Keeping Rodents Out: Expert Control Strategies For Properties In The Bay Area

Norway rat in a garden

Perhaps you found this article because you moved some boxes in the basement, and a couple of rats ran between your feet. Maybe you were rearranging the garage, and mice darted out from beneath the pile of shovels when you bumped into them. How you encountered rodents in your house does not matter; what matters is getting rid of these dirty, furry creatures. 

If you have rodents, you need rodent control in the Bay Area from Bay Pest. Our local company has removed rodents and other pests since 1979. We have delivered pest control for over 40 years, have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and are members of the Pest Management Association and the California Pest Control Operators. We know you are looking for answers on how to stop the rodents in your Bay Area home, so please keep reading to learn your next steps.

Rodent Behavior Insights: Navigating The Habits Of Mice And Rats

house rat eating zucchini

Norway rats have a 16-inch round body with brown fur interspersed with black hairs on the topside; underneath, they have a white or grey belly. These rodents have a blunt muzzle, small ears, eyes, and tails shorter than their body. 

Norway rats, known as street or sewer rats, live outside under concrete slabs, woodpiles, and garbage in fields, along railroad embankments, and in structures. Although they prefer to live outside in burrows alongside other Norway rats, they will enter a home for water, food, and shelter due to adverse weather conditions. When they invade a Bay Area home, they gravitate towards the basement and lower floors of the house and burrow underneath discarded boxes, newspapers, and other debris.

Norway rats actively forage for food at dusk and then again at dawn. While Norway rats will consume just about anything, they prefer meats, fish, cereals, and dog food. In urban sections of the Bay area, they travel about 25 to 100 feet from their nests. Unlike mice, Norway rats are not curious, so once they find a food or water source, they travel the same path from their nest to the items.

Roof rats are slightly smaller with a 14 to 15-inch body and have the same body colors as the Norway rat, except they may have black bellies and are slender. As their name suggests, roof rats are excellent climbers and use tree branches and shrubs touching the house as highways onto the roof. Roof rats can squeeze through a nickel-size hole, and if they are desperate to hide from a predator, they will chew through aluminum, wood, and vinyl siding to enter a house. Once inside a home, they live in the upper levels and attic. When they live outside a house, they are under debris piles, woodpiles, and dense vegetation.

Also known as ship rats or black rats, roof rats are social rats and forage in packs with up to ten rats. Unlike the Norway rats’ preference for meats, cereals, and fish, roof rats like to consume fruits and vegetables. Like Norway rats, roof rats follow the same path to and from a food source.

Although rats are a problem for some Bay Area homeowners, house mice are the main issue for most people. The main reason is their ability to reproduce quickly. One female house mouse can produce 35 offspring annually. Considering that a mouse reaches reproductive maturity 35 days after birth, you can see how quickly an infestation can develop in a home.

Like rats, house mice are social creatures, but unlike rats, they have a hierarchy that consists of a dominant male, lower-ranking males, and several females. House mice are territorial and are aggressive towards other rodents that enter within four to five feet of their nests. House mice create homes from fabric and paper strips, insulation, and other materials in dark, secluded areas of the house. Mice are curious creatures, and unlike rats, they will change their runways to food and water sources.

Bay Pest technicians know the habits and behaviors of California rodents; they know where to look for rodents and signs of an infestation. 

The Rodent Menace: Understanding The Threat Of Uninvited Guests

Rats and mice forage for food in unsanitary areas. Rats gravitate toward sewers, drains, trash piles, and animal feces due to the dark, warm, and moist environments these areas provide. Unfortunately, these locations foster bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worm development. Rats and mice have oily fur; when they move through these areas, pathogenic organisms stick to their coat as they brush against surfaces. Rodents are active at night but have poor eyesight. As a result, they bump into objects as they move through a home and leave greasy marks full of bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms.

Furthermore, as the rodents consume rotting plant and animal materials, they ingest pathogens living on the surfaces. Later, when these rodents infest a home, they deposit disease-causing organisms onto surfaces when they defecate and urinate; rats and mice also spread bacteria and viruses through saliva when they bite or chew on items to trim their teeth.

Disease-causing organisms are not the only living things in these areas; fleas, ticks, lice, and mites also thrive in these environments. When rodents travel through these locations, these parasitic insects and arachnids hitchhike and use them as hosts. If the rodents enter a home, flea eggs fall on the floor, and ticks exit to find new hosts in the house.

Leptospirosis, tularemia, and salmonellosis are diseases spread by mice and rats, but each species also causes specific maladies. For example, house mice transmit lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), while rats can infect household members with rat-bite fever, jaundice, cowpox virus, and trichinosis. Most of these diseases produce flu-like symptoms, but rat-bite fever and hantavirus (usually spread by white-footed deer mice) can be life-threatening. Fleas and ticks are vectors for infections, tapeworms, and other illnesses.

Allergic reactions and asthma attacks are other side effects of a rodent infestation. As rodents move through a home, rats produce olive-pit-sized feces, and mice leave behind quarter-inch rod-shaped fecal matter. When the feces dry, particles flake off and become airborne. When household members with allergy sensitivities, or those who are older adults or young, inhale the floating feces, they may experience chest tightness, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.

Beyond the health hazards of a rodent invasion, there are the physical damages these animals cause. Rodents have a pair of constantly growing upper and lower incisor teeth that they must trim, or they will become unmanageable and prevent the rodent from eating. Thus, rodents gnaw wood, metals, concrete, glass, and plastics to sharpen and maintain their teeth. Rats use their teeth to create holes in walls and floors. Because rodents sometimes nest in wall voids, inside walls, and appliances where electrical and internet wires are present, they chew through the outer coating while attempting to trim their teeth and expose bare wires. Electrical fires, short circuits, internet, and power outages are not uncommon in homes with a rodent infestation. Another issue is the damage rodents cause to furniture, storage containers, and other items in the house due to their constant gnawing.

Bay Pest provides effective rodent control so you can relax without fear of harm to your family or home by rodents. 

Proactive Rodent Control: Preventing Infestations Before They Begin

No one likes the experience of moving a cabinet and watching a mouse dart across the floor. Although we are many times larger than a rodent, there is something about those fast-moving mammals that makes us jump and scream. These rodent prevention tips will save you from the unnecessary adrenaline rush caused by rodents in your home:

  • Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the house.
  • Eliminate debris, junk, and vegetation overgrowth from the lawn.
  • Pick up rotting fruit and pet feces regularly.
  • Provide drainage to ditches, puddles, and gutters.
  • Keep outdoor garbage containers closed.
  • Install wire mesh screens on the attic and crawl space vent openings.
  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Repair holes in window and door screens.
  • Seal foundation and roofline cracks.
  • Use steel wool to close gaps between incoming pipes and wires.

These suggestions will discourage rodents that pass through your property from nesting outside your home and make it difficult for rodents to enter your house.

It is best that you eliminate any enticements for rodents to enter your Bay Area home. You should vacuum regularly, suction out corners and cracks, wipe down cooking and eating surfaces after use, and keep indoor garbage cans closed. Before retiring to bed, store pet foods in an airtight container, clean, and put away dishes.

When our service technician from Bay Pest inspects your home for rodent control, we can provide additional ideas for your situation.

Professional Rodent Control: The Best Way To Keep Mice And Rats Away

When you notice rodents in your house, partner with Bay Pest because the longer you wait, the more the infestation will grow due to their high reproduction rate. We will send an experienced service technician to inspect your Bay Area home for entry points, attractants, and hot spots and to identify the rodent species living in your home. Using data from our investigation, we determine the best ways to capture and remove the rodents.

We have several rodent removal tools at our disposal. For example, if the infestation is in the crawl space, attic, or confined area, we install one-way doors to prevent rodents from reentry when they leave your home to forage outside. When and where appropriate, we use glue boards, traps, and baits to capture rodents; we return every two weeks to monitor these items for up to a year until we eliminate the infestation. For continued protection, we offer an extended warranty plan.

Rodents contaminate surfaces with disease-causing organisms as they rub against them, defecate, and chew on them. Rats and mice are not only pathogen carriers, but they stink from the dirt, grime, and rotting materials in sewers, drains, and garbage containers. To eliminate the stench and prevent disease transmission, we will sanitize your home once we clear the infestation. We can also replace damaged insulation. To stop future entry into your Bay Area home, we also offer exclusion services.

For professional rodent control in the Bay Area, contact Bay Pest today and request a free estimate.

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