From the cheeseheads to the cheese curds and everything in between, it is no surprise that the word got out to rodents that Wisconsin is a wonderful place to live. Even though the rodents are here to stay, we don’t have to deal with them interfering with our homes and businesses. We simply need to implement the basic principles of Wisconsin rodent control.
Cheese and rodents just go together thanks to popular culture. It is important to know that they aren’t dependent upon cheese and many rodents will go their whole lives without ever tasting it. In reality, rats and mice are omnivorous scavengers. They will feed on whatever is readily available.
Sniffing it out
Since rodents will feed on anything they can get their jaws on, it is important to keep stored food in rodent proof containers. Many assume that something like a box of pasta is still sealed, that it is ok to put on the food storage shelf. This is hardly the case. Those that have had mice chew threw packaging to get at its contents know that mice can pick up scents through a well sealed package. Food should be secured inside of airtight and chew resistant packaging such as Tupperware and totes.
Down to the Crumbs
One thing that Hollywood has gotten right is the mouse seeking out a crumb on the floor. Rodents are masters at living off of what we discard. This includes:
- Food that falls unnoticed
- Grease that splatters on walls and cupboard sides & bottoms
- Food that collects in hard to reach places
- Grease that accumulates beneath stove tops and in appliances
- Food residue on floors, tables or counters
- Pet food that gets left out or knocked out of dishes
- Food scraps placed in trash receptacles
It is important to keep food available to mice to a minimum. They only need about 100 calories per day to live well. Not only does food keep them healthy and happy, but it also interferes with baits in the control process.
Monitoring and Identification
When it comes to controlling mice, finding out sooner is better than later. Keeping an eye out during cleaning, routine inspections, and having monitoring elements will help catch a developing situation in its early stages. Things to watch out for are:
- Chew marks on hard surfaces
- Fecal pellets
- Shredded tissues or packaging
- Chewed wires
- Nibbled food
- Scratching and scurrying sounds
Once there is evidence found that mice or rats are hanging around, the next step is to determine who is the culprit. Knowing wither it is a mouse or a rat is a starting point, but knowing whether it is a house mouse or a deer mouse or knowing whether it is a Norway rat or a roof rat makes a big difference in the control process.
Another helpful tool for monitoring and identification is tracking powder. This can be something as simple as chalk or baby powder sprinkled lightly where activity is believed to be occurring. This can help determine what is moving around as well as direction of travel. In some cases the footprints will outline the frequent pathways used.
You don’t have to wait for rodent activity to appear to start adjusting the habitat. If you make the areas inaccessible and unsuitable for them to live, you will have achieved Wisconsin rodent control already. The best place to start is exclusion. Seal off the cracks and gaps they may use to gain access to the structure. This can be:
- Entry ways
- Wiring entrance points
- Seams in the structure
- Foundation cracks
- Areas of disrepair
In addition to blocking off entry and minimizing food, it is also important to reduce clutter and places where they can hide.
Once rodents are established, baits and traps can be used to remove the population. Keep in mind that a mouse has a range of 30 feet, so a trap placed a few feet too far out of this range will go unnoticed and untouched unless something else forces the rodent in question to move. This is why both accurate monitoring and increasing pressure through habitat alteration is so important. The important thing to keep in mind when you set traps and bait stations is you want to think linear. This can be up and down, sideways, or diagonal, but rodents like to follow lines. Their whiskers or vibrassae feel walls as they go and help them develop kinetic memories of the surrounding areas. Set stations and traps so they may be entered bidirectionally from either side of a lined path.
Wisconsin Rodent Control Experts
Dealing with rodents can be a hazard to physical, mental, and emotional health. If you want help with any portion of it or want to ensure it is simply taken care of for you, reach out to the rodent control experts at Rove Pest Control. In a state with so plentiful a rodent population, it helps to have the peace of mind of a service guarantee.