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E-rat-icating Your Pests

Even the cleanest of homes will undoubtedly grant access to rodents and other pests at some point. In early fall, mice will begin scouring all available options for a home. If mice and rats in your area go looking, they just might decide that your home is also a suitable home for them. Mice and rats are not only undesirable houseguests, but they can cause costly damage to our food supply, clothing, and stored items. While touring our kitchen cabinets looking for morsels of food to store for later, rodents can contaminate our food with their urine and feces. In the course of building their nests, they will damage paper, books, cloth, and wiring insulation. These pests will not only prove costly but they can also destroy irreplaceable, sentimental keepsakes. We can all benefit from taking the time to properly guard against these menacing pests.

The best way to guard against a rodent invasion is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Be sure to seal any gaps or openings that mice or rats may use to gain access to your home. Commonly, gaps around drain pipes, vents, garage doors, and entry doors are the perfect "red carpet invitation" for mice and rats to invade your space. Small gaps should be sealed with caulk or quick dry cement, while larger gaps should be covered with metal hardware cloth. You should also try to make your home unappealing by securing your food items. Be sure that all bulk food items, such as dog food, are stored in metal containers. If mice and rats cannot find food, they will likely decide that your home is not a suitable refuge. In addition to these tips, some homeowners ensure prevention by using an ultrasonic repellent. While humans and non-rodent pets are virtually unaware of an ultrasonic repellent, mice and rats will hear a barrage of non-repeating sounds that will drive them away. Never use an ultra-sonic repellent around rodent pets such as rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs or rabbits.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, mice and rats will still find their way into our homes. Some of us will never see or hear a mouse or rat in our house, and we may not even know they are there until we find the tell tale clues. If you find rodent droppings, gnawing damage, or certain snakes, you can rest assured you have or have had pests in your home. Once they are in your home, you will be forced to trap to be completely pest free. Take preventative steps to discourage more unwelcome visitors before trapping the ones you have, or you could end up with a never-ending cycle. Unfortunately, mice and rats have the advantage. Although life expectancy is no more than one year, these pests breed year round and may produce up to eight litters annually. Those aren't good odds for the homeowner. But if we can stop them before they multiply, then we are well on our way to having our homes all to ourselves.

When you set out to eradicate your problem mice and rats, remember to be responsible. Don't use poisons or antifreeze. Poisons, while effective, can pose serious threats to more than just rats and mice. Household pets and other animals can also be affected. Whether by pets eating the poison directly or natural predators eating mice and rats killed with poison, they could ingest the poison causing an untimely death. Even if the poison works exactly as it is designed, and only pests are killed, they are not killed instantly. Mice and rats can travel into walls, storage, and other inaccessible places after ingesting the poison. In a short time, decaying mice and rats leave a nasty smell and mess.

The most humane method of controlling mice and rats is through the use of live catch traps. After baiting a trap with crackers, butter, gumdrops, cherry pits, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, or peanut butter, place it on the floor or counter, against or as close to the wall as possible. Once a pest has been caught, take the trap to a large, wooded area. With the door facing away from you, lift the door to release the mouse. Just as there are several types of live catch traps, there are equally as many humane kill traps. Once caught in a kill trap, the dead pests should not be touched. Secure the mouse or rat in the trash away from your pets. The most effective and humane kill trap is an electronic trap. These battery powered traps deliver an electrical shock that instantly euthanizes any rodent that touches both metal contacts found within. Once inside the trap, an indicator light will flash up to 24 hours to signal that a mouse has been caught. With these and other classic forms of pest control, we can be certain not to share our homes with any unwanted rodents.

Whether you have a need for prevention products, live trapping, or humane kill products, BestNest has a quality line of products to suit your needs. Please visit our Pest Control Page to view our exciting mice & rat control products.