Rodent Control in Atlanta: ‘The People’s Way’

Rodent control isn’t as easy as it sounds. This is why many homeowners who try their hand at controlling their pest issues hire a professional.

When you’re dealing with a rodent issue in your home or business, it can feel overwhelming. These pests not only spread horrible diseases and illnesses, but they also threaten the stability of your structure. Making whatever environment they infest incredibly unsafe and unsanitary.

Unfortunately, for the average homeowner, taking care of serious pests (like mice and rats) can be a difficult task; one that seems to work for only a few days/weeks, only for the pests to return in record numbers. What are you doing wrong?

It’s simple: you’re (probably) not an expert in pest control. Which means you’re likely to use the wrong tools for the job and posses an inadequate amount of knowledge when it comes to knowing how to properly prevent and/or control rodents.

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Don’t take this fact to heart though; with a busy lifestyle — including kids, work and some semblance of a social life — who has spare time to spend on becoming a pest control warrior? Luckily, you can always hire a professional pest control company in your area. However, there’s a few important criteria to look for in order to choose the right company for the job.

Seek a Rodent Control Company That Fits Your Needs

Choosing the best pest control professionals for your rodent infestation starts with searching for the company that fits your specific needs. For example, if a rat infestation has occurred in your home, then a company that specializes in residential rodent control is what you should be seeking.

The same concept applies to those with an infestation in their business — including a restaurant, retail store, hotel etc. — or workplace, such as an office building.

This is when you would look for a company that specializes in commercial pest control. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a pest control company that specializes in both residential AND commercial (like People’s Pest Control in North Georgia) properties as well as covering a wide range of pests.

Once you’ve found a company — with shining reviews and testimonials from other customers — that fits your specific needs, you’re on your way to ridding yourself of your rodent woes.

However, what if you’re unclear on just what rodent in particular is the source of your problems?

Know The Difference: Rat or Mouse Infestation

Check out the tweets below from Twitter users who are confused when it comes to identifying a rat or mouse:

Before your pest control professional can solve your rodent problem, it’s imperative they know exactly what rodent is causing the problem in the first place.  As you can see above, most people have trouble distinguishing a rat from a mouse (and vice-versa). Though, one rodent is not like the other, especially when it comes to how you approach controlling these pests individually. 

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There exists only three species of rat and mouse, which are by far the most prevalent and important pests in businesses and homes worldwide due to their innate ability to adapt to any human environment.

These species include the ship rat (Rattus rattus, AKA the roof rat or black rat) the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus, AKA the common or Norway rat) and the house mouse (Mus domesticus).

The house mouse, in particular, has several subspecies, which are common in many different parts of the world and increasingly becoming recognized as separate species. However, these are all virtually indistinguishable from each other.

Each rodent shares one common identifying feature, that being a pair of incisor teeth located in the upper jaw. They also tend to have a long tail and short legs, but a closer inspection of their habits and body characteristics will reveal easily distinguishable features. These features can be used to identify which pest is invading your property.

Where do Rats & Mice Live?

 

Brown rats typically live on the ground and in burrows. They will usually be spotted outdoors, in sewer systems and throughout buildings. A Brown rats’ burrowing can lead to extensive damage for sewers. The brown rat also tends to walk on the pads of its feet; the surfaces that a brown rat travels along will show consistent smudges from its oily fur.

Where do Black Rats Live?

Black rats are primarily restricted to the buildings around ports and/or in ships in temperate countries (hence its name). They are good climbers due to being extremely agile, and can usually be found nesting high up under roofs. In warmer countries, where black rats originate, they will choose to nest in trees, especially in orchards and woodlands. Black rats walk on their toes; the surfaces that the ship rat travels along will show separated smudges.

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Hard to Catch: Rodents (like rats and mice) are among the quickest and most agile pests you’ll come across.

Where do Mice Live?

Mice typically live on the ground and nest inside burrows, but are agile as well, and can climb. During heavy infestations, grease from their bodies combined with urine and dirt can build into small pillars. Unfortunately, these pillars can remain for long periods of time, so attempting to gauge a current infestation could be tricky. A mouse obviously has a much smaller footprint than a rat.

For more details on the distinct differences between a rat and a mouse, we suggest you check out this detailed write-up from about.com.

Once you’ve identified the type of rodents you’re dealing with, and have hired a pest control professional in North Georgia to get rid of them, it’s now up to you to prevent a rodent infestation from reoccurring. In order to do this properly, there’s a few crucial guidelines to follow:

How to Prevent a Rodent Infestation

Patch all possible entry points-
The first step in preventing rodents in your home or business can be extremely difficult (especially in older houses or buildings), but it is the most guaranteed method of all. Even a small hole — just big enough for a mouse’s head to fit through — can turn into a veritable entrance into your home or business.

Use steel wool to plug all mouse holes-
Steel wool (or similar material) will effectively block the holes and is also tough, meaning the mice cannot chew or gnaw through it to reopen previously created holes.

Keep food stored securely-
If there is nothing for rodents to eat inside, mice and rats will not find your home welcoming in the slightest. This is why you should ensure all food is stored inside airtight containers that are strong enough to prevent mice from chewing through them.

Peppermint oil can keep mice away as well-
Peppermint oil is such a powerful scent, that it overloads a mouse’s sensitive olfactory senses, to the point that they will try to avoid it at all costs. At the same time, peppermint oil is strong enough to mask the scent of food in your home. You can try dabbing a few drops of it on a cotton ball before placing them near any areas a mouse or rat may enter your home.

Place trash cans as far away from your home as possible-
The smell of trash attracts mice — among other pests (like raccoons and skunks) — and if it’s close to your property these pests can then become curious and be inclined to enter in.

Keep stacks of wood or brush far from your house-
Excess brush or wood are notorious for harboring mice and rats, and if they’re kept in close proximity to your home, it can be a huge temptation for these pests to enter into the warmth and safety of your property.

For more rodent prevention methods, head over to the CDC website.

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