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Rodents are pests that have plagued communities since the beginning of human civilization. They are well known to carry disease and other pests like fleas, ticks, and parasitic larvae. Although there are thousands of species of rodents, only rats and mice tend to infest Philadelphia homes in alarming ways. Below you will learn about mice and rats and how to get prevent or get rid of them.
A house mouse is usually very easy to identify. They have a pointed nose, a body length of about 2.5 - 3.5 inches (without the tail) and their tail is generally the size of the body or slightly longer. Their tail is semi-fuzzy and though it's not completely naked it may look so at a distance. The average mouse will only weigh 1 ounce at most.
Mouse droppings are another way to determine which type of rodent is infesting your home. The droppings are shaped like an ice-cream sprinkle and rounded on both ends.
House mice are usually shy and afraid of humans and pets. This is why they tend to live in hidden areas behind walls, under floor boards, inside ceilings, and in attics and crawl spaces. When traveling throughout the house they will try to stay close to the wall and under furniture or just travel inside walls and floors to avoid interactions with people. Running along pipes is a favorite of theirs.
Mice also thrive in clutter because it gives them shelter, protection and a place to hide from predators. This could be house clutter (like storage) or commercial "clutter" like storage, large machinery, boxes, packaging, pallets, inventory, etc.
Another place you can find a mouse is outside in a tall grass or in piles of junk. Mice love access to food scraps and soft materials like paper, cardboard, natural fibers (like sofa stuffing) and other nesting materials which is why they're found near trash piles.
Though we've been discussing the "house mouse" you should know that there are several other types of mice (such as field mice) which could infest your home or business. The differences are too minor to be important in regards to identifying them and controlling them.
In a single year, a female may have 5 to 10 litters of about 5 or 6 young. Young are born 19 to 21 days after conception, and they reach reproductive maturity in 6 to 10 weeks. The life span of a mouse is usually 9 to 12 months.
Because house mice are so small, they can gain entry into homes and other buildings much more easily than rats. As a result, house mouse infestations are probably 10 to 20 times more common than rat infestations.
Effective control involves sanitation, exclusion, and population reduction. Sanitation and exclusion are preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction such as trapping or baiting is almost always necessary. Our technicians are trained and experienced in even the worst mouse infestation and are able to spot where the mice are traveling, nesting, eating and entering the property.
Do NOT use a repellant too close to a trap or bait. Doing so risks driving the mice away from where you want them to go. ALWAYS use a tamper resistant bait station with blocks or soft bait when there is a risk of children or pets having access to where the bait is being placed. Covered traps are available for these situations and can protect children and pets from triggering the traps.
Spray the baseboards, water pipes, inside cabinets and closets, around clutter and anywhere else mouse activity is present. The advantage that Peerless' Peppermint Spray has over cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil or scent packs is that the repellant can be applied along an entire wall or a strip on the floor giving full coverage that cannot be avoided by the rodent. It also rubs off on the mouse as it runs along these areas, getting onto the fur and causing irritation to the mouse wherever it goes. Remember to reapply the repellant every 1-3 weeks to keep up a constant barrier.
This is not true. Blocks, pellets, and soft baits are just forms of bait but have no bearing on the active ingredient or the attractant. Saying that all green blocks are the same would be like saying all white pills are the same medication.
No bait will do this. All bodies will decay after death. This is the potential drawback of using poisons: you can't find or access the dead body so you must put up with the odor for a week or two. If you used a poison in the past and the dead mouse did not smell, the reason is because the mouse died next door, outside, or in a part of the house where the scent could not be detected.
In 2008 the EPA changed the laws on how rodent bait can be sold. Selling soft bait, meal, or pellet packets loose or in packages of less than 4 lbs. is now illegal. If you want less than 4 lbs. of rodent bait your only legal choice, aside from "natural" baits, is bait blocks.
Ideal locations to place the bait:
Which bait to choose:
There are 4 main forms of bait; block, pellet, meal, and soft. Each bait has unique properties that give it unique advantages and disadvantages in different situations. There is no need to open individual bait packets or bags, rodents will happily chew through these.
ALWAYS secure a soft bait or block in a tamper resistant station when there is a chance a child, pet, or non-target animal has access to the poison. Only use pellets and meal packs in places where there is non risk of accidental poisoning.
Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks indicate areas where mice are active. Mouse nests are made from finely shredded paper or other fibrous material, usually in sheltered locations. House mice have a characteristic musky odor that reveals their presence. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours.
Although house mice usually prefer to eat cereal grains, they are nibblers and will sample many different foods. Mice have keen senses of taste, hearing, smell, and touch. They also are excellent climbers and can run up any rough vertical surface. They will run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up to 12 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. Mice can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch across. House mice frequently enter homes in autumn, when outdoor temperatures at night become colder.
Because house mice are so small, they can gain entry into homes and other buildings much more easily than rats. As a result, house mouse infestations are probably 10 to 20 times more common than rat infestations. Effective control involves sanitation, exclusion, and population reduction. Sanitation and exclusion are preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction such as trapping or baiting is almost always necessary. Our technicians are trained and experienced in even the worst mouse infestation. Our technicians are able to spot where the mice are traveling, nesting, eating and entering the property.
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5246 N. 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19120
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Philadelphia, PA 19139
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