There are 3 main species of rodent currently in Frisco, the Norway rat, roof rat, and house mouse.
The largest and most robust rodent with brownish/grayish fur and a fur-less tail shorter than its body. They produce 4 to 6 litters per year and average of about 8 young per litter. The Norway rat lives one-to-two years and reaches productive maturity at 3 months. Norway rats typically burrow under building foundations, beneath rubbish or woodpiles and around gardens or fields. Generally, they remain in the basement or ground floor when invading a residence. Norway rats are also powerful swimmers and may enter a residence through the sewer or broken pipes.
Sleek and agile the roof rat has brownish / grayish fur and a fur-less tail longer than its body. They produce at least 3 litters per year and average about 6 young per litter. The roof rat lives about 1 to 2 years and reaches productive maturity at 3 months. Roof rats are adept at climbing and will nest above ground in shrubs, trees, dense vegetation such as ivy, elevated spaces in walls, attics, false ceilings, and cabinets.
The smallest of the three rodent species listed with brownish / grayish fur, small black eyes, large ears, and a long fur-less tail. They produce 13 litters per year and average of about 6 young per litter. The house mouse will live about 1 year and reaches productive maturity at 6 to 10 weeks. Due to the small size of the house mouse, they are able to enter buildings much more easily than rats and are also able to survive in smaller areas with less food and shelter available to them.
Signs of Rodent Infestation
- Droppings along walls or in cabinets and drawers
- Gnaw marks where the rodents have entered the residence or have found access to food
- Greasy smudge marks where rodents have entered the residence or rubbed along beams, pipes, rafters or walls
- Remnants of nests when moving old boxes, yard debris or junk
- Burrows dug in the landscaping or under the foundation
- Sounds such as gnawing, clawing, climbing in walls and squeaks
Rodent Prevention & Population Control
Rodent Proof Your Home
- Seal all holes, cracks and entryways around pipes, cables and wires with coarse steel wool or wire screen that the rodents cannot chew through. Holes as small as 1/4 inch will allow entry into a building. Concrete may be used to prevent rodents from burrowing under the foundation.
- Ensure all doors, windows and screens fit tightly. Repair or replace any damaged screens. Garage doors may be sealed using weather stripping.
- Cover the gnawed edges of entryways with sheet metal to prevent further chewing.
- Keep inside doors to the garage and pet doors closed at night.
- Use self-closing exits on clothes dryer vents to the outside.
- Do not forget to check roof and eaves areas and to repair or replace vent screens.
Sanitation & Prevention
- Remove trash and yard debris frequently to eliminate possible nesting areas.
- Keep grass and landscaping trimmed and away from the house.
- Do not leave pet food out. Feed only the amount your pet will finish.
- Remove dog waste daily.
- Repair water leaks or drips. Remove accidental sources of water.
- Use trash containers with secure lids.
- Keep pet food sealed and stored in rodent proof containers.
- Store boxes, firewood and equipment off the ground at least 18 inches and away from walls.
Best when a neighborhood and HOA make a unified effort at population control.
- The old fashioned snap trap is still one of the most effective means of rodent elimination
- Relatively inexpensive
- Safest method
- Must place traps where the rodents are living and traveling. This depends on the species
- Secure the trap in place
- Trapping is labor intensive
- Requires removal of the deceased rodent
- Use quality bait and keep it fresh
- Can modify the trap to be more effective by adding a larger trip plate area
- Glue traps are not recommended due to the possibility of trapping other animals by mistake
Bait Stations with Rodenticides
- Should be only used outdoors and after rodent proofing the building to prevent a rodent from dying inside.
- Use high quality bait and keep it fresh.
- Protect bait from moisture and dust.
- Provide a secure place for rodents to feed allowing them to feel secure.
- Keeps children and other animals away from the bait.
- Allows easy inspection of the bait to verify it is being eaten.
- Prevents accidental spilling.
- Allows placement of bait in locations where it would be otherwise difficult due to weather or potential hazards to non target species.
- May be purchased commercially or built at home.
- Also required to be secured in place.
- Best placed between the rodent's shelter and source of food.
Removal & Clean Up
- Place deceased rodents in a sealed plastic bag and place in the trash.
- For cleaning areas of urine or droppings:
- Wear rubber, latex or vinyl gloves.
- Soak the area with a disinfectant or bleach / water solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
- Do not sweep or vacuum the area.
- Use paper towels to remove the waste.
- Clean and disinfect the area again.
- Wash any clothing or bedding that was exposed.
- Clean any furniture and carpeting.
- Remove the gloves and wash hands with soap and water.
- Use a professional service to clean heating and cooling ventilation systems.