How can I tell I have a rodent problem?
You may see them scurrying away as they are trying to hide from you. Most likely you will find the holes and cracks they come through in search of food. The holes will be near the ground, and small only the size of a dime or a quarter. If you find their holes, sometimes you can see black smears around the opening. This is the oils of their fur that rub off.
You might also see their poop. It is small; just a little bigger than a caraway seed, and black. They will leave about a quarter of a teaspoon a year, depending on the size of the mouse. Rats poop more, and it is bigger.
Another cue that you might have rodents is that sometimes you can hear them chewing the wood of your ceilings or walls. Because their teeth are constantly growing, they have to chew to keep their front teeth worn down. The sound is pretty soft – you probably wouldn’t notice it during the normal house sounds of the day. Most likely you will hear it at night when the house is quiet.
What steps can I take to keep my home rodent-free?
Mice and rats come into your house looking for food. They eat just about anything, but they will show up in your kitchen or pantry a lot. You want to keep your counters and preparation surfaces clean, and make sure your pantry items are secured in containers with tight lids.
It’s also important to take care of the cracks and crevices where food can fall and hide. Rodents like to make their nests in the insulation at the back of your refrigerator and behind your dishwasher. Pull your stove out and clean around the cupboard walls and under the stove. Be sure to check the bottom drawer of your stove – food can collect there too. The drawer can pull out all the way and reveal rodent nests.
Be sure to clean up any pet food storage and feeding areas if you have them. Mice will search 50 feet from their nest in all directions, rats will go to 100 feet. They lay down trails so they can find their way back to the nest. Remember to search throughout your house for places food might accumulate and keep them clean.
Rodents will also search for water. Check for condensation on your pipes, drip pans of your hotwater heater, leaky faucets and other places water might appear. They can find food just about anywhere – your garbage areas, compost piles, recycling bins.
You can put out traps; live, baited with poison, or humane/live catch. Be sure to read labels. Some of the poisons are no-toxic, others are not. You do want to be careful if you have kids and pets in the house.
Why pick Jerry's for my rodent problem?
If you have put out your traps and other deterrents, cleaned up your food areas and you are still seeing poop or hearing rodents in the walls it’s time to call a professional.
Jerry’s Pest Service has more than 20 years helping people in the Yakima Valley take control of their rodent problem. I really like to help people do this themselves – I will get them information on products they can use, or kinds of traps that will work. Sometimes people still want me to come and take care of things, and I am always willing to.
I will come out to your address – I know the areas; land, ravines, streets, alleys. All of that information will help me to figure out what the best plan for you is. Every house is different and so are the people that live there. Treating for rodents really is an individual process. I will sit down with you, work out a program for you and your house and we will take it from there!
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