In this post, we review the actions you should take to help reduce the risk of having mice and rats in your home. You will have a healthier and safer environment without rodents that will spread droppings and disease around your home.
House mice, which are generally active at night, are gray in color and small: usually between two to four inches long. Their nests are typically 12 to 15 inches across and made out of fibrous materials such as paper, and are loosely knit together.
Some signs you have house mice include partially nibbled food and small droppings.
Rats are larger in size than house mice (they are 12 to 16 inches from nose to tail) and are a grayish brown color with a long hairless tail.
The most common sign you have rats is droppings near food sources along with evidence of gnawing, burrows, tracks, nests and rub marks.
Related: Differences between rats and mice
Dangers of Rodents
It is important to control and eliminate any mice or rats in your home because they contaminate the environments in which they live through their urine, droppings, and hairs.
They also can carry a wide range of diseases, which can be passed on to humans, either by directly contaminating food with their droppings and urine or by contaminating surfaces. Rats specifically can pass on the potentially fatal Weil’s Disease, which is carried by about 15 to 30 percent of the rat population.
Related: Diseases in House Mice
In addition to the potential threat of contamination and the threat of disease, they can also cause extensive structural damage to property. Mice and rats have strong teeth and are capable of gnawing a variety of materials. According to experts, there is a significant risk of fire and electrocution as a result of mice and rodents chewing through electric cables and wiring.
How to prevent rats and mice
You can discourage mice from taking up residence and prevent infestations by blocking access points to your home and improving hygiene:
- Check that doors fit tightly
- Check that windows close tightly
- Seal all cracks, openings, and holes
- Inspect for access points around gas, electricity, and water pipes
- Store food carefully with tight-fitting lids
- Clean up any spills immediately
- Remove garbage and other materials that can be used by mice
Related: Are mice dangerous?
Rats can be both more difficult and more dangerous to deal with. Before you attempt to deal with a rat problem yourself, it is critical to identify where rats are living, feeding, and drinking, and the routes they take between these areas. Look out for:
- Holes and burrows
- Runs and tracks
- Other signs such as sightings or a musky smell
You need to find out how the rats are getting into your home. Try blocking any holes you find with newspaper or similar material or similar material and returning 24 hours to see if it was disturbed.