What are rodents?
Rodents are common mammals that vary in appearance and behavior, depending on their species. However, what ties all rodents together is their continuously growing, chisel-like front incisors located in their top and bottom jaw. Rodents live in large populations across most of the world. Norway rats, house mice, and field mice inhabit Illinois and have adapted to living near people. They move into our yards and homes in order to have their basic needs met.
Are rodents dangerous?
Rodents are prolific breeders; a single pregnant mouse finding its way into your home to nest can lead to a big problem for you. A single female can have between five and ten litters per year, with each litter having around six babies (pups), although twice as many are possible. Those “babies” can begin reproducing just a few short weeks later. The more rodents living in your home, the more problems they will cause.
Some of the biggest reasons to keep rodents out of your house are listed below:
- Mice and rats will contaminate food and surfaces of your home with their excrement, urine, and saliva.
- They introduce bacteria, disease-causing pathogens, and parasites into our homes.
- Their sharp front incisors allow them to chew through boxes, flooring, walls, wires, and more, causing costly and dangerous damage to your home.
- Rodents will chew holes in your home’s exterior that will allow rainwater to get inside and cause water damage and mold issues.
- They will create a musty, foul odor to develop in your home, usually near their nesting sites.
Why do I have a rodent problem?
If rodents notice that your property offers them access to food, water, or shelter, they won’t hesitate to take advantage. Despite their small size, rodents have big appetites. Their high metabolism causes these pests to eat 15-20 times a day. So any place that offers them easy access to food is a place they want to be. Our gardens, trash cans, pet food, and grill areas are things that may attract rodents to our yards.
Once in our yards, there is a good possibility that rodents will end up in our homes. They can move inside any time of the year, but the chances of a rodent infestation occurring in your home increases in the late fall or winter. When the weather is cold and there is a lack of food outside, rodents are motivated to move indoors in search of warm shelter and food.
Where will I find rodents?
Norway rats have a large, heavy body and are not great at climbing, so they live mainly at ground level. In our yards, these rodents burrow under decks, sheds, and the soil next to the foundation. Inside our homes, they usually enter and remain at ground level in places like basements, crawlspaces, and wall voids.
Field mice and house mice are very agile, good climbers, and can jump great distances. They move inside through openings they find both at ground level and aerially. Outside, mice nest in tall grass, gardens, woodpiles, brush piles, under shrubbery, and anywhere else that protects them from predators. Inside, these small pests nest in secluded locations like behind appliances and in the backs of cabinets and closets. Attics, roof eaves, and wall voids are other favorite nesting spots.
If rodents have found a way into your Illinois home, the most noticeable sign they leave behind is their dark-colored, rice-like droppings. Finding rodent droppings on the floor, in cabinets, or on counters means that you need to get immediate help to eliminate these pests from your home!
How do I get rid of rodents?
Partner with a professional to get rodents out of your home and away from your food and family! At Aerex Pest Control, we have over 70 years of pest control experience! Our family owned and operated business is committed to helping people protect their properties from rodents and other pests.
Through our biannual treatments, our professionals will eliminate rodents from your property and stop them from returning in the future. If you would like to discover more about our residential or commercial pest control options, reach out to us today!
How can I prevent rodents in the future?
We have put together a list of practical prevention tips to help you keep rodents out of your home.
- Containers like trash cans and recycling bins should have locking lids on them.
- Keep grill and outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
- Pick up your pet’s uneaten food each evening to avoid providing rodents with a free meal.
- Use steel wool that rodents can’t chew through to fill gaps or holes in the foundation or spaces around utilities entering your home.
- Place screens over vents and install caps on chimneys to keep rodents out.
- Reduce the clutter in your yard and inside your home where rodents can hide.
- Remove trash from your home daily.
- Maintain a clean kitchen by regularly washing dishes, putting away leftover food, and sweeping crumbs from the floor.