Brown Norwegian Rat, Common Field Mouse
Photo by Jared Belson
All rats possess teeth that never stop growing. Therefore the rat must always be gnawing on something to prevent the teeth from growing back into their body. Rats will chew on virtually anything. Particularly bothersome in condos, apartments and around trash (cans, dumpsters, etc) you need to be vigilant and constantly aware of the dangers of the presence of rats. It would be horrible to imagine rats in an infant's crib (it does and can occur).
Mice, however, are a different story. There are many varieties of mice. In this area we have mostly field mice. Voles are sometimes mistaken for mice but are not. In the winter mice need warmth to survive hence that natural migration into your home. The single best thing to do about mice is to prevent mice from getting into the house in the first place. You should have closed as many holes that you can to prevent entry. Our firm, Blades of Green Pest Control, does a complete inspection of the home and can seal the openings. In spite of sealing the openings mice still get into the house.
Now the really bad news:
Female mice will start their reproductive cycle 6 to 10 weeks after birth. Each female will have 5-10 litter's per year with 5-6 mice born. UCK!! Enough said. Now you know why you must deal rapidly and effectively with mice. Mice are not cute and defenseless!
If you find small, 1/4" , black droppings (Usually in the kitchen) get a professional in as soon as you can.
Remember that all rodents must gnaw. The next time you hear about a fire of unsuspected origin, THINK, THINK, THINK: what little nasty must always chew and will chew anything!
Three major issues to consider:
- Cleanliness of the home
- Sanitation, do not leave anything that a mouse can eat. Mice can climb vertically and can jump at least 12" straight up!
- Population reduction (nice term!)
Mark Leahy is the President of Blades of Green lawn Care and Pest Control, a family owned lawn care and mole/vole pest control company. Mark has concentrated his efforts in Central Maryland as well as Maryland's Eastern Shore. Mark has over 20 years experience in the Lawn and Pest Control Industries.