Tag Archives: Rats

How to Keep Rodents Away From Your Home Without Using Poison

How to keep rodents away from your home

In this post, we list ways you can help keep mice and rats away from your home.

No one likes to have a mouse in the house. Even worse is if you have a rat on your property.

Rodents outdoors are one thing, but if they find a way into your home, that can be a problem.

The dangers of mice include the diseases they carry, the urine and droppings they leave everywhere they go, and chewing wires that may cause electrical fires, and many other health and safety issues.

If you can help keep them away from your property, it will make it less likely they will find their way into your home.

Continue reading for tips to help keep mice, rats, and rodents away from your home.

 

How to keep rodents away

  • Mice in House May Carry DiseaseDon’t leave your garage door open.
  • Don’t store pet for bird food in the garage.
  • Don’t leave pet food in bowls outdoors.
  • Keep your garbage in cans with secure lids.
  • Stack firewood far away from your home.
  • Remove trash piles, wood or leaf, and brush piles.
  • Don’t have landscaping too close to your home.
  • Clean up spilled pet food or bird food.
  • Pick up pet droppings in your yard.
  • Remove water sources on your property.
  • Inspect your home exterior and patch holes.
  • Keep food in containers and sweep up spilled food.
  • Keep your home clean. Piles are attractive homes to rodents.
  • Pick fruits and vegetables from your garden as soon as they are ripe.

We do NOT recommend using poisons to keep mice and rats away from your home. Using poisons often creates other unintended problems, and can often kill other animals you didn’t intend to kill.

Related: Reasons you should use rat and mice poisons

 

What attracts mice and rodents?

The things that attract mice to your property or home are the things they need to survive: food, water, and shelter. 

By working to minimize their access to what they need to survive, you’ll give them fewer reasons to try and move in.

 

Remove food sources

Try to remove food sources for rodents.

  • House Mice carry disease

    Photo by Max Pixel

    Pet food

  • Bird food
  • Unsecured garbage cans
  • Dog droppings not cleaned up
  • Food scraps and crumbs in kitchens
  • Easy access to food on counters
  • Seal your air conditioner lines
  • Fruit and vegetables rotting in garden or yard

Keeping your home and property clean and free from easily accessible food sources is the biggest thing you can do to keep mice and rats away.

A lot of their food sources come from places you might not suspect are a big problem. Keeping your kitchen clean and securing your garbage cans should be obvious, even if we can’t always clean up.

You might not realize though that leaving out pet food, especially outside can attract rodents. Letting fruit or vegetables rot in your garden or yard can attract many pests, not just rodents but also raccoons and skunks. You may not realize that rats enjoy feasting on dog droppings. This can actually be a major source of food for them.

Related: Protect your home from animals in winter

 

Don’t give them shelter to build nests

Keeping your home, garage, shed, and yard clutter-free will take away places for rodents to hide and nest.

  • Diseases in House MiceClean up piles of clothing, newspapers, scrap wood, and clutter in your home, attic, and basement.
  • Keep your lawn mowed.
  • Remove wood piles, stacks of brush and leaves if possible.
  • Keep wood piles a few inches off the ground and away from your foundation.
  • Don’t plant dense landscaping near your foundation.

 

Close rodent entry points to your home

To help keep mice out of your home, make sure you close all the common entry points where they are likely to enter. A mouse can fit through a very tiny opening, so all small holes must be filled.

  • common animal entry points in homeInspect your roof and siding for possible access points.
  • Inspect crawl spaces under the house.
  • Patch all holes with steel wool, copper mesh, or hardware cloth and then fill them with a patching compound. This will discourage rats from chewing a hole in the same location.
  • Caulk around pipes and wiring where these materials enter the home.
  • Make sure your dryer vent has a screen to stop rodents from entering through there.

Related: How do animals get into your home?

 

Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional mouse and rat removal in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane live animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!

 

Related sources to keep rodents away:

7 Poison-Free Ways to Rodent-Proof Your Home – The Spruce
How to Keep Rats Away – WikiHow

Diseases in House Mice

Diseases in House Mice

Have you seen mice in your house? These rodents are common animal invaders to homes during the fall when the weather starts getting cold.

Once mice are in the house, you have to get rid of them. Nobody wants an uninvited guest in the house that poops everywhere!

That’s a good enough reason to get rid of mice in the house. But are there others?

Related: How to Keep Mice and Rats Away From Your Home

 

Mice in House May Carry DiseaseDo mice in the house carry disease?

Yes, house mice can carry diseases. They can transmit diseases to humans and pets through droppings, bites, fleas, lice, mites, and ticks.

What diseases do mice carry?

  • Salmonella
  • Hantavirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • The plague

Mice Disease Symptoms

SalmonellaSalmonella

Salmonella symptoms include gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Salmonella is most commonly spread through with mice droppings that have come in contact with food or water.

Hantavirus

Earliest symptoms of the hantavirus include chills, muscle aches, and fever. Advanced symptoms of hantavirus include a dry cough, headache, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.  Hantavirus is spread by breathing dust contaminated by the droppings or urine of an infected mouse.

Related: How to tell what kind of animal is in attic

Leptospirosis

House Mice carry disease

Photo by Max Pixel

Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is spread through mouse urine. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, head and muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice (yellowing of skin color).

Related: Leprostoisis disease spread by rodents

Rat bite fever

This disease is spread by the bite of a mouse or a rat. Rat bite fever can also be spread through the handling of an infected mouse or through food or water that has come in contact with a diseased mouse. The symptoms include fever, body aches, vomiting and a red rash with small bumps.

Related: Reasons why you shouldn’t use rat and mouse poison

The Plague

Nobody wants any of these, but if you end up with the plague, people are going to wonder if you’re some kind of holdout from medieval times. Symptoms depend on which type of the plague is contracted: bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

Early symptoms for any type of the plague are high fevers and extreme weakness. Bubonic plague symptoms also include swollen and painful lymph nodes. Septicemic plague symptoms include abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding into the skin and other organs. Pneumonic plague is characterized by respiratory failure and shock. It can be spread through handling an infected mouse or from flea bites from an infected mouse. Once contracted by a human, it can be spread from human to human.

If you need professional rodent removal services in the Chicagoland area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861.

How Do Animals Get Into Your Home?

How animals get into your home

As more and more animals learn to adapt to living near humans and our suburban landscapes and gardens support more wildlife, your home starts to become more of a potential target for animal invaders.

Many of us don’t mind having animals nearby and sharing our environment with them. None of us want them in our homes though. Wild animals need to be left wild, not allowed to move into our homes.

It does happen though. Bats and raccoons will move into your attic, skunks, and raccoons can move under your deck or shed, and mice can move into your basement or walls.

Beware of raccoon feces in attic

Animals in your home can create all kinds of problems, from squirrels chewing electrical wires to raccoons and bats leaving behind disease ridden feces. You can also expose you and your pets to rabies and other hazards.

Getting an animal out of your home can be done, but it is challenging, stressful and an unwanted expense. Cleaning up after an animal in your attic can be hazardous.

Your best option is to keep them out of your home in the first place.

 

Where animals enter home

  • Soffits
  • Chimneys
  • Attic exhaust opening
  • Attic & soffit vents
  • Pet doors
  • Window wells
  • Basement or foundation
  • Decks & porches
  • Roof corners
  • Roof and shingles
  • Overhanging trees
  • Holes around pipes
  • Weather stripping
  • Where to materials meet

Common points animals enter the home:

Interactive common animal entry points diagram

To prevent animals from entering your home, make sure you inspect the interior at least once a year, checking all the common entry points.

Check your home after winter to make sure the harsh weather hasn’t created a small opening for animals. Most of them don’t need much space. You should also inspect the home at the end of the summer before the cold weather hits. If you find any weak points you’ll still have time to fix them before unwanted critters are looking for places to get out of the cold.

Animals that will move into your home

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Bats
  • Birds
  • Skunks
  • Snakes
  • Opossums
  • Wasps

Rodents are the most likely wild animal that will move into your home. Mice, rats, and squirrels account for about 75% or more of all unwanted critters in houses.

The favorite place for animals to take up residence is in your attic. It’s an inviting habitat for a wild animal because it’s low traffic, warm, dry and usually has nice out of the way places to hide.

Related: What animal is in my attic?

If you need professional animal removal services in the Chicagoland area, please contact us online or call (847) 464-1861.

Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Nuisance Animal in Illinois?

Permit to Remove Nuisance Animal in Illinois

You may not realize it, but that nuisance animal in your attic, shed, garage or on your property might be legally protected in Illinois.

Most wildlife is protected by law and cannot be killed or even removed without a permit.

For professional animal removal in the Chicago area, CALL (847) 464-1861

Raccoons carrying disease into your home

The Illinois Department of National Resources is tasked with conservation and management of wild species in Illinois. By Illinois law, a property owner or tenant needs a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

By Illinois law, property owners or tenants need a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF) to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

Is the animal you want to remove a protected species? We’ve listed the most common nuisance animals in Illinois below. 


Questions? Call Attic Solutions at (847) 464-1861


Mice, Norway rats, moles, voles, gophers, and shrews

dangerous rats, are rats dangerousThese small mammals may all be removed with no permit needed.

Exceptions to this rule include the eastern woodrat and rice rat, which are endangered species in Illinois. These two species may not be removed.

Related: Rat and Mice removal and control

Ground squirrels and chipmunks

The eastern chipmunk and the thirteen-lined ground squirrels may be removed without a permit.

Franklin’s ground squirrels are listed as threatened in Illinois and may not be removed.

 

Raccoons, skunks, opossums, beavers, muskrats, red foxes, gray foxes, mink, river otters, badgers, weasels, woodchucks, coyotes, and bobcats

striped skunkThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove fur-bearing animals. If you want to remove a fur-bearing animal yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, the IDNR encourages removal of most furbearers during open hunting and trapping seasons whenever possible. All Illinois hunting regulations must be followed. For more information on hunting and trapping regulations, visit the IDNR Licenses & Hunting site.

Related: Common animal entry points

Gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, and southern flying squirrels

Tree SquirrelThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove squirrels. If you want to remove a squirrel yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, gray squirrels and fox squirrels may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Related: How to Squirrel-proof your home

Rabbits

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional wildlife removal service to capture and remove rabbits. If you want to remove a rabbit yourself, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to see if you qualify for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit.

In rural areas, rabbits may be taken during open hunting seasons.

Bats

The (IDNR) recommends hiring a professional bat removal service to capture and remove bats.

Bats inside rooms will usually exit on their own. Close off exits to the room and keep windows open overnight.

Related: How to get bats out of the house

White-Tailed Deer

white tailed deer fawnWhite-tailed deer are protected under the Illinois Wildlife Code as a game species. It is illegal to take live deer from the wild unless you have received a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

IDNR Deer Removal Guidelines (PDF)

In rural areas,  deer hunting is permitted in season. All state hunting regulations must be followed. Outside of hunting season, or in situations where hunting is not allowed, a deer removal permit may be issued by an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist.

A person who hits and kills a deer with a motorized vehicle can legally claim the deer to salvage the meat, hide, and antlers.

For more information on hunting and trapping in Illinois visit the Illinois Department of National Resources.

Apply for a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF)

 


Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic Restoration For professional animal removal services in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you humane live animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

We can also safely restore and sanitize your attic to remove dangerous contaminants.

Satisfaction guaranteed!


 

Top 10 Signs Of Rats

top 10 signs of rats

In this post, we review the top 10 signs that you have rats in your home, building, or property.

For professional rat removal call (847) 464-1861

During autumn, animal pests like to enter your home, seeking shelter and food. In rural areas, when fields are plowed, rats lose their habitat and make their way indoors.

In urban areas, the cool weather drives them into your home. Regardless of where you live, rats can cause big problems.

Aside from the numerous diseases and parasites they carry, they can cause major damage.

If you have a hunch that you have a rat infestation, check out our lists for the top 10 signs of rats:

 

TOP 10 SIGNS OF RATS

  1. Scratching in the walls – Scratching or rustling sounds in the walls is one of the early, subtle signs of a rat infestation. They run through the walls to and from food sources. In addition, if they are building a nest, they will be moving materials between the walls.
  2. Rat droppings – Rat droppings are small, brown, and rice-shaped. A single rat leaves between 10 and 30 pellets a day.
  3. Grease marks – Rats have an oily fur that leaves grease or dirt tracks. You may notice them along floorboards or across countertops in your house.
  4. Footprints – Their tracks have front and hind paw marks plus a tail print. You may notice them in dustier areas of the home.
  5. Rats holes – Brown rats are great burrowers and may leave holes as evidence.
  6. Rat nests – Rats make nests with cardboard, straw, and other soft items. You may notice them in your attic or basement, depending on the type of rat in your home.
  7. Rodent odors – You may notice a musky smell with the presence of rats.
  8. Urine stains – Their urine stains glow under UV lights.
  9. Chewed wires, floorboards, & boxes – Rats’ teeth are continuously growing, which means they gnaw on plastic, wood, and anything hard to keep them filed. You may notice gnawed floorboards, boxes of cereal, or walls.
  10. Rat sightings – If you’ve seen a rat, dead or alive, in your home – you may have an infestation.

If some or all of the top 10 signs of rats apply to your home, it may be time to call pest control.


Attic solutions can safely and effectively remove rats from your home and repair damage caused by rats.

Attic Solutions - Call for Live Animal Removal, Dead Animal Removal, Attic RestorationFor professional rat removal services in Chicagoland, call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861

Attic Solutions can provide you with humane wild animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs. 

Satisfaction guaranteed!


 

The Differences Between Rats and Mice

RATS AND MICE:

If you’re not sure which pest has made it’s way into your home, take a look at our list of defining similarities and differences between rats and mice. Although they are similar in some ways, there are significant differences between their behavior, appearance, droppings, and where they may be located or causing damage in your home. Both animals are rodents and reproduce incredibly fast, up to 10 times a year, so if you suspect they may be in your home, call pest control immediately.

Wood mouseMICE:

  • Smaller 3-10 cm
  • Nocturnal
  • White, brown, or gray
  • Produces 40-80 droppings a day, smaller sized with one pointed end and one rounded end
  • Long thing, hairy tails
  • Triangular snouts
  • Long whiskers
  • Have larger eyes in proportion to their bodies
  • Live 1 year in wild, up to 6 in captivity
  • Prefer carb-loaded food like cereal, occasionally fruits and sweets
  • Do not usually burrow or dig, make nests instead
  • Cannot typically gnaw through glass and metal containers
  • Gnaw electrical wiring & cardboard boxes
  • Timid nature, not aggressive
  • May be found in nests in the walls of a home

RatRATS:

  •  Larger in body size, larger heads and feet proportionally, 16-40 cm
  • Nocturnal
  • White, gray, brown, or black depending on species
  • Produced 20-40 droppings a day, larger sized and banana shaped
  • Long tails, hairless and scaly
  • Blunt snout
  • Have smaller eyes in proportion to their bodies
  • Live about 1.5 years in wild
  • Prefer grains and meat foods
  • Burrowing behavior, can dig deep long burrows near your foundation or in your yard
  • Can gnaw through sheet metal, building materials, cinder blocks, wood, and glass
  • Greasy fur may leave marks on surfaces that they scurry across
  • Depending on species may be found in basement (Norway Rat) or attic (Roof Rats)

Types of Rats

There are two primary types of rats that live in the United States: the roof rat and the Norway rat. Both of these pests can be quite troublesome in your home and infest different areas. It is not impossible for a roof rat infestation to exist in the attic while a Norway rat infestation is in the basement of a home.

types of rats

Roof Rats

These dark colored rats nest above ground, fitting the name “roof rats.” They are slender and have very little hair. Roof rats, or black rats, are great climbers and prefer to live in trees, woodpiles, wall cavities, and ceilings. In fact, these rats spend 90% of their life 4 or more feet off the ground. Common signs of roof rats include seeing them on trees, power lines, and roofs, discovering banana shaped rat droppings, hearing noises in the walls and attic, and identifying gnaw marks near roof eaves. Roof rats have much longer, scaly tails, are smaller in size, and have larger, hairless ears than Norway rats.

types of rats

Norway Rats

These rats are sometimes known as sewer rats, as they can be found there regularly. Norway rats like to burrow and live under concrete slabs and infest basements. Norway rats are found in 48 states in America and all continents besides Antarctica. They are considered the most successful mammal on the planet besides humans. Common signs of Norway rats include gnaw marks on wiring and furniture, banana shaped rat droppings, rat tracks, and unexplained grease marks from their oily coats on the floor or walls. Norway rats are usually brown or gray and larger than roof rats but have shorter tails.

If you suspect either of these rats in your home, call pest control immediately to take care of them and prevent or treat an infestation.

Evanston Asks Residents To Help With Rat Abatement

RatA recent Chicago Tribune headline took some people by surprise: “City enlists residents in fight against rats.” The city was Evanston, Illinois, and officials from the city’s health and human services department are asking the public to help them in the city’s rat abatement program. Evanston’s director of health and human services, Evonda Thomas-Smith, addressed the city council in May regarding the department’s new strategy. She explained that resident involvement is important for the rat-control program to be successful. Residents are asked to call 311 to report rats and get liability waivers so inspectors can go on their property and arrange for abatement methods. Residents can also help by keeping garbage and food in tightly sealed containers, maintaining grass, shrubs, weeds and other vegetation, and close any openings in garage doors and walls. Additionally, people can be mindful of what inspectors call the “35 cents rule.” The 35 cents rule refers to holes in the ground: a hole the size of a quarter can fit a rat and a hole the size of a dime can fit a mouse.

Inspectors have all also been out walking the city in full force. They’re searching for any rat infestations and colonies as well as identifying areas that may be appealing to rats. Some of those areas are on residential property and often involved a property-code violation of city ordinance. One property owner had a pile of wood along with a tire and other debris stacked against his back porch. The tire was additionally troublesome because according to the inspectors it can collect water, creating a breeding a ground for mosquitoes, which is a concern due to West Nile Virus. Not every property was that severe though. One of the more common things inspectors noticed was overgrown grass and shrubs, which provides cover for rats. According to inspectors, the cover allows rats to run wild.

The city of Evanston understands it will take everyone, residents and all of the departments in the city, working together for the rat abatement program to be successful.

Reducing The Risk Of Mice And Rats In Your Home

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.
Mice

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?

RatRats 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:

  • Droppings
  • Footprints
  • 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.

Attic Solutions - Contact Us TodayThe trained professionals at Attic Solutions can assist you in eliminating any rat or mice problems you may be experiencing.

Contact us online or call (847) 464-1861