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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! Field mice, golden mice, deer mice, meadow mice, and the eastern harvest mouse are all common in North Carolina, but these species typically steer clear of humans. That doesn’t mean they won’t make themselves at home inside your house if they absolutely 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 mice in your pantry is likely if you have rodent roommates.
Rats like living in areas heavily populated by humans, so Hickory is perfect for a lot of species. Their ability to travel underground and through sewers only makes it easier for them to spread out.
Inside homes and buildings, they usually create nests in warm, dark areas and can travel up to 100 feet or more from their nests. Unfortunately, they are not picky eaters and will eat most food that we eat.
There are a few different types of rats that sometimes get inside homes in Hickory. 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. Roof rats go by many common names, such as ship rat, roof rat, and house rat. The Norway rat is also called the gray rat, common rat, street rat, and sewer rat.
Signs of Rodents in Hickory, NC
Now that you know the basics on mice and rats, let’s talk about what to look for if you think you might have rodent roommates.
Because these critters are experts at hiding, you might go several weeks before realizing you have a rodent problem. Usually, you hear them before you see them. If you have rodents, you might hear scurrying and scampering noises—usually at night when they are more active—coming from behind the floorboards, ceilings, or even in your walls. The other most common first sign of trouble is the droppings. Yuck!
Because of their ninja-like nature and ability to thrive in tight and out-of-reach spaces, it can be almost impossible for a homeowner to effectively deal with rodents using home remedies and DIY solutions. That’s where we come in with proven solutions for rodent control that will keep rodents out—for good.
Rodent Control: How to Prevent Rodents from Getting Into the House
Ok, so you know what to look for, now what?
Get ahead of the need for a rat exterminator in Hickory, NC, by taking these steps to rodent prevention.
1. Seal all openings to the outdoors.
Install door sweeps on all outside doors and screen your windows properly. Seal all openings outside the home using steel wool, wire mesh, or a similar material.
Check the attic and the chimney for entry points. Basements and crawl spaces should be well ventilated and kept dry to keep rodents out.
2. Eliminate the attraction.
Mice and rats will eat almost anything, so keep your food closed up and put away. Maintain a clean house and kitchen, and make sure garbage bins have tight lids and are emptied regularly.
Rodents will even eat pet food! Keep dry pet food and birdseed in closed 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—(the Allegheny Woodrat, a common rat in North Carolina that usually stays outside, loves this stuff.)
3. Limit their nesting options.
Remove leaves, excess wood, and rubble near your house. Maintain a well-trimmed lawn, trees, and landscape. Rodents love cardboard, so dispose of that regularly. Unused furniture inside is also a welcome site for mice looking to build a cozy nest.
4. Use mouse traps.
Worried you have a rodent roommate already? Place traps perpendicular to walls, with the trigger facing toward the baseboard to ensure mice run 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?
Did something go squeak in the night? Rodents often seek shelter in homes to escape harsh outdoor temperatures. If they get in your walls, you may hear them—usually at night when they are most active.
One of the worst parts about having an infestation means that mice and rats may die inside your walls. When this happens, you’ll most likely smell a very putrid odor that you can’t seem to find the source of. For this reason, and more, it’s important to get dead rodents out of your home as soon as possible.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Rats and Mice?
Your best bet is calling a Terminix rodent control expert in Hickory. 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 Hickory, North Carolina, branch for help.