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Mice are less dependent on humans for survival than rats and once they have a secure nest, they try not to travel very far from it—usually no more than 20 feet! But that doesn’t mean they won’t make themselves at home inside your house if they need to.
Once inside, mice can nest almost anywhere that’s undisturbed, including in the walls, closets, attics, cabinets, appliances, and furniture. And they’ll eat what we eat, so finding evidence of them in your pantry isn’t uncommon if you have a rodent issue.
Rats like living in areas heavily populated by humans, like Columbia and other large cities. Their ability to travel underground and through sewers only makes it easier for them to spread out.
Inside homes and buildings, they usually nest in warm, dark areas and can travel up to 100 feet or more from their nests; unfortunately, they also eat a lot of what we eat.
There are two different types of rats commonly found in Columbia: Roof rats and Norway rats. Roof rats, as their name implies, prefer to live up high, while Norway rats prefer to live in burrows and in nests and tunnels below ground.
Rodent Control: How to Prevent Rodents from Getting Into the House
Rodents can be pretty disrespectful. They come inside uninvited, eat your food, and leave behind their droppings and trash. They also carry harmful diseases that could hurt you and your family. Get ahead of the need for a rat exterminator in Columbia, SC, by taking these steps to rodent prevention.
1. Seal rodents out.
Install door sweeps on all exterior doors and make sure your windows are properly screened. Seal all openings outside the home using steel wool, wire mesh, or similar materials.
Check the attic and the chimney for other entry points. Making sure basements and crawl spaces are well ventilated and dry will also help keep rodents out.
2. Eliminate the attraction.
Mice and rats will eat almost anything, so keep all food sealed away. Maintain a clean house and kitchen, and make sure garbage bins have tight-fitting lids and are emptied often.
Rodents will even eat pet food! Keep dry pet food and birdseed in sealable containers and store them in an outside storage room if possible. Bird feeders and pet food left outside can attract mice. Keep bird feeders clean of waste—rodents love that stuff!
3. Limit their nesting options.
Get rid of leaf piles, wood, and rubble near your house. Keep your lawn and trees trimmed. Rodents love cardboard, so don’t keep it lying around. Unused furniture in the home can also be a welcome site for mice looking for a comfy nest.
4. Use mouse traps to help stop an ongoing infestation.
Worried you have a rodent roommate already? Place traps perpendicular to walls, with the trigger facing toward the baseboard to ensure mice run directly into the trap as they run.
5. Don’t waste money on rodent repellents.
Science has proven that natural mouse repellents rarely work and, if they do, it’s not for long. A few of the most common substances include mothballs, peppermint oil, toilet cakes, ammonia, cat urine (gross!), and human hair. Some people think having a cat or dog will keep rodents away, but it’s best not to rely on your pets to be your mouse exterminators.
What if I Hear Rodents in the Walls?
Heard a squeak in the night? Rodents often seek shelter in homes to escape hot or cold temperatures. If they are in your walls, you may be able to hear them—usually at night when they are most active. In fact, you might never see them, only hear them.
Unfortunately, having an infestation sometimes means that mice and rats may die inside your walls. It’s important to get dead rodents out of your home as soon as possible.
Getting rid of rodents in your walls can be tricky. Taking the DIY route can yield less-than-effective results and cause more damage to your home. An educated pest control specialist is critical to helping get these critters out of your walls—and out of your home.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Rats & Mice?
Your best bet is calling a Terminix rodent control expert in Columbia. Our experts will do an initial inspection to determine how rodents are getting in. Then they’ll develop a custom treatment plan just for your home, including sealing and securing vulnerable entry points to help keep rodent intruders out.
Terminix Can Help
Terminix experts aren’t like most mouse and rat exterminators. Our pest professionals have the knowledge, specialized training, and proven approach to protect your home, guaranteed.
Think you have rodent roommates? Call your local Columbia, South Carolina, branch for help.