If you read Stuart Little as a kid, you probably had one of two reactions to it. You loved the idea of having a talking mouse move into your home or you hated the idea of a furry rodent running around. Either way, now that you’re grown, and regardless of how you feel about mice, you know enough to know that having them in your home is not something to be happy about.
In East Texas, we have four main varieties of mice and rats that might try to move into your home. Once inside they can cause all kinds of damage and health hazards, so it’s important to be proactive in preventing their entry. Below we’ll discuss these four rodents, why fall is the time you need to be most on guard against them, and the signs that they may have already entered your home.
Varieties Of Mice & Rats In East Texas
Deer mice are very small with gray or light brown fur on their backs and white fur on their bellies. They have big ears and pointy noses. Deer mice like to build nests in warm areas with small openings. When they enter a home, they often build their nests within the wall.
House mice are larger than deer mice and can also have light brown or gray fur. Their bellies are a lighter color and they have smaller ears and big feet. As their name implies, house mice like to live in houses, but will also live in any area which provides shelter from predators.
Norway rats are about twice as big as house mice and have very long tails. They have shaggy gray or brown fur. Norway rats are social animals that live in underground burrows with other rats.
Roof rats are a little bit smaller than Norway rats and have dark brown or black fur. They have long ears and drag their tails when they walk. Roof rats prefer to nest in higher elevations, like in trees, on top of wood piles, or in attics.
Why You Should Watch For Rodents In Fall
As with many animals, as the temperature begins to drop, mice and rats begin to look for a place to live that offers warmth, security, water, and food. Many times they’ll find what they’re looking for in people’s homes. It is very important to be vigilant in the autumn months to avoid a rodent infestation.
To prevent rodents from entering your home, there are several things you can do, both outdoors and indoors, to make your home less appealing:
- Outside, keep your lawn well-maintained. An overgrown lawn offers plenty of cover for mice and rats to hide. Cut back any vegetation that touches your home to make it harder for mice and roof rats to get onto your house. Seal up cracks, holes, and gaps around your foundation and walls. Cover all vents and cap your chimney.
- Inside, keep food tightly stored and put away. Clean up spills and messes as soon as they happen. Remove garbage frequently. Keep clutter to a minimum to prevent hiding places. Consider getting a cat.
Signs They’ve Already Entered Your Home
If you think mice or rats have already entered your home, it can be difficult to tell. They aren’t likely to run around during the day or out in the open where you’ll see them. There are some signs of their presence though.
Droppings are a telltale sign of a rodent invasion. If you find small, dark rod-like objects lying around, you most likely have mice or rats in your home. Hearing scratching in your walls is another sign of rodents. Finding chew marks on items in your home, holes in bags of food, and holes in your walls are other signs of a rodent infestation. Nests are a sure sign that rodents have entered your home.
If you see any of these signs, the time for prevention has passed and you must move into the removal phase. Mice and rats can move deep into parts of your home, which is why it’s important to get professional help to treat rodent infestations in your home.
Innovative Pest Control offers solutions that help homeowners stop access to the water, shelter, and food that rodents need, eliminate existing rodents in your home, and prevent future infestations. If you fear you already have a rodent problem, don’t wait for it to get worse, call Innovative Pest Control today.