Some people find mice frightening, while others regard them as relatively benign pests. However, it is an unfortunate fact that rats and many species of mice are capable of carrying and spreading over 35 diseases. Additionally, many of these ailments can be transferred to humans through simple contact with rodent urine and feces. Other sources of infection can include indirect disease communication through mites, fleas, ticks and other parasitic bugs that prey on these otherwise harmless seeming animals.
There are several important signs of rodent infestation to know. Rodent droppings, tiny cylindrical pellets found in drawers, cupboards or pantries, are one of the most obvious indicators. Other traces may include evidence of nesting and burrowing activity, such as shreds of fabric, paper or dried plant matter. Other traces might consist of gnaw marks on or through walls, floors and food packages, as well as musty smells coming from sequestered areas in walls or other limited access areas of the home.
Those looking to prevent infestation should seal potential entry points, eliminate the vulnerability of stored foodstuffs, keep garbage receptacles contained and consider installing strategically placed traps.
If you think you may have a serious mouse infestation, it's usually best to call in the professionals. Contact Nick’s Pest if you need rodent control service today.
Many people like to have cats around to help keep rodent populations under control. However, there can be disadvantages to using house cats for the purpose of killing mice and rats. Below are some considerations to keep in mind before obtaining a cat to use as a rodent-fighting pet.
Risk of Disease and Injury
Mice and rats are known carriers of a variety of diseases, including Hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, tularemia, and salmonellosis. In addition, mice and rats are often infested with fleas and ticks, and these tiny pests can also carry a host of illnesses — some of which are deadly to humans and cats alike.
If house cats come in contact with infected mice and rats, they may contract a disease or carry it into the home and make members of the household ill. The fleas and ticks may also transfer from rodents to the cats and gain a foothold in the home.
Disease is not the only danger posed to house cats; cats may be injured in encounters with mice and rats. Both of these rodent species have sharp incisors that can inflict deep bites. These bites can become infected and cause serious injury to cats as a result.
Some Cats Simply Won't Hunt
Many house cats are natural-born predators, but individual cats vary in their ability and desire to hunt down prey. Though it is common for mother cats to teach their kittens to hunt and kill mice and other small prey, not all kittens respond to the training.
In addition, centuries of domestication have reduced hunting instincts in house cats. Even cats that demonstrate prey-locating behavior may do nothing when confronting mice and rats. In fact, some cats may respond in fear and flee from their prey.
Worse, even if a house cat does hunt and catch a mouse or rat, they may not kill it. House cats are known to carry their live prey into homes and may allow the mice or rats to escape.
Rapid Reproduction Rate of Mice and Rats
Both mice and rats are able to reproduce rapidly. The gestation period for these rodents is only about three weeks, and females can birth multiple litters per year. In fact, it is not uncommon for female mice to produce well over fifty offspring per year.
This fast population growth creates a significant obstacle for cats that hunt. Most house cats aren't able to catch and kill mice and rats fast enough to keep up with increases in the rodent population. Even the most willing cat is likely to fall short in making a sizable dent in your rodent population.
Cats Don't Address the Causes of Rodent Problems
Another reason why house cats aren't the answer for mice and rat problems is that they fail to address the root causes. Mice and rats are well-adapted to living in homes with humans, and it doesn't take much for them to find comfortable spots to live, reproduce and feed.
In addition, mice and rats are proficient at locating ways to enter homes. They are known to enter through openings no thicker than a fraction of an inch, and rodents can also exploit other entry points by chewing their way through wood or other materials.
A house cat will not prevent mice and rats from being able to enter a home, and once the pest is inside, it can be impossible for cats to catch them if the mouse or rat hides in a confined area.
Cats are wonderful companions, but the reality is much of the time they aren't sufficient for mice and rat control. Instead, be sure to contact Nick's Pest Management Inc. for assistance. The professionals at Nick's can effectively eliminate a rodent problem quickly, without putting your cat and household at risk.
Carpenter ants can be a big problem. This type of ant loves to chew on wood and can cause some serious damage to the wood surrounding and inside of your home. These ants can also damage trees in your yard as well. If you see large black carpenter ants around your home, it's best to take action and get rid of them. See below for helpful tips on how to get rid of carpenter ants.
Find the Ants Entrance
Carpenter ants don't just appear out of thin air — they are entering your home somewhere and you need to find their entrance, or you'll just end up with more. Keep an eye on the ants to see where they are inside your home and then look around your home's foundation, around windows, doors, in the basement and even in the attic to see if you can spot the ant’s entrance.
Once you find the entrance you can seal the area to prevent any more ants from coming inside. Seal foundations, siding or doorways with caulk or silicone. Also, look around for reasons why ants may be attracted to your home, these reasons can include a water damaged roof, or brush or wood piles close to your home or a tree with limbs hanging down over your house that they ants may use as a bridge to get to your home.
Make any necessary repairs to prevent the ants from coming inside your house.
Kill the Ants You See
After you've found their entrance to prevent any new ants from coming inside, start killing any ants you can find in your home. You can use a pesticide or even bait traps to kill any ants that may be hiding in a nest inside your
You can also use a mixture of one part boric acid and five parts sugar substance such as powdered sugar, syrup or jelly to attract the ants. The mixture will kill the ants, and it is a safe and natural alternative to pesticides. You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your home, this substance will kill the ants, but is not harmful to pets or children.
Take Care of Ants Outside Your Home Too
If you have a lot of carpenter ants outside your house, you should try your best to control them to prevent them from attempting to return to your home. These ants can do quite a bit of damage to wooden decks, porches, fences and trees.
You can use an insecticide outside of your home as well. There are a number of insecticides on the market, and you should go with whichever is best for your situation, especially if you have small children or pets. After spraying or sprinkling the insecticide, it will most likely need to dry before you should allow anyone outside in the yard.
A little maintenance can go a long way in preventing carpenter ants and other pests from entering your home. Be sure to inspect your home every season to look for entry ways that pests can use to get into your home and make repairs as needed. You should also keep your lawn maintained, trim back trees and landscaping so it isn't growing over your house and remove brush piles where pests like to hide.
Call in a professional pest control specialist such as Nick's Pest Management Inc., if you are experiencing issues with carpenter ants or other pests such as mice, termites, bed bugs, roaches or spiders. Their professional team has the tools and knowledge to get the job done right, and they will remove these pests from your home and prevent them from returning.
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