Tips from Franklin Pest Solutions
As we bundle up for the winter season, unfortunately, rodents do too and mice and rat experts warn that they are drawn to our cozy warm homes.
“Some may think an unnoticed mouse is no big deal but there is rarely just one,” said Janelle Iaccino, known as The Bug Girl with Franklin Pest Solutions, www.franklinpestsolutions.com. “What’s worse is that rats and mice carry fleas, ticks, parasites, viruses and bacteria.” This can clearly post serious health threats if the problem is left unattended.
Rodents and their parasites spread over 35 illnesses and diseases including Salmonella and E. coli. If that isn’t cringeworthy enough, mice are basically incontinent — a nice way of saying they leave a trail of urine just about everywhere they crawl. “One mouse can excrete up to 3,000 microliter drops of urine in one 24-hour period,” Iaccino said. “And there’s never just one mouse. If you see one, there are at least 5 more where you cannot see them.”
Mice only need the size of a dime to squeeze through an opening making it so easy to enter homes and restaurants.
If you’ve ever gotten sick at a restaurant, perhaps it was because of rodents contaminating food prep surfaces. Protecting our food sources and the food industry is just one of many industries Franklin helps keep protected from pest threats all year long.
Iaccino says that identifying the presence or signs of mice or rats and their source is the first step to eliminating a rodent problem.
One of the most common telltale signs of mice and rats is their droppings, better known as poop. “The size, shape, amount and location of droppings tell a lot about what is there,” Iaccino said. “The smaller the dropping, the smaller the rodent and vice versa.”
And, like the trail of breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel left to find their way home in the forest, mice leave a trail to guide them – a much more grotesque trail of greasy rub marks — that mark their travel routes so they can remember easy paths to food and sources for nesting.
Bite marks are another sign of rodent activity because rodents have to constantly sharpen their teeth. “This is not limited to inside homes, Iaccino says. “We’ve gotten calls from many clients who were unable to start their cars. The cause was rodents chewing through the wires that rats and mice are attracted to for a couple of reasons: they have to constantly be chewing to keep their teeth sharp and because many car wires have soy-based insulation which is tasty to rats but costs drivers hundreds of dollars in repair costs,” Iaccino said.
What you can do:
- Look for droppings. Typically scattered along baseboards, in cupboards, in drawers, or near food sources, mouse poop contaminates whatever it comes in contact with. Keep this in mind when preparing food or grabbing silverware out of a drawer that has had activity.
- Look for gnawed or chewed packaging or wires and/or bite marks on furniture — all telltale signs of a mouse infestation. Their sharp teeth and an impeccable sense of smell get them through all kinds of packaging barriers.
- Keep an eye out for smudges or greasy marks along walls, as mice tend to leave these marks as they navigate through tight spaces.
- Do not park cars near grassy areas where rats or mice might nest outside. Rodents are particularly interested in the wiring in automobiles because many have soy based insulation.
- Regularly inspecting living spaces for these signs can help identify and address a potential mouse or rat problem early on. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, check out the Franklin Healthy Home Maintenance Program that includes protection against mice and rats along with dozens of other common household pests.
- Unexplained scratching or rustling sounds, especially at night, may suggest the presence of these nocturnal rodents.
- Mice make their nests out of shredded materials like paper or fabric. It’s super common to find nesting materials in secluded corners or hidden spaces where human activity is not so common.
- If you notice a strong, musky odor in specific areas of your home, it could be an indication of mouse activity.
- Call an expert to identify the source so that you get to the root of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.
Franklin’s’s rodent control service protects homes, businesses and health from rodent invasions. They can be reached at 1-800-GOT-PESTS? Or click Healthy Home Maintenance Plan for information about a free estimate.
About Franklin Pest Solutions, LLC
Since 1929, Franklin Pest Solutions and sister company Rose Pest Solutions have been trusted in the Midwest to keep homes and businesses free from insects, rodents, and more. Using cutting-edge technology, environmentally friendly methods, and personalized unique solutions, Franklin and Rose are dedicated to creating and maintaining healthier living environments. Owned by the Dold Family, Franklin Pest Solutions proudly serves communities in Indiana and Kentucky, and Rose Pest Solutions proudly serves all of Chicagoland, the Greater Milwaukee area, and South Central Wisconsin.