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Of the two, mice are smaller and more likely to live independently of humans.
Still, mice are happy to nest anywhere. They are just as happy living out in a field as they are inside the walls of your home. They’ve been known to make nests in wall voids, closets, attics, cabinets, furniture, and even appliances.
Mice are unlikely to venture out too far from their nests once it’s established (typically no more than 20 feet), so often will be found within range of a food supply. They enjoy many of the same foods as we do and have no issues helping themselves.
Rats, on the other hand, are larger, and prefer to live in close proximity to humans. This means rats do especially well in larger urban environments and metropolitan areas with higher populations (like Charleston). They are also expert navigators of sewers and other underground passageways (like the extensive drainage system on the Peninsula).
Unlike mice, rats frequently travel upwards of 100 feet in search of food, making their range of nests trickier to cover. In your home, rats seek out warm, dark areas to establish a nest. Norway rats typically nest close to the ground, tunneling and burrowing, while roof rats, unsurprisingly, prefer to make their nests up high in roofs and attics. Just like mice, they enjoy many human foods, and are equally happy to help themselves.
Terminx’s Top Rodent Control Tips
Let’s turn to strategies, now that we know what to be on the lookout for. Here’s a rundown of the quick, easy steps we recommend to help keep your home and family safe from rodents and avoid any trips from the rat exterminators.
1. Inspect Your Windows & Doors
Double-check the seals around the doors, windows and other access points of your home or office. Windows should have in-tact screens securely in place. Doors should use door sweeps to keep them flush with the ground.
Other openings, like ducts, laundry vents, and crawlspaces, can also provide an easy access point for rodents. Add screens made of something like steel wool or wire mesh to these openings if possible.
While you’re at it, check for openings in your basements and attics as well. These are popular destinations for many different rodents. Keep these spaces well-ventilated and dry to discourage rodents from moving in.
2. Keep Foods Out of Reach
Despite what we’ve seen in cartoons, rodents eat more than just big hunks of cheese. Rats and mice will eat practically anything they can get their paws on. Make sure to seal and put away all food in their proper places, and always keep your prepping and cooking areas tidy. For garbage and recycling, only use bins with tight-fitting lids, and empty them regularly.
Rodents will eat non-human food, too. Birdseed and dry pet food should be kept outside in resealable containers. And if you have any in your yard, clean and keep an eye on outdoor food bowls for pets, and feeders and baths for birds.
3. Watch for Potential Nests
Many items you’d find around the home and yard are highly attractive nest locations for rodents. Mice and rats are known to nest in yard waste, rubble, woodstacks, and piles of leaves, so make sure these things are disposed of properly and regularly.
Cardboard is another potential nest material for rodents — don’t let it pile up between recycling. Finally, be mindful of old furniture in storage, the inside of which can make a cozy spot for a rodent nest.
4. Skip the Rodent Repellent
Most importantly, don’t ever waste your money on something that claims to be a “natural rodent repellent.” Extensive testing in both lab and real-world settings have revealed that these solutions rarely work as they claim to, or if they do, work for only a very short amount of time.
Also, with all due respect to all the four-legged companions out there, there’s only so much that Spot and Princess can do in their capacity as mousers. Sometimes you need to call in professional rodent control.
Signs You May Need Rodents Control in Charleston, SC
It is not uncommon for homeowners to go weeks or months without realizing they have a pest problem. Mice and rats are both experts at staying out of sight.
More often than not, the first sign of a rodent problem in your home or business is the sound of scurrying critters coming from the ceilings, behind the walls, and below the floorboards, especially at night, when rodents are most active.
Another common first indicator is the distinctive rice-shaped brown pellets those unwelcome houseguests leave behind. If you spy droppings or hear the sounds of scampering in the evening, there’s a good chance you’ve opened your doors to rodent guests without realizing it.
Because they’re so good at staying out of sight and making their nests in hard-to-reach places, it can be nearly impossible for homeowners to deal with rodents all by themselves. That’s when the experts at Terminix come into play. When you need mouse exterminator or rodent control services, we’ll bring the expertise and tools needed to treat those out-of-reach nests and deploy proactive protection measures to avoid any return visits.
For Charleston Rodent Control, Trust Terminix
If you’re worried you may be sharing your home with rodents, give us a call. Our rodent control services are performed by expert, local technicians and backed by the strongest guarantee in the pest industry. And on top of all that, Terminix has 75 years of experience delivering proven effective results.
Want to learn more about rodent control options? Call your local Charleston, South Carolina, Terminix branch today!