RATS & MICE

Mice and rats in Thurston County homes and other structures may cause issues year-round, but infestations increase significantly when the weather gets cooler and food sources diminish outdoors. Rats are very skilled at living alongside humans and often go unnoticed until the population expands. They are very prolific.
Mice and rats in Thurston County homes and other structures may cause issues year-round, but infestations increase significantly when the weather gets cooler and food sources diminish outdoors. Rats are very skilled at living alongside humans and often go unnoticed until the population expands. They are very prolific.

Pest Name: Rat

Scientific Name: Rattus Rattus (Roof Rat), Rattus Norvegicus (Brown Rat or Norway Rat)

Signs of a rat infestation

Hearing noises or seeing droppings, damage caused in their wake or the rat itself scurrying by are the most common signs homeowners observe. Rodents are active year-round. During warmer months they will primarily feed and nest outside. In cooler months, they must seek out new warmer areas. As a result this draws them into crawl spaces and attics to avoid the cold weather.

Characteristics and General Information

Did you know that a group of rats is called a “mischief”? These medium sized, long-tailed rodents carry many diseases, which make them a public health concern. Their teeth are constantly growing so they are always chewing on something. In fact, the word “rodent” comes from the French word “rodere” which means “to gnaw”.

Throughout the years, our technicians have observed an array of extensive damage caused by rats. This includes chewing through pipes, vent screens and electrical wiring to pop machines in restaurants and auto engine compartments of vehicles at auto dealerships. Destruction to insulation and material in attics and sub-areas are highly common. The destruction is also accompanied with fecal matter and urine which linger after they have been eliminated from that area. As a direct result, this acts as a calling card to other rats passing by.

Rats are nocturnal rodents that are highly skilled at staying out of sight. This often allows their presence to go completely unnoticed for extensive amounts of time.

Many years ago, the Norway Rat was most common in Thurston County. Norway Rats are larger and travel closer to the ground. This makes them more susceptible to predators and causing roadways to limit their territories.  About 20 years ago, the Roof Rat was first introduced to this area. They can now can be found in all areas of the county (and surrounding counties).

Roof Rats are skilled climbers and travel high up using tree branches, electrical lines and rooftops. As a result this allows them to better conceal themselves and avoid predators and other factors that otherwise limited the Norway Rat’s mobility.

 Control Measures

When a rodent infestation has been identified, several steps are needed in order to achieve long term control.

  1. Thorough inspection to identify entry points.
  2. Sealing up entry points to reduce opportunities for rats to enter your home.
  3. Trap to remove the current population.
  4. Reduce conditions around your home that make it appealing to rats, such as food (bird seed and pet food) and harborage areas
  5. Prevent future infestations through regular inspections and baiting to reduce exterior populations.

Prevention Measures

The easiest way to “control” any pest problem is not to let it start in the first place. Rat issues are no exception. Regular inspections and baiting to reduce exterior populations are steps your pest control technician can take. Additional things which you can do to help prevent rodents in and around your home are:

  • Make sure vent screens, crawl space access panel, etc. remain secure and in place to prevent rodents from entering your structure.
  • Eliminate food sources, such as bird seed and pet food
  • Store all pet food in sealed containers
  • Keep tree branches and bushes trimmed back so that they’re not in contact with your home’s structure
Mice in Thurston County homes and other structures may cause issues year-round, but infestations increase significantly when the weather gets cooler and food sources diminish outdoors. Mice are very skilled at living alongside humans and often go unnoticed until the population expands. They are very prolific.
Mice in Thurston County homes and other structures may cause issues year-round, but infestations increase significantly when the weather gets cooler and food sources diminish outdoors. Mice are very skilled at living alongside humans and often go unnoticed until the population expands. They are very prolific.

Pest Name: Mice

Scientific Name: Mus domesticus (house mouse), Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mouse)

Signs of an Infestation

Hearing noises or seeing droppings, damage they’ve caused or a mouse itself scurrying by are the most common signs homeowners observe. Rodents are active year-round. During warmer months they will primarily feed and nest outside. In cooler months, they must seek out new warmer areas, drawing them into crawl spaces and attics to avoid the cold weather.

Characteristics and General Information

Mice are small rodents that are skilled jumpers, climbers and swimmers. They are extremely versatile and can get through a hole as small as the size of a dime.

Control Measures

When a mouse infestation has been identified, several steps are needed to achieve long term control.

  1. Thorough inspection to identify entry points.
  2. Seal up entry points to reduce opportunities for mice to enter your home.
  3. Trap to remove the current population.
  4. Reduce conditions around your home that make it appealing to mice, such as food (bird seed and pet food) and harborage areas
  5. Prevent future infestations through regular inspections and baiting to reduce exterior populations.

Prevention Measures

The easiest way to “control” any pest problem is to not let it start in the first place. Regular inspections and baiting to reduce exterior populations are steps your pest control technician can take. Additional things which you can do to help prevent rodents in and around your home are:

  • Make sure vent screens, crawl space access panel, etc. remain secure and in place. Seal or screen off all other holes and openings.
  • Eliminate food sources, such as bird seed and pet food
  • Store all pet food in sealed containers
  • Keep tree branches and bushes trimmed back so that they’re not in contact with your home’s structure