Two cartoon rats walking towards a rat trap labeled "Outwitted"

How To Deal with Mice & Rats

Ehrlich Pest Control

outwitted
Expert solutions can remove mice from your attic or rats from your garage, but how can you tell which option is the most effective? What do professional solutions actually offer? Can they guarantee pest removal?

In a nutshell, professional solutions can greatly improve your chances of removing a rodent problem and at the same time significantly reduce the risk of a re-infestation. Not too shabby.

Whether you live in the city or a small town, rats and mice are a fact of life and at some point you will have a close encounter, like some residents recently in the city of New York. Knowing how best to deal with a problem before it happens makes good common sense – more on that in our recent blog on prevention.

4 Reasons to Control Rats & Mice

  1. Disease – rodents are known to carry a long list of diseases.
  2. Contamination – the longer you ignore a problem, the greater the risk of food or water contamination, leading to Salmonella.
  3. Fire Risk – their need to gnaw on anything and everything means mice also pose a genuine fire hazard because they will chew on electrical wires.
  4. Home insurance – standard home insurance policies do not always cover accidental fires or property damage caused by rodents. Cost for expensive repair bills may be unclaimable.

For all these reasons, and many more, a professional solution is often the best way forward to minimize risks of damage and keep you and your family safe. But how can you be sure you are choosing the right service or solution?

Professional Rodent Control Solutions

tech-trap-garage

Like any other service industry, pest control is highly regulated. There will always be differences between the one-man-and-his-van option and a much larger national, or international, pest control company. So, how do you know which one to rely upon?

Things to look out for:

  • Expertise – in the use of professional products and rodent behavior
  • Recognized training – look for signs of investment in their own training
  • State-certifications and association memberships – to show compliance in the use of registered professional products, in the right manner
  • Research & development – look at how the company is innovating and developing products to always ensure it has access to the most effective tools

If you can find all of these, then you can be sure you’re dealing with a company that’s serious about mouse and rat control.

Traps 

There are many types of live and lethal traps- everything from snap traps to glue traps to electric. There are even homemade mouse traps largely used by DIY enthusiasts hoping to control a problem on their own.

While some professional companies might use glue traps, there are usually codes about frequent checking to minimize any time an animal may spend trapped or suffering.

Snap traps are also used by professionals and can be very useful for catching rodents – especially those that appear to evade other control measures and bait stations. They can even be used on vertical surfaces for catching black rats as they climb about inside a building.

FACT: Did you know?…mice are very selective & cautious. Relying purely on the use of traps is risky!

As mice populations can grow at an alarming rate, sometimes traps are just not enough to catch a fast growing infestation and more extreme measures are required.

Best practice is to use rodenticides or more proactive methods like proofing and inspections for effective mouse control and prevention.

RADAR Rodent Control

Baits 

People do not like to use the word poison, but essentially the rodenticide used by professionals as a bait for mice is exactly that.  Yes, baits can be very effective and there are different variations of rodenticides, which differ in how quickly they take effect.

Anticoagulants

The overwhelming majority of rodenticide baiting is carried out using one of a group of compounds called anticoagulants (AVKs). These compounds block the blood clotting activity of Vitamin K. One of the reasons for their effectiveness is that AVKs deliver a delayed reaction – taking at least 3-4 days to take effect, during which time the rodent learns that bait is ‘safe’ and continues eating it.

Alphachloralose 

This is another rodenticide with a different, much faster, mode of action. Alphachloralose is capable of killing a mouse within 24 hours by acting as a sedative and achieves its desired effect in very small quantities (as little as 0.1g of bait).

Compared to anticoagulants, Alphachloralose is more humane and has a greater margin of safety for larger non-target animals, but is best applied as a short ‘knock down’ treatment, followed by the use of anticoagulants or some other control method to control surviving mice.

FACT: Rats are unable to vomit. If they eat something that disagrees with them – too bad!

Bait stations 

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Commonly used by exterminators, bait stations are essentially plastic or metal units that house the bait which attract rats inside. It is not a trap.

These bait stations are specifically designed to be tamper-proof making them safe for use in public areas.

Integrated Pest Management

The cold weather has driven rats into urban areas

Having the most modern, effective products at your disposal is important, but you also need to ensure the pest controller knows the best ways to use them. For example, if you place bait stations in an area of a home as yet untouched by mice, you have little hope of attracting them.

You need to be able to rely on a professional, who has a clear tactical approach to eliminating your rat or mouse infestation. Strategic placement of traps and baits is vital.

Luxury of time is one thing you do not have when it comes to rodents.

Look for tailored solutions 

As every problem is unique and every location different, any professional should be able to offer a customized solution. There shouldn’t be a one size fits all approach.

Seek an integrated approach 

Every professional company should be able to offer you a service that not only controls an existing problem but also helps to prevent future recurrences.

An integrated strategy, such as the one offered by Ehrlich provides this requirement, based on 4 key principles:

  1. Exclusion: Best in class suite of proofing materials and expertise to prevent mice entering a building
  2. Restriction: Pest awareness advice and knowledge to restrict access to food sources and potential harborage areas
  3. Destruction: Including innovative, non-toxic control methods to manage infestations effectively and efficiently
  4. Monitoring: Regular checks and monitoring

Professional proofing solutions 

Pest Control Technician inspecting home

The role of a good pest controller should also focus on providing helpful tips and/or solutions to proof your property against an infestation.

What’s the benefit to you?

  • Improved proofing ensures the infestation remains contained
  • Quicker resolution of existing infestation as easier to target
  • New infestations less likely to happen from neighboring areas
  • Best range of proofing products used, so your proofing will be effective
  • Right proofing solution for each type of problem
  • Complete proofing solution to reach even inaccessible areas

What to do next? 

Choose a company that you believe is able to demonstrate and provide all of the above and critically at speed! You can’t waste any time when it comes to rodents.

Thanks to research, investment and training taking place every day around the world, pest control companies can aim to ensure we humans always stay one step ahead of all pests, not just rats and mice.

Ehrlich Pest Control
Ehrlich Pest Control

Since our founding in 1928, Ehrlich Pest Control has grown to over 100 local offices serving both residential and commercial customers throughout the Eastern U.S. Long lasting relationships with colleagues and customers is a cornerstone of our success. Many Ehrlich colleagues have been with the company for 25, 30 and 40-plus years.

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