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What Chicago Residents Should Know About Mice, Rats, And Rodents
Rodent is a classification utilized in reference to mammals, with incisors that continuously grow. Rodents – mouse and rat – infiltrate residential and commercial establishments, in search of shelter, water, and food. Thousands of rodent infestations are reported in Chicago each year. These cases mostly pertain to the rat and mouse – deer mouse and house mouse.
Rodent Species – House Mouse
The adult grows up to 4.3 inches (11 centimeters) in length, with a grayish/tan to brown coat. In controlled environments, the house mouse weighs just a little over 1 ounce (30 grams). The ears have rounded tips, while the tiny pink nose is pointy. For a small mammal, the eyes are quite large, as well as the ears.
The house mouse’s fecal droppings range between black and dark brown. The shape is like that of a cooked granule of rice, with rounded tips. The tail is covered with a thin layer of fur.
Rodent Species – Deer Mouse
The adult grows up to 3.8 inches in length, slightly shorter than the house mouse. In controlled environments, the adult deer mouse weighs an average of 0.72 ounces. Again, slightly lighter than the deer mouse. The body ranges between brown and grayish/brown in color. The abdomen is white or off-white.
The eyes are black, glossy, and extremely difficult to ignore. The ears have rounded tips, while the nose is only slightly pointy. While the weight and length are slightly lower than the house mouse, the tail is significantly longer. Like the house mouse, the deer mouse’s tail is covered with a thin layer of fur.
Most Common Sign Of A Rodent Infestation
What is generally the first sign of a rodent infestation? It depends on the location and rodent species. More witnesses report fecal droppings, compared to any other obvious sign of a rodent infestation. Witnesses claim to have detected fecal droppings in kitchen cabinets and pantries, on food preparation surfaces, near garbage bins, and nesting areas.
Other signs of a rodent infestation include the following:
- Live rodents in high-risk areas
- Scurrying and gnawing noises
- Damaged food packages and containers
- Nests constructed from twigs, household waste, and other materials
- Structural damage caused by constant gnawing
Characteristics Of Mouse Fecal Material
As mentioned previously, mouse droppings are shaped like a cooked rice granule. The main difference between the mouse’s fecal droppings and cooked rice granule is color. Cooked rice ranges between white and brown, depending on the type, and the fecal dropping is black to dark brown in color.
The fecal dropping measures between 0.5 and 0.63 centimeters. Generally, no larger than ¼ of an inch long.
Are Mouse Droppings A Health Hazard To Humans?
Yes, mouse and rat fecal droppings are contaminated with various types of bacteria. The contaminated feces have been associated with Lassa fever, leptospirosis, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, rat-bite fever, and plague. These illnesses are spread through contaminated food and water.
Protecting your non-refrigerated food supply is crucial, whether your home is infested or not. Rodents can find their way into your home at any time. However, rodents hibernate throughout the winter, at which time, their activity level is at a minimum. With this said, rat and mouse activity levels are moderate to all-year-round, since the adult female is always in heat.
Mice And Structural Damage
Mice and rats pose a danger to the structural components that make up your home. The rodents’ continuous gnawing results in damage to structural components – siding, flooring, subflooring, drywall, studs, kitchen cabinets, and walls. The severity of the structural damage increases when a rodent infestation is present. The damage caused by one mouse, compared to two or more mice is significantly different.
Mice And Fire Hazard
Is the house mouse a fire hazard in residential and commercial settings? Yes, thanks to the rodents’ continuous gnawing. Rats and mice do not give much thought to their gnawing habits. They just know the desire to gnaw is too high to ignore. The rodents will gnaw on anything from furniture to children’s toys to décor to structural components. They will also gnaw on electrical wiring, without realizing the damage.
Rodents have been known to die from electrocution due to gnawing on hot electrical wires. Once the protectant layer is gnawed away, the hot electrical wires are exposed to the elements. If flammable materials encounter the naked electrical wiring, the outcome may be a fire.
Thousands of house fires across the globe are linked to electrical wiring exposure.
Health Risks Of A Rat Infestation
A rat infestation poses health risks to every occupant of the impacted homes. This is especially true when the occupants are in the dark about the rat infestation. It is unfortunate, but some property owners are in denial when it comes to a rodent infestation. Even when the signs are everywhere throughout their home, these individuals refuse to admit they have a rat problem.
How do rodent-borne illnesses spread? These diseases and viruses spread through several routes:
- Contaminated urine and fecal droppings
- Contaminated food surfaces (when preparing meals, contaminants integrate into the ingredients)
- Fecal dropping contaminants on surfaces, where food is served
What Is The Most Effective Rat & Mouse Management Strategy?
Professional pest control is highly recommended for both home infiltration and infestation of mice and rats. Our professional rat management is specifically angled at population control in Chicago. Our goal is and has always been to minimize the number of new rodent infestation cases. Unfortunately, we have not always been successful. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and techniques, we are better prepared to take on any rodent infestation.
When Will The Exterminator Be Available To Conduct A Rodent Inspection In Chicago?
We are conveniently located in the heart of Chicago, giving us quick access to the Business District and residential neighborhoods. This combined with a speedy pest control service request processing provides our customer support with the resources needed to ensure an expedited response.
Does Professional Rodenticide Contain Harmful Ingredients?
Chemical-based rodenticides do contain ingredients that are questionable. Our goal is to protect the environment and our clients from unnecessary chemical exposure before, during, and after each treatment. One way we do this is by requiring all occupants of the impacted home to vacate before each treatment. In addition to this safety measure, we always heed the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Our rodenticide product line consists of only brands approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The federal agency is adamant about environmental safety when it comes to the administration, transportation, and production of rodenticides.
How Can Chicago Residents Protect Their Properties From Repeat Rodent Infestation?
There are several things you can do to help protect your home or business from a future rodent infiltration and infestation. The first step targets your vulnerable pest barrier, a compilation of structural components that work together to keep rodents outside. Doors, windows, walls, siding, roofing systems, floors, and ceilings are just a few examples. When these structural components are in need to repair, they fail as a pest barrier.
Seal all small openings with a waterproof sealant – caulk or silicone. Medium-sized openings should be sealed with a stainless-steel scouring pad or metal screen. The rodents will be deterred from gnawing through these metal components.
Large openings need a more complex approach – custom-fit metal sheeting.
About Our Mice & Rat Removal Services In Chicago
Mice and rat infestations can complicate things for home and business owners. Our job is to eradicate the problem, before it forces those living and working in these establishments to vacate. We work with you to devise a treatment plan that is guaranteed to eradicate the problem in a timely manner. As consumers, family people and homeowners, we understand the stress that you are under to remove the mice, before they disrupt your normal routine. The first step is to contact our office to request a free in-home inspection.
The Initial Inspection
The inspection is a process utilized to determine if an establishment is infested with mice and/or rats. These critters do not discriminate, as they will take up residence just about anywhere. If they can access a warm place to eat, sleep and drink, they will do just that. And, once they have moved in, they have not intensions of ever leaving.
During the inspection process, a member from our Chicago extermination team will thoroughly inspect your home or business, looking for signs of a mice infestation. Our inspectors will typically start in the kitchen or dining area, because this is where mice tend to make their nests. If your home is infested, the inspector will detect fecal droppings, damaged food containers and chew marks on walls near plumbing pipes and other forms of access.
Learning The Signs
We highly recommend learning the signs of a mice infestation. To help you with this task, our technician will provide you with a short educational course. At the end of the course, you will be free to ask questions and provide insight. Getting involved is the best way to help our team eradicate the rat infestation in your Chicago residence.
Why Hiring Us Is Smart
We can provide you with many reasons why you should hire us to eradicate the mice that are overtaking your home. We only hire technicians and exterminators that are fully qualified to detect and treat infestations. To ensure our customers that our team is prepared to undertake even the most severe infestation, we require each member to complete bi-annual educational and safety courses.
- We offer competitive prices to all residents living in Chicago.
- We offer same-day in-home inspections.
- We conduct pre-employment and routine drug tests.
- We only utilize the top insecticides and other anti-infestation products.
- We encourage our customers to get involved from the very beginning.
- We never perform a service without a written contract.
- We are fully licensed and insured.
Ready To Get Started Right Now?
Today is the day to act. We’re ready and we can get rid of those pests quicker than anyone. Call us today and we’ll take care of the problem as soon as possible.