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How To Kill and Get Rid Of Roof And Norway Rats
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Rats and Mice have been responsible for or implicated in the spread of various diseases to people and domestic animals for years. Today however, because ofimprovements in sanitation, effective drugs, and rodent and insect control programs, the disease threat from rodents is not as significant as it once was. But because of the habits of rodents traveling in sewers, garbage, etc., there are still cases of human and animal diseases being transmitted and there is also the constant potential of disease outbreaks in cities where rats and mice live in close proximity to people. However small the threat may be, it is a potential that always must be kept in mind.
Some of the more common diseases transmitted by rats and mice or parasites are:
Most over the counter baits sold at hardware stores and retailers do not contain the same attractants or active ingredients as professional use baits. Although the packaging and advertising may appear convincing, millions of dollars are wasted by consumers annually on over the counter rodent bait products that simply do not work. For this reason, epestsupply is committed to offering only the finest Professional Quality rat and mouse control and bait products at the lowest possible price. You can depend on epestsupply and our commitment.
There are 3 main species of rats and mice that are of significance in the United States. They are the Roof Rat or tree Rat, the Norway Rat or ground rat, and the House Mouse. Of course there are lots of other species such as field mice, field rats, wharf rats, sewer rats, etc.. but the Roof Rats and Norway Rats and the House Mouse are the ones of primary importance. They are the species of commensal rodents that homeowners and building owners deal with 90% of the time.
Visit our How To Kill Rats Page for more information on how to kill rats.
Body is 2-5 inches long
Slender, fast and mostly brown to gray
large ears, short tail
House mice are small rodents with relatively large ears and small black eyes. They weigh about 1/2 ounce and usually are light brownish to gray in color. An adult is about 5 to 7 inches long, including the 3- to 4-inch tail.
Droppings, fresh gnaw marks, and tracks indicate areas where mice are active. Mouse nests are made from fine shredded paper or other fibrous material, usually in sheltered locations. House mice have a characteristic musky odor that identifies their presence. Mice are active mostly at night, but they can be seen occasionally during daylight hours.
While the house mouse has not been found to be a carrier of hantavirus, other mice have. Most notable are the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse, which sometimes invade cabins and outbuildings in Southern and Western States. The house mouse is distinguished from the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse by its overall gray-colored coat. The other two species have a white underside with a distinct line of demarcation between the dark coloration on top and the white underside. In addition, the tail on the house mouse has almost no fur on it, whereas the tails of the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse are moderately to well furred and are light underneath and dark on top.
Although house mice usually prefer to eat cereal grains, they are “nibblers” and will sample many different foods. Mice have keen senses of taste, hearing, smell, and touch. They are excellent climbers and can run up any rough vertical surface. They will run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up to 12 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. Mice can squeeze through openings slightly larger than 1/4 inch across. House mice frequently find their way into homes in the fall of the year, when outdoor temperatures at night become colder.
In a single year, a female may have 5 to 10 litters of about 5 or 6 young. Young are born 19 to 21 days after mating, and they reach reproductive maturity in 6 to 10 weeks. The life span of a mouse is probably 9 to 12 months.
Because house mice are so small, they can gain entry into homes and other buildings much more easily than rats. As a result, house mouse infestations are probably 10 to 20 times more common than rat infestations. Effective control involves sanitation, exclusion, and population reduction. Sanitation and exclusion are preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population reduction such as trapping or baiting is almost always necessary.
A key to successful long-term mouse control is the limitation of shelter and of food sources wherever possible. Trapping works well when mice are not numerous, or it can be used as a follow-up measure after a baiting program. When considering a baiting program, decide if the presence of dead mice will cause an odor or sanitation problem. If so, trapping may be the best approach. Removal of mice should be followed by taking steps to exclude them so that the problem does not recur.
Several types of rodenticides are used in baits. The anticoagulant rodenticides are most commonly available and can be used in and around buildings. Because all rodenticides are toxic to humans, pets, and wildlife, take special precautions to prevent the poisoning of nontarget animals.
Because mice can survive in very small areas with limited amounts of food and shelter, their control can be very challenging, especially in and around older structures. Most buildings in which food is stored, handled, or used will support house mice if the mice are not excluded, no matter how good the sanitation. While good sanitation will seldom completely control mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them and will permit them to thrive in greater numbers. Pay particular attention to eliminating places where mice can find shelter. If they have few places to hide, rest, or build nests and rear their young, they cannot survive in large numbers.
Exclusion is the most successful and permanent form of house mouse control. “Build them out” by eliminating all gaps and openings larger than ¼ inch, through which mice will enter a structure. Stuff-It makes a good temporary plug. Seal cracks in building foundations and around openings for water pipes, vents, and utility cables with metal or concrete. Doors,windows, and screens should fit tightly. It may be necessary to cover the edges of doors and windows with metal to prevent gnawing. Plastic screening, rubberor vinyl, insulating foam, wood, and other gnawable materials are unsuitable for plugging holes used by mice.
Deer mice live in wooded or shrubby areas and often inhabit hedgerows. They occasionally move into buildings from adjacent fields and woodlots.
Deer mice are sometimes called "white-footed" mice. They are about the same size as house mice but they can be easily distinguished from the house mice by their distinct bi-colored tail and body. The upper side of the tail and body of the deer mouse is dark colored, generally some shade of brown (although the juveniles have a gray top coat) and the underside is white. Deer mice also have larger eyes and ears than house mice.
Deer mice are active all year, and store food for the winter season much as the tree squirrels do. Nuts, seeds, berries, and insects are their usual food. Outdoors, these mice construct nests in stumps, under logs, in hollow tree cavities, or in abandoned bird nests. The litters vary in size between two and seven young, and several litters may be born throughout the year.
Deer mice frequently enter houses, garages, storage sheds, and stored campers during the colder months where they may damage foodstuffs and furnishings. In unoccupied summer homes or cottages, damage to upholstered furniture can be extensive.
Deer mice were attributed to causing an outbreak of Hantavirus that resulted in the deaths of several people in the New Mexico and Southwestern United States in the early 1990's. Hantavirus is a flu like virus that infects the lung tissue and causes death in the majority of the people that it infects in 4-5 days.
Deer Mice are best controlled by poison baits such as Contrac. The same baits that are used for controlling house mice will kill deer mice. It is always best to use baits in a tamper resistant bait station such as the Rodent Cafe Bait Station or the Protecta Bait Station whether indoors or outdoors.
Outdoors, deer mice can also be controlled by placing baits directly into their burrows. Care should be taken to ensure that the bait is not exposed to non-target animals and that it is completely covered. Be certain that the mouse bait you are using is labeled for this type of application prior to use.
Indoors, traps such as the Mini TRex Mouse Trap, Ketchall Mouse Trap or the EZ Set LIve Catch Mouse Trap are highy recommended over toxic baits. If toxic bait is used indoors, make sure it is used in a tamper resistant bait station, or it is used in an area that is inaccessible to children and pets.
In your personal battle against rodents such as rats and mice, it is important to remember that you are dealing with an animal that is capable of crawling, climbing, and chewing it's way into your home or business. They can flatten themselves out and squeeze through the smallest of openings, even under closeddoors. If the hole is not big enough, they can easily chew it or gnaw it to a large enough size so that they can get through. Generally, if a rodent can squeeze it's head through an opening, (most rodents heads are the size of a quarter or smaller), it will eventually get through. This is why your strategy for rat or mice control always starts on the outside of the structure.
The first thing to do is to make sure that there are no holes that the rodents can get through. Check all plumbing and electrical entrances, doors, folding garage doors, etc. Also check behind gutters, around chimney and plumbing stack flashing, and in the case of raised or pier and beam homes, make sure that they cannot get access under the foundation or skirting or through screened vents. The point is that any hole on the outside of the house can give rats or mice entrance. If the hole is not big enough, the rats or mice will gnaw it to make it bigger. Rats must constantly gnaw and sharpen their teeth to keep them filed down. Rats teeth grow an average of 7 inches per year. This is why they constantly gnaw and chew.
EcoSafe PredatorBarrier Scent
Stuffit Copper Wool
Rodent Cafe Bait Station
Protecta Rodent Bait Station
Rat Rock Bait Station
Contrac All WeatherRodent Blox
Outside rodent "Exclusion"is very simple in most cases. The EcoSafe Predator Barrier Scent Stick is a speedstick for applying predator urines that repel rats, mice, squirrels, even bats. These predator urines create a natural barrier that simply scares away rodents. This natural barrier is completely safe around pets, and other non-target animals. Simply swipe the Predator Stick around holes, openings, door jambs and other areas where mice can gain entry. Its also very effective in attics, store rooms, garages and other similar areas. Where this product excels the most however is on tires of cars, trucks, buses, boat trailers, motor homes, etc, to keep the rats and mice from crawling up them and to help prevent damage to wires, electrical harnesses, avionics, etc.
Read more about the the EcoSafe Predator Barrier Scent Stick by clicking here.
Small holes in need of repair can easily be patched with Stuffit Copper Wool. Stuffit Copper Wool works better than steel wool because of the way that it is woven. Because of the weaving pattern, the Stuffit Copper Wool tends to get caught in the rodents teeth making it hard for them to chew through or remove. The StuffitCopper Wool does not rust so rust stains on brick or wood siding are not a concern as it is with regular steel wool. A small amount of Stuffit Copper Wool placed in weep holes, pipe entrances, etc. that are smaller than a dime will help to keep rodents out. Larger holes need to be fixed or repaired properly with quality building materials. You may wish to consult a building contractor for this service.
It is also very important to make sure that tree limbs, shrubs, etc, do not overhang the structure and are trimmed back at least 5 feet. Overhanging tree limbs can provide relatively easy access to the rooftop - especially for roof rats which are capable of jumping several feet.
Any aerial electrical or utility lines that enter the structure should be rodent proofed. This is easily accomplished by placing Crisco, grease or some other slippery substance on the line. Special caution should be used when applying anything to electrical lines or lines that contain any voltage or electrical current. Special wraps can also be placed onto utility lines that are cut and made from aluminum rolls available at any hardwarestore. A paper plate can be used as a template and traced onto the aluminum. Shears can then be used to cut and fashion the aluminum in such a way that it can be fastened onto the wire or cable to make a on the wire that the rodents cannot get around.
Outside protected feeding stations such as the Rodent Cafe Bait Station or the Protecta Bait Station can be placed against the sides of the home or building at 30 - 50 foot intervals. The average home uses 2-3 outdoor bait stations. Use Contrac or Final rodenticide in these stations.
Final Rodent Bait and Contrac All Weather Blox are a wax based block bait that kills rodents with one feeding. They are both very toxic. That is the reason they should only be used outdoors in protected feeding stations such as the Protecta or Rodent Cafe. Outdoor rat and mice feeding stations are easily placed behind shrubs, ornamental plants, etc, or along foundation walls. They provide the rodents exactly what they are looking for, food and shelter - hopefully before they find their way into your home. Outside rodent bait stations are commonly used around commercial buildings, restaurants, food processing plants, etc. and work extremely well in the residential environment.
If you don't like the looks of the Protecta Bait Station, then check out the Rat Rock Rodent Station. The Rat Rock looks like a rock, but is actually a well designed sturdy rat feeding station. Rat Rocks are very popular at restaurants, amusement parks and other places where a rodent feeding station would be an eyesore.
Before using any outdoor bait station, make sure that there are not competing food sources for the rodents. Garbage, pet food, animal feed, etc, are much more acceptable to rodents than any rodent bait. Even though rats and mice will eat almost anything, the effectiveness of any outdoor baiting program depends on sanitation practices. If sanitation practices are an issue, the effectiveness of your baiting program will be minimal. In other words, if the outside areas contain garbage, pet food, animal feed, etc, the rats or mice usually will not eat the bait. Clean it up first, and your program will be successful.
After the outside environment has been cleaned up, sealed up and outdoor bait stations have been used, inside control can begin. The idea is that once the outside environment has been repaired and cleaned up, hopefully, the rodents will unable to gain entrance to the home or building and will be happy either remaining outside, until they consume the outside bait, or they will be trapped inside.
Do Not Use House Mouse Mice Baits Indoors ! - We do not recommend using rat baits or rodenticides indoors. If a rodent eats a rodenticide indoors, unless it can find its way out of the structure before the effects of the rodenticide set in - usually 3 to 5 days, it will die indoors. There is no such thing as a rodenticide or a rat bait that causes the rodent to become thirsty and look for water. There is also no such thing as a rodenticide that causes the rodents body to not smell or to dry out during the rotting phase. These "white lies" are used by exterminators and other rodent control novices because tossing rat bait into an attic is easy and inexpensive.
A rodent that eats a rodenticide dies because of internal hemorraging. All rodent baits currently on the market work by thinning the rodents blood or anticoagulation. If you use a rodenticide indoors and the rodent dies indoors, be prepared for a period of several weeks to months in which pungent foul odors wills linger in the air. A rotting animal carcass usually bloats and the resulting body fluids will seep out and cause the odors. Flies and other insects can be attracted to the rotting rodent carcass resulting in new problems. The bottom line ? Don't use rodenticides indoors because you don't want to spend the money on a decent trap. You will pay down the road, especially if the rodent dies in an unreachable area of your attic or wall and cannot be removed.
Ketchall Mouse Trap
Bell Mini Rex Mouse Trap
Live Catch Mouse Trap
Provoke ProMouse Attractant
Pro Pest Rat and Mouse Lure
Our Number #1 pick indoors for house mouse mice control is the Raticator Electric Rat and Mouse Trap.. The Raticator Ratzapper in an ingenious device that lures the rat or mouse into a small chamber where an electrical charge supplied by 4 AA batteries zaps the rat or mouse and causes it's heart to stop beating. It then zaps again in about 20 seconds to make sure that the rodent is dead. A light then blinks on top of the Rat Zapper to let you know it needs to be emptied. You never even have to see the rat ! It is perfect for indoor use, generally safe around children and pets and best of all, will last for years as long as the batteries are replaced. 1 set of AA batteries will zap about 10 rodents and last about 30 days. If you need a longer battery life, or need a stronger voltage for bigger rats, then add the Rat Pack Power Booster. The Rat Pack Power Booster holds D size batteries and will work for about 6 months between battery changes. An optional Rat Tale is also available that contains a blinking light that will allow the Rat Zapper to be remotely placed into attic areas or other tight inaccessible areas where routine inspection of the Rat Zapper is impractical.
The Raticator Ratzapper is a humane way of capturing and disposing of rats and mice. Don't think that zapping rodents by using an electrical charge is cruel. The rodent is killed within seconds and no mess results. Unlike rodenticides or poisons which can cause the rodent agonizing pain and suffering lasting for several days, sometimes resulting in the rodent vomiting or urinating blood making a big mess, the Rat Zapper kills rodents quickly efficiently and painlessly and is our number #1 pick for indoor control of both rats and mice.
For mice trapping indoors, another very good trap is the Ketchall Mouse Trap. The Ketchall Mouse Trap is a repeating mouse trap that catches up to 15 mice in 1 setting. Upon entering the side of the Ketchall, the rodent steps on a trigger that causes a large door to revolve around and toss the mouse into the side chamber where the air holes are located. The mouse or mice depending on how many you catch can then be let go or disposed of. The Ketchall Mouse Trap is recommend by PETA because it is a live trap. The Ketchall Mouse Trap is perfect for use around children and pets and will capture mice, field mice and smaller field rats and immature rats. The Ketchall will not catch large roof rats or norway rats.
Other types of traps are available such as T Rex Rat Trap and the Mini Rex Mouse Trap. Snap traps, live traps, etc, can be very effective and capturing rats and mice. However these types of traps need to be baited with a professional rat and mouse lure such as Pro Pest Rat and Mouse Lure and Provoke Pro Mouse Attractant. Using peanut butter or cheese on snap traps may work sometimes, but using a professional quality lure that is laboratory tested will yield much better results. If you are serious about using snap traps, then get a professional quality rat and mouse lure. These products have years of development and will improve the efficiency of your catch by 75%.
Glue Boards such as the Trapper Glue Board Trap can also be used indoors to capture mice and rats. The Trapper Glue Board is a plastic pan of glue about 1/4" thick. When the rodent steps onto the glue trap it becomes lodged in the glue base unable to get away. Care should be taken to remove rats or mice that may still be alive but trapped on a glue board. Glue boards are inexpensive but have to be replaced with each catch. Glue boards are not recommended by PETA because it is thought that they cause a cruel death to the rodent. What happens is that the rodent tries desperately to get loose from the glue board and as a result becomes covered in glue usually suffocating. Our opinion on glue boards is that they are a tool to control rodents as should be viewed as such. They are effective and are absolutely recommended over rodenticides indoors. Pro Pest Rat and Mouse Lure and Provoke Pro Mouse Attractant can be applied to the middle of glue traps for much better results.
If you just can't resist using rodenticides indoors - and the rodent dies and decaying rotting odors are a problem, then try using EcoSafe ZR1 Odor Neutralizer sprayed onto the effected area. If you can find the carcass, remove it, and then spray the remaining stains with EcoFresh Instant Odor Neutralizer. If you can't find the odor then you will have to resort to using aerosol fragrances such as the Micro spray. The trick is to find the rodent carcass. If you can't find it, because it is unreachable in the attic or a wall void, then use the Micro spray and live with it until the rodent carcass completely dehydrates in several weeks to months. Next time learn the lesson of not using rodenticides indoors and use a trap. We carry a complete line of deodorizers designed to rid your home or business of odors.
Click here for a catalog of our deodorizers and odor control products.
The bottom line on rodent control with either rats or mice is that you have to stop them from getting in by sealing up any holes or cracks where they can find entry into the structure. Use outdoor bait stations to give them what they are looking for (food and shelter). Indoors, trap them using a kill trap (Raticator Ratzapper) or a live trap (Ketchall).
EcoSafe®Ultra ZR1Odor Neutralizer
EcoFresh®Odor Absorber Pouch
Don't place rodent bait of any kind in an area accessible to children or pets. Rodent bait used indoors may result in rodents dying inside walls or in attics in which they are unremovable. This could result in strong odors resulting from the decaying carcass which could persist for several weeks until the carcass dehydrates.
If rodents have died inside your walls and flies have appeared, then you will need to control them using our fly control products. Hide Flies and Bottle Flies are very common where dead animals are found. They are attracted by the foul rotting odors. They will lay eggs in the decaying rodents carcass with a resulting infestation of flies appearing within days. Strong rancid odors caused by dead rats or mice can be controlled with EcoSafe ZR1 Odor Neutralizer. EcoSafe ZR1 works by attacking the odor molecules and neutralizing them on contact. It also continues absorbing odors for several hours. EcoSafe ZR1 is the best odor neutralizer on the market, is safe and contains naturally derived ingredients. It can be sprayed into the air and also into air conditioning ducts and returns to eliminate odors that are airborne. EcoSafe also makes Odor Absorber Bags that can be placed in closets, attics, sub areas and also into air conditioning ducts and returns.EcoFresh Odor Absorber Pouches simply absorb the odor and trap it using naturally occurring zeolites and minerals. These pouches come in 4 oz sizes for walls voids where dead rats may be found but cannot be easily removed. Use (1) 4 oz pouch for every 3' x 3' area or (1) 16 oz pouch for 10' x 10' areas.
Click here for information on How To Kill Flies.
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House Mouse Mice and Rat Control Kit
COMPLETE KIT CONTAINS EVERYTHING NEEDED!
Kills - Norway, Roof and Field Rats,House Field Mice
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Offices, Small Businesses.
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** Average number of spot or localized treatments based on structure less than 2000 sq. ft.. Larger structures may require 2 or more kits. Contact us for specific quantities that you may need. Some products can be sold individually based on amount used in treatment. Please include type of pest that you are treating for and size of structure in Square feet or number of rooms.