What Kittitas County Homeowners Should Know About Effective Rodent Control

How do you stop rodents? Do you just buy some traps and catch these pests? While this is a common method used by residents, the results are rarely good. Effective rodent control requires far more than just an application of traps. Join us today as we look at common rodents in Kittitas County; the behavior patterns that lead them to cause trouble; how you can keep them out by addressing attractants and entry points; the challenges of DIY rodent control; and finally, the secret to effective control of rodents. We've packed a lot into this article! You're sure to pick something up you haven't learned before. If you need help with a rodent problem and would like to speak with someone about rodent pest control in Kittitas County, jump to our contact page at any time, and contact us. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced technicians look forward to assisting you.

Types Of Rodents That Commonly Invade Kittitas County Homes

We have several rodent pests that enter our yards. Thankfully, most will stay outside. Only three commonly enter Kittitas County homes. They are rats, mice, and squirrels. Each is somewhat different. Let's take a moment to look at the differences.

Mice: These are the worst of all indoor rodent pests in our service area. While tinier than the others, they do well inside structures. A little mouse can live on crumbs.

Rats: We have two kinds of rats in our area that commonly cause trouble. The black rats are called roof rats. They live in trees and commonly get into attics. The brown ones are Norway rats. They often create ground burrows but may enter homes and find voids to live in. Rats are not little rodents. They need robust food sources and may leave a structure if food is limited.

Squirrels: Tree squirrels prefer to live in trees, like roof rats. But these furry-tailed rodents get into attics occasionally. While certainly not as troublesome as roof rats, they can present a problem when you don't clearly communicate to them that your home is off-limits.

Now that we've considered some differences, let's turn our attention to how rodents are the same. The common traits shared by all rodents make them a problem when they get into homes in Kittitas County.

Rodents Can Cause Many Problems Around Your Home

There are many things you already know about rodents. But we're willing to bet we can surprise you with some of these facts. Here are some common ways rodents are similar and how these factors can impact your health and property.

Explorers: All rodents are explorers at heart. They'll investigate your yard, explore your landscaping, check under your back deck, and look inside your crawlspace. As they explore urban environments, they are exposed to bacteria and other microorganisms. They may crawl in a trash receptacle, climb over compost, dig in fertilized soil, or crawl through a sewer. There are many ways a rodent can pick up germs and worms. These invisible organisms can impact your health when these explorers find their way into your home.

Chewers: All rodents chew on things. They can't help it. The teeth of a rodent never stop growing. They require continual filing to prevent harm to these animals. When a rodent explores the exterior of your home, it will chew on building materials. When they enter your home, they will chew on interior building materials, your belongings, storage boxes, stored food packages, and wiring inside your walls. All of these present unique issues.

  • Holes in the structure of your home can allow secondary pests to move about in your home.
  • Damage to your belongings can cost you, and some items are irreplaceable.
  • When a rodent makes its home in a storage box or stored furniture, its droppings and urine are a source of contamination.
  • When rodents access stored food, their waste and hair contaminate the food.
  • If a rodent cuts a live wire in your house, a spark can ignite a fire. Even tiny rodents present a serious fire hazard.

It is best not to have rodents exploring your home and chewing on things.

Climbers: Rodents have claws that give them an ability to scale trees, pipes, and walls. They can also run along wires. As adept climbers, they can enter your home through entry points on your roof. When they do, they may create holes that allow rainwater to enter, leading to wood rot, mold, and other issues.

Squeezers: Rats and mice like to squeeze into tight gaps; they're actually attracted to them, so you can expect them to take advantage of any entry point they find. Rodents are also gifted with malleable bodies. While rats are big rodents, they can access homes through gaps that are the width of a quarter. If gaps are too small, they can make them larger. All of that chewing can allow secondary pests into your home—pests that don't make holes of their own. Some of these secondary pests can bite, sting, and spread diseases.

Feeders: Rodents are attracted to yards that have seeds, nuts, fruits, and open trash receptacles. All of these are potential food sources. When rats and mice invade your home, they'll want to find food sources indoors, which leads them to kitchens and pantries. Their attraction to human food increases their ability to transmit human pathogens. It isn't their fault.

Carriers: Rodents crawl in wooded areas and humid landscaping where ticks and fleas are found. They pick these critters up and carry them indoors, allowing you to get a tick or flea infestation even if you don't have a pet. Ticks and fleas are associated with human diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Murine typhus, and Lyme disease—to name only a few.

It is best to keep backyard rodents in the backyard. You can do this by altering conditions that attract them, such as removing bird feeders and picking up nuts that fall from trees. You can also seal exterior entry points and block off access routes, such as tree branches and open downspouts on your gutter system. We recommend these methods. What we don't recommend is applying common rodent control products because these products often fail or lead to unwanted, and potentially harmful, results.

Why Do-It-Yourself Rodent Control Often Fails

There are several ways DIY rodent control can fail. Some are likely to surprise you. Here are a few common issues and tips to help you solve them.

  • Traps can fail when improper baits are used. Contrary to what you've likely heard, mice don't prefer cheese. You have better results with peanut butter or sticky rice.
  • Traps can fail when traps are put where rodents won't access them, such as away from walls and in areas that are not secluded.
  • Bait can reduce rodent populations but applying bait indoors is a bad idea. It can result in a rodent carcass inside your walls, which stinks. Literally.
  • Squirrel control can fail when exclusion work traps squirrels in your home. Professionals use one-way doors to allow squirrels to exit. Before you get too excited, we don't recommend installing these yourself unless you have the training to determine whether or not you'll separate a momma squirrel from her babies. Doing so can lead to more damage.
  • Capturing a few mice or rats can lead you to believe your rodent control was successful. These animals can live in your home without making any detectable noises. If they do, they can continue to present a threat to your health and property. A detailed inspection is needed. (Check out our other blogs for tips on how to find warning signs of rodents in your home.)
  • Exclusion work is a great way to keep rats and mice out. Unfortunately, patches that are installed incorrectly can be bypassed. For example, putting wire mesh in a downspout is a good idea, but a rodent can grab the material with its teeth and pull it out if the mesh isn't installed correctly.

We could provide many more examples, but you see the point. Traps, baits, and exclusions are all effective methods to remove rodents and keep them out, but they fail when misapplied or not properly evaluated.

The Secret To Complete Rodent Control For Kittitas County Homes

Rodent control is hard work and it requires specialized knowledge. When you want complete control of rodents, a licensed pest management professional can help. We use field-tested strategies, professional inspections, professional-grade products, and experience to tackle this tough job.

If you're in Kittitas County, consider contacting Prosite for rodent or wildlife control. We apply rodent control for rats and mice and wildlife control for squirrels. Since squirrels are not pernicious pests, live trapping and relocation are often all that is needed. Rats and mice are a constant risk to health and property and require greater measures. In all cases, you can count on the Prosite team to apply appropriate control measures to address your pest concerns. Connect with us today.

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