| Mice Removal
Discovering you have a rodent problem in your home can cause stress on both you and your family. Eradicating the problem might seem like a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be when you contact the experts at St. Catharines Pest Control, a professional pest control and wildlife removal company located in southern Ontario. Our fully licensed technicians will work with you to accurately identify the pest – an important first step of the removal process – and help you control your animal problem.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it a rat or is it a mouse?
Frequently Asked Questions
Mice are much more common (about 20 times more likely) in residential homes in cities whereas rats are more common in rural or farm type settings. Mice are quite small and weigh about 40 grams (just over 1 oz.). Rats are much larger in size and can weigh half a kilogram (or 1 lb), are about 8 in. long not including their long tail. Mice can be found anywhere in the home whereas rats are typically only found in basements or on the ground floor. Mice are more discreet in their movements and are more difficult to detect whereas rats are larger and thus louder. Mouse and rat dropping look almost identical in nature except that rat droppings are about 10 times larger.
How does St. Catharines Pest Control treat a rat problem?
Once the rodent has been properly identified, we are able to safely and effectively begin the removal process. One of our technicians will come out to your home to perform an inspection to determine what landscape features might be attracting the rats to your home or office space. The technician will also inspect your property for holes on the outside walls where rats might be able to gain entry. The technician will use appropriate treatments including bait, traps inside your home to safely eradicate the rat(s) from your property. They are also able to do seal your home from the outside and attach one-way doors to prevent rats from getting back in. The professionals at St. Catharines Pest Control will always recommend preventative and corrective actions to not only decrease the chances of re-infestation but also aid in permanent removal.
Signs of a rat infestation
One of the most common indications of a rat infestation or problem inside your home is sounds such as running, scratching, squeaks and gnawing. Rat droppings will be present, but might be in more hidden places. The droppings are about 1 to 2 cm long and about 5 mm thick, black in colour, cylinder shaped and tapered at the ends. Gnawed foods are also a common indication that you may have a rat problem. Outside the home you might find burrows near your property that are about 8 cm wide and have a small pile of dirt near the opening. Burrows will often be under low shrubs or very close to the foundation.
Characteristics of rats - Appearance, habits, diet and life cycle
Rats are a common pest problem in southern Ontario and can sometimes be more difficult to control than mice because of their cautious nature. The Norway rat is the only species of rat normally found in southern Ontario. This type of rat is fairly large with a body of 20 to 25 cm in length and a tail of about 12 to 21 cm and can weigh between 200 to 500 grams. These rats vary in colour from light brown, very dark brown to red or grey with a lighter underbelly. This species can be found anywhere and everywhere people live. They are great swimmers but do not climb very well, they are rarely found above the ground level of buildings and houses. While these rats tend to live in close quarters to humans, they are able to survive our winters outdoors much more easily than the common house mouse.
Norway rats are quite intelligent despite their timid and fearful nature. This makes pest control and wildlife removal methods more of a challenge. Norway rats are excellent burrowers and often gnaw to keep their incisor teeth sharp. They gnaw through plastic garbage cans and drywall and can even gnaw through concrete if they have enough time. They burrow underground close to structures, underneath concrete pads or in ground covers and often use walls or ceilings to build their den sites to mate and store food. Rats are social animals with a pack consisting of one male and about five to 15 females; however, if the population grows too large this social grouping tends to break down. Although typically nocturnal in nature, if a population grows large enough rats will be active during the day as well.
Norway rats are omnivores and eat anything that humans can eat and more. They have been known to eat paper, leather, soap and some types of wax. Outdoor rats often hunt other small prey animals such as snakes, mice, insects and birds and sift through garbage for food. They also consume leaves, grasses, seeds and many types of plants.
The Norway rat can have five to six litters of offspring per year of about eight to 10 pups. The young are sexually mature at around two and a half months and can start reproducing. Rats multiple rapidly, especially if they have an unlimited food supply. The average life span of a rat in the wild is less than a year.
What kinds of diseases can a rat transmit to humans?
Norway rats can transmit a variety of different bacteria and parasites to humans such as salmonella, rat-bite-fever, leptospirosis, hepatitis E and murine typhus, among other ailments (about 40 different diseases in total). Rat-borne illnesses and diseases have killed many people over the past 1,000 years, that’s why it’s important to both safely and effectively deal with a rodent infestation sooner rather than later.
How do you control a rat problem? How can I prevent an infestation?
Maintaining a 1-metre barrier apound the exterior of your home where there are no plants or long grass( a sort of no mans land) for the rats to hide in or forage may prevent rats from gaining entry into your home. Check for holes in the foundation close to ground level that are the size of a quarter or larger. Make sure there are no crumbs available behind the stove or other hard to clean areas. Foods should be stored in metal containers because rats are capable of gnawing through anything else. Keep storage areas free of clutter. The lowest shelf on a rack should be at least 8 in. from the ground, so as to remove possible hiding places. Hardware fabric or a ¼ in. welded wire mesh may be required for sealing holes on the exterior of your home. The trained technicians at St. Catharines Pest Control will work with you to craft a custom and permanent solution to your rodent problem.
Can I use repellents to prevent rats from accessing my home?
There aren't any chemical repellents or sonic deterrents that are both safe and effective in permanently keeping rats away from your home. The best solution to get rid of the pests for good is a combination of exclusion, baits and traps executed by a pest and wildlife control expert.
How do I prepare for a rat removal treatment?
Take note of not only the exterior of your home but the interior spaces where rats may be. Be prepared to answer questions about sounds you may have heard, where and at what time of day or night. The technician will ask you questions about the outside of your home and if you may have seen holes in your garden or close to your house or if you have seen any gnaw marks. The more information you can recall or write down before your appointment, the better.
What do I do if I think I might have a rat infestation?
If you think you may have a rat problem or infestation, the most important thing you can do is accurately identify whether or not it’s a rat or mouse. Both rats and mice are not only a nuisance but can also do considerable damage to your home or business and can transmit diseases to you and your family.
Please do not hesitate to call one of our trained professionals at St. Catharines Pest Control at 1-888-390-PEST (7378). Our licensed and friendly exterminators will be happy to inspect your home and give you a free quote. Remember, minor infestations can grow very rapidly, and turn a small problem into a big one if left untreated. We’re here to help.