Rodent Control FAQ

What are the main ways to get rid of rodents?

There are numerous ways to get rid of rodents and not all of them are effective, safe, or practical. Traps (either snap traps or traps that capture the rodent without killing it) are a popular DIY choice. Some people use bait and rodenticide to poison rodents. Eliminating entry points is a good way to keep rodents out of your home, but won’t necessarily get rid of an existing infestation. The list can go on and on!

Traps are messy — Can I just use poison?

Poison poses two major problems. First, if you have pets such as dogs or cats, they can get into the poison. Even if you think your pet is well-behaved enough to not eat poison or the poison is out of their reach, they might bite a dead or dying rodent and ingest the poison that way, causing serious and sometimes fatal problems.

Secondly, poison offers the opportunity for a mouse or rat to consume the poison and die somewhere that is difficult to get to. You may not like having rodents in your home, but you will like the smell of decaying rodents even less.

Finally, if you have a rodent problem outside and decide to place rodenticide outside of your home, you could be held liable if a neighbor’s pet eats it and gets sick or dies.

This is another reason to use Earthwise Pest Management as your rodent control specialists. If we need to set any traps, we will continue to monitor them and clean up any messes caused by them so you do not have to see or touch anything.

Can I use ultrasonic sound to get rid of rodents?

An ultrasonic rodent repellent that emits a high-pitched sound that humans cannot hear seems like the perfect solution to a rat or mouse problem. It will simply scare the rodents out of the home and nobody gets hurt, right?

Unfortunately, these devices are not all they are cracked up to be. First of all, if you have rodents as pets, such as hamsters or guinea pigs, they are able to hear the ultrasonic sound as well, subjecting them to auditory distress. Secondly, ultrasound does not travel through walls. This means the rodents might simply move to another room rather than out of the door.

How do rodents spread disease?

Rodents are known for spreading several diseases to humans including the plague. Some diseases that rodents spread are transferred directly through contact with rodents or their waste. Some diseases can even be contracted by breathing in dust that has rodent urine or feces in it. Other diseases are spread indirectly to humans through ticks or fleas that have feasted on an infected rodent.

Examples of diseases spread directly by rodents include hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, leptospirosis, plague, rat-bite fever, and salmonella, to name a few. Indirect diseases include lyme disease, endemic typhus, spotted fever, West Nile virus, and babesiosis.  

Did rats really cause the Black Death?

The Black Death was a plague that broke out in Europe in the 1300s and is known for two things: wiping out over a third of Europe’s population and being spread by rats. As we learn more about how rats spread diseases to humans, it turns out that only one of those things listed above might be true. As it turns out, 14th century people might have needed flea and lice control more than rat control!

In a mathematical study performed based on the evidence we know, researches compared three hypothetical ways the plague could have spread. The first is what has always been assumed: rats gave the bacteria to fleas who gave it to humans. The second situation involved the plague traveling through airborne particles. And finally, the third and now most believed situation based on the findings: human fleas and body lice hopped around from person to person, spreading the disease.

How do I know if I have rats or mice?

The easiest way to know if you have mice or rats is if you actually see the little critters. House mice are small and usually light brown in color. Their heads are rather large in comparison to their body and they are very curious creatures. Rats, on the other hand, are much larger and can range from light brown to almost black in color. However, young rats often look like adult mice, so seeing what you believe to be a cute little house mouse could actually be a sign that there is a mother rat and several more babies in the buildings.

One of the best ways to distinguish mice from rats without actually seeing them is by their droppings. House mouse droppings are typically ¼” long and have tapered ends, whereas rat droppings can be up closer to ¾-1” in length with rounded edges.

Of course, if you don’t want to get up close and personal with rodent poo, you can always give Earthwise a call. Our Sacramento rodent control specialists can look at all the signs, perform a thorough inspection, and determine the type and extent of the infestation you have. From there, they can determine the best method of treatment to get rid of an existing infestation and prevent future ones from occurring.

Will a rodent attack me if I try to capture it?

Yes! If you try to capture a rodent — especially a rat, which are typically more defensive than mice — it can absolutely bite you. Rats will actually leap at a person who corners them and their teeth can easily puncture the skin. This can infect a human with any of the diseases we listed above, including rabies, if the rodent is infected.

Should I get a cat to handle my rodent problem?

This question depends on a few things. The biggest factor is do you want to risk your cat dropping dead mice at the foot of your bed? Most likely, the answer is no.

Cats that are kept outdoors and not regularly fed pet food often rely on natural instincts to catch prey like mice and rats. For this reason, many people who have gardens, barns, and chicken coops like to keep a feisty cat or two on their property.

However, your beloved family pet who is well-fed every day is likely not going to do much for your rodent problem. In fact, if you leave cat food out, it is likely that you are feeding both Tom and Jerry, so to speak.

How do I know if I have a rodent infestation?

There are several tell-tale signs of a rodent infestation. This obviously includes seeing one of the furry critters in your home or finding rodent droppings. Less apparent signs can include chewed electrical cords (which can create a fire hazard), pantry items with holes chewed in the packaging, a foul and lingering odor indicative of rodent waste, or hearing scurrying at night in the walls or attic.

If you suspect a rodent problem, get in touch with Earthwise Pest Management. We can send out a Sacramento rodent control specialist to perform an inspection and get a better understanding of any rat or mice problems you may have.

Why do rodents like my home?

Rodents like your home because it is warm, has food and water, and provides shelter. Rodents, like us, need certain things to survive and your home has them all. While you obviously cannot rid your home of food and warmth, you can take steps to prevent rodents from getting into your house in the first place. In fact, that’s where Earthwise comes in!

Where can I find rodent control in Sacramento?

You already found it! At Earthwise, our rodent control specialists are experts in understanding how and why rodents are entering your home. They might suggest simple fixes like changing the way you store your food or trash. They might also suggest patching up cracks and holes that are allowing the rodents to enter the premises. Of course, if we set any traps while providing you with our Sacramento rodent control services, we will monitor the traps for you so you never have to think about them.

In short, we are your full-service pest control specialists! If you are experiencing a rat or mouse problem, get in touch with our rodent control specialists today.