These are ten rodent signs:
- Droppings; The house mouse may produce 50-100 droppings daily while the rat may excrete as many as 50 droppings daily. Removing old droppings and noting the presence and location of new ones will show how many rodents may be present and where they currently are foraging.
- Tracks; due to the habits of rodents making run ways behind large appliances, furniture, and in places that do not receive cleaning regularly will show there prints in the dust or soft moist or wet soil. Rodents have 5 toes on there hind feet and 4 toes on the front feet. The size of the prints differ.
Rodent Size of hind foot print
Rats 3/4 – 1 inch Rats also leave “tail drag”
Mice 3/8 inch or less
- Gnawing damage; rodent teeth grow constantly at the rate of .3-.4 millimeters each day. The appearance of there gnawing differ.
Rodent Size and appearance of gnawing damage
Rats about 2 inches or more in diameter and often has rough, torn edges.
Mice small, clean-cut holes about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
- Burrows; found next to walls, along foundations, or beneath debris or shrubbery.
- Runways; rodents routinely use the same pathways between their nests which leaves the runways clear of dust and debris.
- Grease marks from the oil and dirt of rats and mice often appear along wall areas next to runways.
- Urine stains; The use of black lights will reveal rodent urine. It will appear blue- white under ultra-violet light.
- Live or dead rodents
- Rodent sounds; high pitched squeaks, gnawing sounds and scratching
- Rodent odors
Wherever there is an abundance of rats or mice, there is usually also an abundance of food and shelter available to the rodents. Removal or reduction of these factors alone through sanitation practices will have a tremendous impact in reducing rodent populations.
- Eliminate all rubbish piles.
- Garbage containers should be tightly fit and free of trash laying around them.
- Grass, weeds and other undesirable vegetation adjacent to buildings should be removed. If the building is landscaped, it should be properly maintained.
- Items that must be kept outside should be at least 12 inches away from building.
- All potential rodent harborages must be identified and eliminated or modified (ie. Obscure corners, shelves, under and in cabinets, worktables)
- Proper storage practices are important.
The best way to control mice and rats is to make it impossible for them to find any way to get into structures.
- For Mice, all openings greater than 1/4 inch should be sealed to exclude mice. For Rats, all openings greater than ½ inch should be sealed.Coarse steel wool, sheet metal, hardware cloth and mortar can be used to seal the spaces around openings.
- Broken basement windows, warped doors and unscreened vents should be repaired as well.
- The spaces beneath doors should not be more than 1/4 inch from the floor. A kick plate made of metal can be used to run the full length of the bottom of the door.
- The use of fitted metal guards can deter rodents from climbing pipes. A 12- inch band of hard glossy paint around the outside of pipes will also help prevent climbing.
There are three general types of rodent traps:
- Common snap trap
- Automatic, multiple-catch traps
- Glue board traps
There are tree main types of materials available:
- Baits; food baits, Pelletized baits, Loose meal baits, “packet-style” baits
- Tracking powders; a dust type material that is placed in rodent run ways. Rodents pick up the powder on their feet and fur and ingest the toxicant during their grooming activities. Tracking powder is higher in active ingredient, thus making it more of a risk to other non target animals.
- Fumigants; poisonous gases such as aluminum phosphide are used to obtain a quick kill of rodents in outdoor burrows. Fumigants can be extremely dangerous to the applicator and others if not used properly.