The Problems with Mice

House MouseMice eat and contaminate human and pet foods, preferring grains but apparently willing to nibble on almost anything. One of our Sacramento pest control customers discovered a nest of mice in a trunk where she stored historic family documents, vintage clothing and other mementos. Not only did she find the remains of precious keepsakes shredded in a pile, she found dry dog food nuggets the mice apparently had confiscated from her pet’s dish and tucked away for safe-keeping.

Mice transmit diseases such as salmonella poisoning and can cause significant property damage, chewing through electrical wires, shredding insulation and gnawing woodwork.

Often people discover a mouse problem when they find tiny black droppings or notice the corner of a cracker box or bag of chips has been gnawed away. Mice also have a distinctive musky smell that may be noticeable. They are most active at night, can run straight up vertical walls and jump a foot off the ground. They reproduce rapidly, bearing as many as 10 litters of 5 or 6 pups per year; their life span is approximately one year.

Apartment buildings are especially notorious for mouse infestations, in part because mice are able to move easily from apartment to apartment along pipes and conduits and because it is difficult to ensure adherence to pest control measures by all tenants.

The most effective ways to prevent mice are to keep all foodstuffs tightly sealed in glass or metal containers, to avoid leaving pet food out, keep all trash containers tightly sealed and to seal all gaps and crevices where mice can come in from outside, such as along pipes and wiring conduit. Self-installed metal barriers, such as tin can lids and steel wool, are effective barriers to gnawing but usually don’t provide long-term protection.

Once there is an established infestation in a home or business, it is almost always necessary to use mouse traps or poison bait to eliminate the mice. Baits are dangerous and must be kept inaccessible to children and pets. Electronic devices that emit a high-frequency sound, though widely advertised, are generally ineffective in preventing mice. A good feline or canine “mouser” may help control the mouse population or discourage mice from moving in, but will generally not be able to completely eliminate mice once a site is infested.

Read more about house mice and other rodents and household pests and how our Sacramento pest control professsionals can help.

A Tough Pest Control Problem: Mice

Mice are a more prevalent, more damaging and tougher problem than their two common Sacramento rodent cousins, rattus rattus (roof rats) and Rattus norvegicus (Norway rats). And as our Northern California winter grows colder and wetter, mice are more likely to set up housekeeping in our cozy homes and businesses.

The mice we see most often in our Sacramento pest control business are the house mouse (Mus musculus). Two other types of mouse, the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse, also may invade human dwellings but are most often found in cabins and homes in remote or rural areas. Continue reading

Why Pigeons are a Pesky Pest Problem

pigeon hazardsPigeons are prolific breeders, hatching several broods a year and sometimes laying a new clutch of eggs before the previous batch of fledglings has left the nest. Pigeons are comfortable with humans and are not easily scared away or deterred. Our houses and commercial buildings often have architectural features such as eaves and drain spouts that make ideal nesting sites for a bird that in its native habitat would nest in the cavities and hollows of steep rock cliffs.
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Safety Tips for handling Household Chemicals

Pest control is a highly regulated industry requiring extensive and continuing training of personnel. During training, technicians learn about the life cycles and habits of each species of household pest, and more to the point, they learn what kinds of treatment are most effective in eliminating infestations, how to prevent recurrences, precise quantities of chemicals to apply where necessary, and how to handle and dispose of chemicals with the least impact to homes, people, pets and the surrounding environment. Few home- or business owners, regardless of how much online research or reading they do, achieve the level of knowledge and skill that each pest control professional receives in order to be licensed. And the results of well-meaning but non-professional pest control efforts can be disastrous.
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How to Prevent Rat Infestations

Homeowners and business owners can take some common-sense measures to prevent rat infestations, including keeping pet food containers and garbage containers tightly sealed and the areas around them picked up and clean.

Bird feeders also are attractive to rats. Another of our customers, who had multiple bird feeders in her backyard, noticed that the seed-covered bird bell she hung in one corner of her yard would repeatedly disappear almost overnight. She would replace it, and by the next morning, it would be eaten down almost to the plastic hanger. Hungry birds, she thought. Then one evening, she happened to be looking out the back door just as dark was settling in and heard a rustling in the leaves above the bird bell. Grabbing a flashlight, she quietly walked over to investigate. The beam of the flashlight revealed an acrobatic roof rat, hanging upside down from the branch, nibbling away.
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