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Relieving Rodent Tensions In Salem


December 16, 2019

Maybe you have been there: you’re curled up on the couch ready to watch your favorite movie when you hear a scrabbling sound. It becomes persistent, and you can tell that it’s coming from the walls. It doesn’t take long to notice other signs of a rodent infestation: droppings in the backs of kitchen drawers and cabinets, a hole chewed through a baseboard, and boxes in your Salem pantry that have been chewed into.

Clear signs of a rodent infestation within a salem oregon storage box

But what can you do? First of all, it is important to identify which kind of rodents you are dealing with to determine which course of action to take.

The Difference Between Rats and Mice

Rats and mice look similar. They each have long tails and sharp incisor teeth that grow and grow, forcing them to gnaw and bite. And they are both nocturnal and territorial in nature. But there are some key differences that the discerning homeowner can use to tell them apart:

Rats...

  • can be white, brown, gray or black, with very short hair.

  • are larger than mice, ranging from 16-40 centimeters in length and reaching 150-300 grams in weight. (Be careful not to confuse a baby rat

  • with a mouse, as this is easy to do!)

  • have thick, hairless tails. 

  • have large, nailed paws.

  • have long, slender faces when fully grown.

  • have small, rounded ears near the back of the head.

  • have droppings that are rounded at the ends.

Mice...

  • can be white, brown, or gray in color, usually with a lighter color on their bellies.

  • are smaller in size, 12-45 centimeters in length and usually only a few grams in weight. 

  • have long, thin tails.

  • have small, short paws.

  • have short, triangular faces.

  • have large, round ears on top of the head.

  • have smaller droppings that are pointed at the ends and look like dark-colored rice.

The Woes Of A Rodent Infestation

Whether you have mice or rats, the damage they can cause is serious. Rodents chew to grind down their endlessly growing front teeth, so they can damage cords and wires in the home, as well as wooden wall and floor panels and items stored in attic spaces. And they are nature’s perfect carriers of bacteria and viruses. Commons diseases they carry include Omsk Fever, Lassa Fever, meningitis and hantavirus. And when mice and rats invade homes, they rarely come in alone. Lice, mites, fleas and/or ticks often come with a rodent infestation.  

What You Can Do About It

1. Take a good look around the inside and outside of your house. Rodents can make it in through the smallest cracks and holes by burrowing with their claws and teeth. Use a caulking gun or some strong wall putty to plug cracks and holes. (Make sure to look inside cabinets and behind appliances.) In garages, check behind large boxes, shelving units, and other items.

2. Look for potential nests. Rodents like to establish brood nests, places where they can have pups and hoard food. Mice, in particular, like to burrow under dirt, leaves, and mulch.

3. Make sure yard debris isn’t touching structures and walls of the house and trim back tree branches and bushes from the home. This takes away hiding spots for rodents.

4. Store food in heavy-duty, plastic or glass containers, things that would be hard for a rat or mouse to chew through. If you cut off their food supply, you keep the size of the rodent population down.

5. Purchase traps from a hardware or department store. Note that only professionals have the experience to thoroughly eradicate a rodent problem. Trapping and disposing of individual rodents is rarely enough to control an entire population since rodents can have several pups per litter and several litters per year!

The best and often least expensive way to deal with a rodent infestation is to turn to the experts. At Kanga Pest Control, we have the experience, tools, and products needed to eliminate any pest problem you may be dealing with. Reach out to Kanga today for your free rodent inspection!

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