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It takes time for the rodents to do the following:

  • Reorganize
  • Rearrange their social behaviors
  • Familiarize themselves with their new surroundings
  • Seek shelter
  • Find food and water
  • Remember their movements.

Colony-building and breeding will begin only after their new ecosystem has settled. This usually takes between 6-10 months in favorable conditions.

RodentAs rodent populations increase and are transplanted, humans are at increased risk for exposure to diseases carried by rodents. Rodent urine and dander also contain allergens that may trigger an allergic reaction or cause asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals, or worse being treated in the emergency room due to a rat or mouse bite.

Signs that rodents are present:

  • Obviously, seeing a live or dead one
  • Droppings
  • Rat tracks/prints
  • Burrows
  • Nests
  • Chewing of cardboard, etc.
  • Food scraps
  • Hair of rats
  • Urine spots
  • Noises
  • Insects associated with rodents
  • Smell of urine

Rats and mice are different animals, and the methods used to control them will vary. The following recommendations will help residents to lessen their risk of illness or personal injury from rodents.

Best Rodent Control Methods

Removing sources of food, water, and items that offer rodents a place to live is the best way to avoid exposure to rodents. Not only does it get rid of rodents but you will help eliminate scorpions and ants. Where appropriate, manage rodents using an integrated pest control approach, which includes environmental hygiene, adequate food storage, rodent-proofing, trapping, and poisoning.

Interior of Home

  • Keep food and water covered and stored in rodent-proof containers. A rodent-proof container is made from heavy-duty plastic, glass, or metal, with tight-fitting covers.
  • Keep your pets food covered and stored in a rodent-proof container. Only give pets enough food to eat at each feeding, and store or discard leftovers. Do not leave extra pet food or water outside overnight.
  • Dispose trash frequently and regularly. If you are storing garbage and food scraps in your house, do it in a container that is resistant to rodents.
  • Wash dishes, pans, and cooking tools immediately after use. Remove any remaining food and clean any spilled food from cooking and eating areas. Do not keep empty jars or other open containers containing food residue in your home.
  • Use spring-loaded traps inside and outside buildings whenever possible. Use small amounts of chunky peanut butter or other food that is readily available as bait. Place the traps in a “T” pattern along the baseboards or walls surfaces where the rat has scratched, dropped, or seen the rodent.
  • Keep children and pets out of areas where traps are placed.
  • Glue traps and live traps are discouraged. Glue traps catch mostly juvenile rodents, rather than breeding adults. Rodents caught alive and released in live traps are likely to return to a home.

Exterior of Home

  • Dispose of the garbage and trash immediately.
  • Store piles of wood and piles of lumber or other materials at least 12 inches off the ground and away from your house, if possible.
  • Store trash in tight-fitting, rodent-resistant containers.
  • Store grains and animal feeds in rodent-proof containers.
  • Remove any food sources, including animal carcasses, that may attract rodents.
  • Remove garbage, abandoned vehicles, abandoned tires, and other items that could provide a rodent nesting location.
  • Keep grass short, and trim or remove brush and thick shrubs that could offer rodent cover and protection.
  • Trim limbs or brush that overhang or touch buildings.
  • Place traps loaded with springs on outbuildings and in other areas where evidence of rodents is present. Do not let children or pets play near spring-loaded traps.

Clean up of Rodent Debris

  • Rats can get into the house through holes as small as quarters. Mice can get in through a hole the size of a dime. Thoroughly scrub areas that show signs of rodent activity to decrease exposure to germs and diseases. When cleaning, avoid stirring dust as you sweep or vacuum droppings, urine, or nesting materials.
  • Do not sweep or vacuum urine, droppings, or infested surfaces from rodents, unless sanitized.
  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves if you must contact dead rodents, snares, or rodent droppings.
  • Spray urine or rodent droppings with a disinfectant or with a 1:10 chlorine solution (1 1/2 cups of household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water) until fully immersed. Allow to soak for 5 minutes.
  • Use paper towels to collect urine and poop, then dispose of it outside in sealed trash containers. Once you remove the rodents droppings and urine, disinfect any items that may have been contaminated.

Clean up of Dead Rodents

  • Spray the dead rodents with disinfectant or with a 1:10 chlorine solution (1 1/2 cups household bleach mixed with 1 gallon water).
  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves.
  • Remove rodents from the traps by lifting a metal spring-loaded rod, and dropping the animals in a plastic bag, then sealing the bag, or put the whole trap and the dead rodents in the plastic bag, then sealing the bag.
  • Place the rodent OR entire trap and rodent in a second plastic bag, and seal.
  • Promptly dispose of the sealed double bag in your properly sealed outdoor trash container.
  • Continue using traps for at least 1 week after the last rodent is trapped.
    If rodents are still an issue, consider calling in a professional pest controller to get assistance. Damaged or abandoned homes and other buildings can become contaminated by rodents. If buildings have been abandoned for a long period, airing them for 2-3 days may be beneficial before entering. If you are seeing signs of rats, you will want to clean the building extensively.
  • Contact the local health department for guidelines about cleaning in these situations.
  • Do not vacuum or brush over rodent urine, rodent droppings, or infected surfaces that have not been disinfected. Spray urine and droppings with disinfectant or with a 1:10 chlorine solution (1 1/2 cups of household bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water) until fully immersed. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Use paper towels to clean up the urine and droppings. Discard paper towels outside to sealed trash containers.