Celebrating Our 32nd Year - 1981-2013 - Our 16th Year on the Web - 1997-2013
Attention California, USA residents: We do not ship pesticide products to your state. However, items that are not pesticides including traps and products containing US EPA exempt products such as castor oil and garlic, are still available for shipment into California. Click here to view a brief explanation of our new policy.
Mice, Rats and Their Control
Photo Courtesy of Univar USA
Mice Vs. Rats
Although some people think of mice and rats as child and parent, these two are different organisms. Their biology is different and their life history is different. Therefore, it's important to point out a few key distinguishing characteristics.
The body of a mouse will grow from as little as 2" to as much as 3-1/2" when fully grown. The rat's body will be as small as 7" but grow to a length of nearly 10".
Mice will weight as little as 1/2 ounce to to up to 1 ounce whereas a large rat may weigh more than a pound. Color will vary in both mice and rats though they are most commonly seen as gray to brown.
A mouse will squeeze through an opening as small as 1/4". A rat manages to get through an opening as small as 1/2". Both rodents have poor eyesight and rely on their acute sense of smell and hearing to compensate.
Management of Rodent Problems
A first step that is helpful in rodent management is cleaning up the existing rodent droppings; it provides a starting point to gauge the effectiveness of a control program.
Be cautious in the process of removing rodent droppings from any area. Rodent droppings and the dust surrounding them may contain disease organisms which are harmful to people or their pets. Be sure to wet the target area down with either any antibacterial cleaner or an alcohol based antibacterial solution before attempting removal to minimize dust entering into the air while cleaning. Use a damp cloth or paper towel for the actual removal to further minimize the chance of dust becoming airborne. In cases of heavy infestation, a good quality respirator should be used as well.
Vacuuming is not recommended with a HEPA filter because the vacuum motor could blow hazardous particles into the air. If it is necessary to use a vacuum in an area, keep the motor as far away as possible and be sure the exhaust stream is blowing away from the cleanup site.
The most effective means employed to control rodent is exclusion. If openings are eliminated, in most cases, rodents cannot get into a structure. However, sometimes a dirt floor may exist inside a structure to which a burrowing rodent may find entry. Exclusion or rodent-proofing, requires strong material through which rodents may not be able to gnaw such as concrete, sheet metal, coarse grade steel wool, hardware cloth and crushed glass. We sell a repair product called Stuf-fit, a copper mesh that is malleable and rust proof, for this purpose.
Another thing that can be in the category of exclusion is to repel rodents away. Although discontinued, we have some remaining stock of a mouse and rat repellent called Rat-A-Way. This product may be placed outdoors around garbage bags and other areas to repel mice or rats. Some customers have used the product on the ground in areas under bird feeders to discourage rats attracted to fallen bird seed.
The next step in controlling rodents is eliminating food sources. People are often surprised to find out that foodstuffs that had long been forgotten are the source of food for rodents. The bird seed up in the attic or in the garage or a box of food which fell down behind a shelf somewhere. Therefore, it is important to seek those things out. Also, any food in boxes or bags as well as the daily garbage must be protected by placing these items into impervious containers of metal or glass.
The final step in the process of creating a rodent free environment is eliminating existing infestations from a structure. Trapping is an effective rodent control technique. There are humane traps such as Havahart TM Traps which can trap mice without harming them but require frequent monitoring. Multiple catch traps such as Victor Tin Cat and Ketch-All may also capture rodents without harming them, but also require frequent monitoring. Snap traps and glue traps may also be used to quickly and effectively deal with rodent problems.
The most common rodent control technique is the application of rodenticide bait. Most products used today are anti-coagulant type baits. These kill the rodent by thinning the blood until the animal hemorrhages internally. The animal suffers some dizziness, then dies from the loss of blood. Elimination of rodent using anticoagulants typically takes from five to ten days.
Because the federal government has mandated changes affecting the sales of small amounts of rodenticide starting June 4, 2011, we currently do not have a product that we can sell to our customer. Prebaited rodent stations will be available in the near future. If you need a large amount of rodenticide (16 pounds or greater), please contact us for pricing. All rodenticides used outdoors must now be placed in a rodent bait station to prevent non-target animals from consuming them. We offer those for sale as well.
An alternative to using baits outdoors is The Giant Destroyer. This products is a smoke cartridge which contains sulfur which is ignited with a wick to create poisonous sulfur dioxide smoke as it burns. The burning cartridge is placing into active rodent burrows. The smoke will kill rats living in the burrow.
If you need more information, you can click here to view our product page or call us at 800-433-1128 or 845-356-2837. You may also send us a fax at 845-746-9018. Or send E-mail to us at email@example.com.
Most Recent Site Update: 04/2013 - Copyright 1997-2013