Life is busy. You spend all day working a job, then run errands on your way home, and when you arrive home, there is a "honey-do" list tacked on the refrigerator waiting for attention. At the end of a long day, you sink into the soft mattress surrounded by crisp sheets to welcome a night of uninterrupted sleep.
As you lay in bed expecting the sandman to arrive and transport you into your dream world, you hear a sound in the corner of the room. For a short time, you don't move, paralyzed by the unexpected sound, while your mind races to understand the cause of the sound. After you rule out the possibility that a burglar is in the house, you wait to anticipate another noise, and after a few moments, the sound resumes. As you listen, your mind interprets the noise as something in the walls scratching and moving around. As you process the moment, you realize you are facing another task: to get rid of rodents in your house!
Removing rodents from the house can be a dangerous and unsuccessful chore. Spare yourself unnecessary financial expenditures and frustration by securing the best pest control in Virginia Beach from Hawk Mosquito & Pest. We are your local, top-rated pest control company that quickly and efficiently removes rodents without costing you a fortune. We have the tools, experience, and knowledge to safely eradicate rodents in your Virginia Beach home so you can rest at night and take "rodent removal" off your to-do list! Education is part of our commitment to our community, and in this article, we answer questions asked of our highly-trained technicians to help you win the war against rodents.
Common Types Of Home-Invading Rodents In Virginia Beach
Rodents comprise over 2,000 species worldwide and range from squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, voles, moles, shrews, and beavers. The word "rodent" comes from the Latin meaning "to gnaw." Mammals with a continually growing upper and lower pair of incisors in each jaw are in the order of rodents. Because the pairs of incisors constantly grow (i.e., a rat's incisors grow about four inches a year), the rodents grind the teeth on nearly any object available to keep them at a manageable length and sharp.
There are many rodents in Virginia, but the ones that invade local Virginia Beach homes are rats and mice. These rodents are domesticated, which means they have grown to rely on humans for food, water, and shelter. Mice and rats are nocturnal; they forage for food, create nests, and investigate the house at night while you sleep; therefore, you seldom see a live rodent during the day. Rats and mice have hierarchies, and the only time you may see a rat or mouse is if low-ranking rodents cannot forage until the early morning hours.
Rats are the largest-sized domesticated rodent to infest local houses and may have a total length of 18 inches. Rats and mice have a light underside and dark brown or grey topsides, but rats have black hairs intermingled throughout their fur. Rats have small eyes, naked ears, and long, scaly tails of up to nine inches. Rats are heavier than mice and have round, thick bodies. These excellent swimmers, climbers, and jumpers live up to three years.
House mice are smaller than rats. House mice have a slender body of 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches long with a tail as long or longer. Unlike rats, mice have hair on their ears and two large eyes, although their eyesight is poor. Mice are fast runners with a top speed of over seven miles per hour, which in a house is fast! Mice do not live as long as rats but have a life expectancy of about one and a half years.
Rodents are nocturnal, but they leave behind these signs you can see during the day:
- Grease marks on walls and objects
- Gnaw marks on furniture, packages, thin metal, and more
- Urine stains
- Partially eaten food
- Nests of shredded paper, clothing, and insulation
- Dead or alive rodents
Immediately secure rodent control in Virginia Beach from Hawk Mosquito & Pest when you see these signs.
All The Problems Rodents Can Create In Your House
Small rodents, like mice and rats, cause problems for Virginia Beach homeowners in two ways; damage and disease. Rats and mice have oily fur that attracts dirt, grime, bacteria, and viruses from sewers, rotting garbage, animal feces, and compost piles where they forage. When the rodents enter homes to search for food, water, and shelter, the disease-causing organisms fall from their fur onto surfaces in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, attics, and wherever else they travel.
Pathogens spread by rodents can be problematic if they land on eating utensils, food packages, cooking, and eating surfaces. When home occupants consume food using tainted forks, knives, and bowls, the disease-causing organisms can make individuals sick. Diseses rats carry are salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and leptospirosis. Mice carry the same diseases but may also spread choriomeningitis (LCM) and hantavirus.
Homeowners can contract these diseases from rodents in these ways:
- Mishandling a dead rodent: Touching a dead rodent without protective gloves and clothing can result in an infection if the pathogens penetrate a finger cut or wound.
- Bites: The instinct for all rodents is to flee from humans, but if they are cornered and threatened, they will attack and bite.
- Droppings: Rodents constantly defecate while traveling in the house. Mice leave 1/8 to 1/4-inch, rod-shaped, smooth, dark droppings with pointed ends behind; rats produce larger, shiny black similar-shaped feces with blunt ends.
- Particles: As the dark feces dries, it turns grey, flakes, and falls apart. As it deteriorates, particulates from the fecal matter become airborne. When children and elderly adults inhale these particulates, allergic reactions of a runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and coughing may occur.
Rodents not only spread disease to homeowners, but they cause damage from their need to gnaw. Rodents chew on electrical cables and are frequently the reason behind house fires designated as "unknown origin." Rodents can disrupt internet and phone service when they break wires, and in the era when many work from home or get their entertainment through the internet, this can create frustration and financial loss. Rats and mice chew through plastic and paper food storage containers polluting the contents with their saliva. Rats will create two-inch circular holes in walls and floors, and house mice build nests inside appliances that generate heat.
Why DIY Rodent Control Is A Waste Of Time And Money
Everyone wants to save money, and many store-bought products promise quick and easy results. Setting traps throughout the house provide a sense of attacking the rodent problem, and when a trap catches a rat or mouse, you feel you are making progress.
If you have only one or two mice in the house, the traps may solve the problem, but by the time you encounter a mouse, there are likely many more than a couple running around at night. Mice and rats reproduce quickly. For example, a female mouse will begin to breed within 45 days of birth and, within 18 days, will produce her first litter of three to 12 pups. Considering that one female mouse will deliver 12 litters yearly, averaging six pinkies each, you can have an infestation quickly in your Virginia Beach home! So, a trap may work at the very beginning if only one or two mice (or rats) are in the house, but if they have been there a few weeks, a trap or two will likely not solve the problem.
Another consideration reading DIY pest control products is safety. Exposed traps can injure a child or house pet. If you try to stop the infestation using poison, and your house pet catches a mouse or rat and eats it, it will ingest the poison in the rodent's body, which could result in detrimental effects on your dog or cat.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of Rodents And Keep Them Out
Store-bought products cannot achieve effective rodent control; instead, use Hawk Mosquito & Pest. Our technician will inspect your house to determine the rodent species, entry points, attractions, and nesting locations. After gathering information from you and our inspection, our technicians strategically locate traps and baits to remove the rodents.
To keep rodents out once we remove them, we suggest the following:
- Seal openings into the house. Rodents can squeeze through small foundation spaces and cracks along the roofline, windows and doors, and between incoming wires and pipes. Use steel wool, sheet metal, or mortar to close the gaps.
- Place screens over vents. Use 1/4-inch wire mesh on the attic, crawlspace, and chimney openings.
- Install door sweeps. Attach sweeps under all external doors, including the garage.
Implementing these rodent exclusion techniques and additional ones recommended by Hawk Mosquito & Pest technicians will discourage rodents, and other pests, from entering your home. In short, maintaining a dry, clean environment inside and outside your Virginia Beach home will deter rodents from staying on your property and entering your house. Contact us today and get a free quote.