Why DIY Rodent Control Often Fails In Bay Area Homes

House Mouse With Young In A Nest

When rodent control fails, which it often does, it can leave you wondering what on earth you're doing wrong. While we could provide you with a book of examples, we've selected a few examples to give you an overview. Even if these examples don't specifically address what you're doing wrong, they can give you valuable insight into what may be causing your rodent control to fall short of your expectations.

"I plugged in an ultrasonic electronic repellent and I'm still dealing with rodents."

There are many drawbacks to using these devices. One of the most important issues is that you have to plug them in near the area of infestation. But you probably don't know where that is. If you do, the most you're going to do is make the rodents move to another location in your home. The bottom line with these products is that the level of ultrasonic waves needed to get mice or rats out of your home would drive you, your cat, your dog, and your kids out as well.

"I bought a cat and I'm still finding evidence of active rodents."

Good luck going this route. First, there are many cats that just aren't mousers. They'll watch a mouse run across the floor and do nothing to stop it. Others will play with the mice but not harm them—perhaps thinking that the mice are pets too. If you do happen to get a mouser, you may find a dead mouse on your floor every once in awhile. Not only is this gross, it is not evidence that your mouse problem is fixed. Mice live in your walls and in other places where your cat can't go. There is little or no chance that your cat will fix a rodent problem.

"I put traps down and they're not working."

There are so many ways traps can fail. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Cheese is not a preferred food source for mice. Crushed rice works better.
  • Rats are extremely cautious of new things placed in their environment and will often avoid traps.
  • Mice are curious about traps, but the way they approach food is suspicious. A mouse can eat the food right off the latch of a standard wooden mouse trap without springing it.
  • One trap is rarely enough. Rodents can move quickly to escape the death swing of a spring trap.

"I'm catching rodents, but I'm seeing signs that they're still around."

You may find dead rodents in your traps. If you do, you're ahead of most people. But catching rodents is only one part of getting control of them. If you don't seal exterior entry points, new rodents can come in and replace the ones you've eliminated. It is also possible for rodents to outcompete your efforts to kill them. Have you heard the term, breeding like rabbits? Well, rabbits don't have anything on rodents.

"I put down mothballs and they're not working at all."

This is an interesting one. Mothballs contain naphthalene, which has a strong odor. When placed in certain areas, they can be helpful at keeping moths and other insects away. But those stinky balls aren't stinky enough to deter rodents. In studies, mice have been observed crawling over mothballs with no noticeable reaction.

What Methods Work To Control Rodents

We strongly recommend natural methods. They can have a big impact if you apply them all as a comprehensive strategy.

  • Remove water. Rodents need water to survive. Fixing faucets, pipes, and removing any available water sources in your home can force rodents to go outside for a drink.
  • Seal entry points. If rodents go outside for a drink, then your efforts to seal entry points can keep them from coming back inside.
  • Block access. Your roofline is vulnerable to rodent entry. Trim tree branches away from your roof and put wire mesh in the downspouts of your gutter system to keep rodents from getting up there.
  • Make your exterior less interesting to rodents. Mice and rats prefer a cluttered yard with lots of places to hide. Remove objects that don't need to be in your yard, and rake up leaves and other organic debris.
  • If your rodent issue can't be addressed naturally, we recommend hiring a licensed professional to inspect your home, devise an effective plan to capture and remove all the rodents, and ensure the greatest chance of success.
    Do you live in the Bay Area? If so, contact Bay Pest. We can help you find the right solution for your specific needs. Connect with us today!

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