim tree branches and prune shrubs away from the structure.

  • Vacuum the house regularly and suction corners, gaps, and cracks. 

When a Hawk Mosquito & Pest technician arrives to get rid of rodents, we can provide additional suggestions for your situation.

Professional Pest Control: The Most Effective Rodent Control Solution

When you call us, we will quickly dispatch a technician to your Virginia Beach home to inspect for rodents. Our highly-trained technician will investigate for entry points, attractants, and possible nest locations and will identify the rodent species infesting your home. 

We will implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods in our strategic plan to eradicate the pests. This technique requires using environmentally-friendly solutions and addressing the root causes of the infestation to prevent future problems. Our approach eliminates the rodent population and stops future generations from invading your house through baits, traps, and creating a barrier around the home. We will also seal entry points to prevent additional rodents from entering, and we will clean and sanitize infested crawl spaces and repair destroyed insulation. For rodent control near you, contact Hawk Mosquito & Pest and receive a free quote.

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