According to a 2017 survey by the National Pest Management Association, more than one-third of all Americans had encountered a rodent in their home in the previous year. Thats why many people may have found themselves searching for a mouse exterminator to get rid of the pests in their homes. But you might be wondering how exactly exterminators get rid of mice.
Thats why today well discuss what mice exterminator experts do to solve your rodent problem (as well as what you can do to prepare for their visit). But first, lets take a look at what exactly attracts rodents to your property in the first place.
The three main things that mice look for when they invade a home are food, water, and shelter. If mice find these things in your home, theyll set up nests and breed, which can lead to a serious mouse problem over time. Once a rodent infestation starts, it can be very difficult to get rid of.
While homeowners can typically handle a rodent infestation without bringing in the professionals, you may end up having to ask for help. Dont be afraid to call a mouse extermination expert to deal with your mouse problem before it becomes an epidemic.
When a qualified mouse exterminator comes to your home, there are certain things that you can be certain theyll do. Lets take a look at those actions and why theyre important.
Mice dont need very large entry points to get into your home. Most breeds can fit into holes as small as a dime, which means that any cracks, dents, or weak points will have to be sealed to prevent entry.
One of the first things an exterminator does is search the exterior and interior of your home for easy entry points. Theyll then apply wire mesh, hardware cloth, or sheet metal to the smaller entry points to prevent rodents from getting in. Surprisingly enough, these entry points often include utility pipes and vents. They will also advise you on the best ways to seal larger holes (those over 1.5 in./3.8 cm in diameter).
For you DIY problem solvers, avoid using caulk, plastic, rubber, or wood seals in any entry points you might find. Mice can gnaw through these materials. Weatherstripping for doors and window gaps also helps form a seal against rodent entry.
If you catch an infestation early enough, a mouse exterminator may recommend placing at least a dozen mouse traps around your home. Theyll often set up a variety of different trap types around your kitchen, bathrooms, attic, and basement. This is because different traps work on different mice. Glue boards, snap traps, and the different kinds of live capture traps will help control smaller populations without adding harmful chemicals to your home.
If the infestation is large enough, then these traps will only put a small dent in the population, leading us to the next step.
Bait stations may be similar to traps, but they kill rodents by providing easily accessible poisoned food. Some homeowners might not see the value in these stations. It might seem like they would attract more pests than they kill, but their effects on a nest or colony are impressive, killing the rodents quickly over time.
After these bait stationsreduce the size of the colony, exterminators will then be able to track the rodents to their nests. They can remove their bodies before further pest, hygiene, or odor problems begin to affect your home.
Some companies go straight to bait stations and only use traps as a secondary control method.
Finally, if an infestation is severe enough, the mouse exterminator may call for fumigation to tackle the problem.
This is a control method that can only be carried out by a professional. Its only used as a last resort.
In some places, home fumigation is illegal. In these areas, you can only use fumigants in outdoor burrows, grain storage structures, warehouses, and train cars.
If you live in a place where residential fumigation is legal, you, your family, and your pets will have to leave your home for several days. This will give the exterminator time to spray the poison designed to wipe out entire colonies of mice.
Fumigation is a last resort for many exterminators since the procedure is expensive and dangerous. Youll have to spend some time cleaning your counters and surfaces afterward to make sure that they are safe to use. But if you are considering fumigation, here are a few things you should know.
Since your home will be full of poison, you and your family wont be able to stay there until the exterminator tells you its safe. That means youll need to have someplace to stay. Most families stay with family or close friends for a few days. If thats not an option, you may have to consider staying in a hotel.
Whatever you do, make sure that you have the essentials for your stay away from home. If you have to work, consider bringing extra clothes and any equipment that you might need. If thats not possible, consider letting your employer know that youll need a few days off. Alternately, you can always plan your fumigation around your days off or perhaps on the weekend (if the pest control company works on the weekend, of course).
Make sure that you notify the gas company that you are planning to fumigate your home. Your gas should be turned off at a certain point before fumigation. Make arrangements to also have it turned back on when its safe. Your exterminator will give you this information.
Additionally, before you leave the house, turn off, or better yet, unplug any electric heaters and air conditioning units. Turn off any pilot lights as well.
Fumigation works best when the gas can spread throughout your home. You might be surprised by how much a closed door can limit the spread of gas through your home. Any closed doors will leave safe zones that rodents can use to escape and protect themselves, which defeats the purpose of the procedure.
Its also important to leave any doors leading to basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and attics open. These are the rooms that are most likely to have rodent populations. Leave all cabinets, closets, and drawers open as well.
Unless youre willing to replace your food and consumables, youll have to seal them in air-tight containers. Items in the fridge that arent stored securely (e.g. double-bagged) wont be safe to eat when you return. Ask your exterminator if canned goods will require extra protection beyond a thorough washing before use.
Your mice exterminator will need to have access to your home. This means theyll need a copy of your keys to enter, leave, and secure your home during treatment. Be sure you work with them to make a plan for the safe storage of your keys as well as for easy pickup when the fumigation is complete.
You might be wondering what chemicals are actually used when a mouse exterminator fumigates your home. So well take a look at them below. This list contains the most common chemicals used in fumigation.
This chemical is often converted into a powder that, when introduced to water, produces a toxic gas.
This chemical causes the respiratory system to fail, often by filling the lungs with fluid.
This chemical is often used against insects. Thanks to its mode of action, it can be equally effective against rodents. In a confined space, carbon dioxide release results in a reduction of breathable air, effectively suffocating any animals inside that space. Furthermore, it doesnt leave any chemical residue behind.
This chemical is commonly used in farming. Its powerful toxin is dangerous to humans and depletes ozone. As a result, its use is now limited and its no longer manufactured. Thus, its unlikely to appear in fumigation in the future.
This chemical disrupts animal metabolism. Its dangerous to humans if inhaled.
Released as an aerosol (liquid spray), this chemical was used in World War I as a chemical agent. You cant use it in agriculture because of the potential for food contamination.
This chemical is sold as a solid that reacts with moisture in the air to produce a toxic gas that is fatal when inhaled. Its also explosive even at low concentrations.
This chemical, formed during rubber production, is toxic to all types of life, acting on the respiratory system. Agricultural settings often use this chemical to fumigate the soil.
Often used in agriculture, this chemical can be toxic to people and animals if inhaled or eaten. Its also a skin irritant. Keep in mind that its use has been limited in some areas.
This more commonly known chemical has the unique property of boiling at room temperature. It has an almond scent that makes it easy to detect and kills by disrupting the respiratory system. Its also an acid, which is corrosive on contact.
This chemical affects cell growth and division, causing death in rodents.
What can we learn from all of this? If you or someone you know has ever wondered how exterminators get rid of mice, the above guide should help clear things up. By using a variety of repellent, obstructive, and exterminating strategies and products, mouse extermination experts will be able to remove these pests from your home. Since every exterminator is different, you should ask questions to see what they can do for you and what chemicals theyll use in their treatment.
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How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Mice? | INSECT COP