You hear noises in the wall, what is it? And… what do you do?

Go through this simple check list below, and by process of elimination you may be able to figure it out – if not, you can always call us!

The Bug Runner can take care of all types of rodents. Our service for Mice and Rats involves the use of poison baits. When used indoors these baits are placed in special “bait stations”. These stations are set in areas likely to be visited by the rodents, yet inaccessible to children or pets (attic spaces, crawl spaces, drop ceilings etc.)  When rat burrows are located outside, these are baited as well. In areas where safety of bait use may be compromised, “tamper-proof” bait stations or some type of trap may be used.

The exact approach is chosen by the technician and based on the treatment site’s individual configurations and needs. Please note: Baiting and trapping will offer only temporary control and should be used in conjunction with the sanitation and mechanical alterations described later in this article.

How do you tell the difference if it’s mice, rats or something else?

Telltale signs of Mice

  • squeaking, scratching, gnawing and /or scurrying sounds in the attic, ceiling or walls – always at night
  • droppings (mouse poop) often found in drawers and around stovetop burners, they are small and can be mistaken for crumbs – they look to be the size and shape of caraway seeds
  • small holes chewed in boxes or bags in the pantry, food chewed on counters or in cabinets
  • chewed areas on wood or electrical wiring
  • nesting sites – shredded fabric, insulation, paper and string are favorite nesting materials
  • mouse food “storage” – seeds, nuts, pet food or other foods found in attic, or other nook or cranny
  • pets getting excited or sitting and staring at the wall or appliance for no apparent reason
  • mice are small (compared to rats) about 2 1/2 – 4 inches not including the tail

Signs of Rats – (many signs are the same as mice, but more , louder or larger)

  • louder noises- scratching, chewing scurrying – always at night
  • bigger chew marks
  • bigger droppings
  • larger holes chewed through wood or electrical wiring, holes not only in cardboard but heavier plastic
  • rat food “storage” – seeds, nuts, pet food or other foods found in attic, or other nook or cranny
  • pets getting excited or sitting and staring at the wall or appliance for no apparent reason
  • outdoor burrows (holes in the ground where they live)
  • rats are big (compared to mice) about 4 – 8 inches not including the tail

Squirrels ( yes they’re rodents too)

  • scurrying, scratching sometimes sounds like a ball rolling around in the attic (usually noisier than mice)
  • sounds are in early morning or early evening
  • nesting materials in attic (shredded fabric or insulation)
  • food storage- nuts etc. in attic
  • Raccoons (not rodents but can get into attics)
  • Nocturnal – so noises at night – loud – sounds like a person walking around

Sanitation and Mechanical Alteration is the first step in rodent control

  • Clean up debris, rubbish from your property. Overgrowth and debris around and under plantings should be cleared out as well, all these areas provide harborage sites for burrows and shelter for rodents to move about
  • Check and clean storage areas periodically (pantries, attics, garages, utility rooms). Undisturbed storage space allows rodents to nest and breed in safety.
  • Rotate pantry stock so that no areas sit unmoved for any period of time.
  • Stacked firewood is a perfect rodent habitat. Rotate old wood to the front or top when restocking, in the same manner you rotate the panty stock
  • Eliminate food and water sources.
  • Clean up thoroughly and often. Spilled food, beverages, garbage, pet food or grain will attract rodents.
  • Bird seed debris under feeders is another overlooked food source
  • Keep garbage in tightly closed, metal cans. Keep the cans and their surroundings clean and neat
  • Make sure all windows, doors (including garage), vents and screens close snugly* and are kept closed, especially at night
  • Seal all entry points of wires, pipes and utility lines*
  • Keep all vegetation, shrubs, plants and trees trimmed back away from the building

*Rodent proofing/closure is another service provided by The Bug Runner!

Use Caution Cleaning up Droppings

  • Rodent droppings can carry the Hantavirus. This can be transmitted when droppings become friable (dry enough for fragments to become airborne) and the particles are inhaled. This can happen when handling droppings, dead rodents or their nesting materials. Although this disease is rare, it is fatal, therefore precautions should be taken when dealing with droppings and other rodent debris
  • Use rubber gloves
  • Mist area with a disinfectant cleaner prior to contact
  • Use paper towels to wipe up the moistened droppings and/or urine marks
  • Dispose of towels used during cleaning in a sealed plastic bag
  • Dampen any nesting materials or dead rodents with the disinfectant and dispose of them in the same manner

Yucky Yet Fascinating Facts

  • Mice can jump from a height of 12 feet without injury, rats an amazing 50 feet!
  • Rats and mice can walk wires and other thin objects without falling (considering fact #1 falling’s not much of an issue anyway)
  • Rats and mice can climb straight up on any surface with enough texture to grip with their tiny little toes
  • Mice can squeeze through 1/4 inch spaces
  • Mice can jump straight up at least 12 inches
  • Rats can jump 3 feet high with a running start
  • Rats can jump a horizontal distance of 18 feet!
  • Rats can gnaw through cement
  • Some rats can swim up to 3 days without drowning!
  • Rats and mice will eat their young when food is scarce
  • Rats can lift the lid off a can if it is not tight fitting
  • Rats, mice and squirrels can cause fires by chewing on electrical wiring
  • If a rat gets it’s foot caught in a trap it can chew it’s own leg off
  • Rats will make nesting burrows in planters
  • Those stories about rats coming in through the toilet bowl… they’re true!

Rats and mice have been part of the human experience since the beginning. Our habits make us ideal living “partners” for them, without trying, we provide food, shelter and nesting material aplenty. They have moved about the globe with us for centuries, spreading disease, eating and contaminating our food supplies, damaging homes, businesses and lives as they go. More than 10 million people have died from rodent borne diseases.

Both mice and rats are prolific breeders and rapidly increase their numbers if no control measures are taken. A combination of increased sanitation, structural adjustments, baiting and/or trapping, is needed to tip the scale in our favor.