Unfortunately Rats and mice live wherever humans live. These rodents have a remarkable ability to adapt and survive. As they forage for food, they will inadvertently contaminate food storage areas, and damage buildings, and other property by their constant gnawing and burrowing. They also can spread diseases to people and pets.
Rat Info and Control
Rats reproduce rapidly and are most known for their agility, ability to damage homes, food stores, and spread disease. They will often live in the attics, basements, or crawlspaces of our homes for months or even years without detection. These rodents damage houses by their nesting and tunnel building; they consume, and spoil our stored food: they contaminate kitchen counters, food containers, and eating utensils; and they can spread disease or bite people. Rodents have been known to start fires by gnawing on electrical wiring.
Rats prefer to eat grains, or grain products such as cereals or breads, but the will eat nearly any type of food, and don’t require very much water. They will jump, swim, and climb to reach a food source. In fact, rats are excellent swimmers and can enter structures through sewers, toilets, and broken drains. In tests rats have been found able to tread water for days and are able to swim against a current for half a mile.
Rats have a maximum lifespan of 2 to 3 years, but most die before they are 1 year old. Yet, that year, a female rat can produce up to 5 litters. Each litter has 6 to 12 offspring. When born, rats are helpless, naked, and completely blind. They will mature rapidly and open their eyes after a week or so. It takes a rat 3 to 4 months to reach sexual maturity. There is no set breeding season and they will mate year round.
Rats can climb vertical and jump up to 4 feet high.
Dropping from a height of 50 feet doesn’t kill or seriously injure rats.
Rats can fit through openings that are as small as 1/2 inch in diameter.
Rats constantly gnaw anything softer than their teeth, including lead sheeting, cinder blocks, wood, plastic, and aluminum sheeting.
Many types of rats are agile climbers and can shimmy the outside of three-inch diameter pipes or any size pipe within three inches of a wall.
They are also capable of climbing the inside of vertical pipes that are 1 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.
Excellent balance allows rats to scale brick or other rough walls that offer footholds and to travel along power lines.
Some types of rats can burrow to a depth of four feet.
Mouse Info and Control
Mice like rats are nocturnal. They have a keen sense of hearing, smell, taste, and touch, however there vision is poor. They use these heighten senses to constantly explore and learn about their surroundings and they memorize their pathways, and food sources. To compensate for their poor vision, rodents quickly detect and tend to avoid new objects, even if it is in a familiar environment. Because of this, Baits and traps are avoided for a few days following placement.
Mice prefer to feed on cereal grains and are herbivores. , but will eat almost any type of food. They require very little water, because they obtain most of their water needs from their food. They also store extra food in burrows and other hiding places.
Adult house mice are small and slender, and are about 1 to 2 inches in length not including the tail. The tail is as long as the body and head combined. An adult can weigh anywhere from ½ ounce to 1 ounce. Relative to their size, they have large ears and small eyes. Their fur color usually varies from light grey to brown, or darker colors.
As the outside temperature drops mice seek warmer living areas, which can include homes. Mice choose safe hiding places as their nests. After they establish their nest they begin burrowing and making paths. The paths they create link their nests to their food sources. They compose their nest out of any soft material they can find, but most commonly leaves, paper, and grass. Mice live in one nest for their entire life. They will only search for a new nesting area if their food source becomes scarce.
The average house mouse’s life span is 9 to 12 months. They can be ready to reproduce after 40 days from birth and they can mate year – round. Young are usually born 19 to 21 days after mating and are mature in about 6 weeks. A mother mouse’s litter size on average is 10 to 12. At birth, they are hairless and have closed eyelids and ears.
They can fit through cracks and holes that are about a ¼ inch, roughly the size of a dime. Preventative measures should be taken to ensure that mice don’t find and easy way to enter your home. Cracks, crevices, and gaps that can be used as entry points should be sealed as necessary.
A mouse can jump down from a height of 12 feet without injury.
Mice are capable of leaping at least 12 inches vertically.
Since mice can fit through openings as small as 1/4 inch in diameter, it’s virtually impossible to completely mouse-proof any building.
Sure-footed climbers, mice can easily scale any vertical surface that is textured or rough enough to allow a toehold.