This page deals mainly with residential rodent control, for commercial rodent control please follow this link
A single pair of rats or mice can have 6 to 10 sets of 6 to 10 young per year. These offspring are capable of reproducing in as little as 2 months. If half of the offspring are female this would give you 5 more breeding females in two months. In 60 more days, their offspring would produce 250 more breeding females. In 60 more days, over a thousand breeding females. The only things that limit rat population growth are the availability of food, predators, and pest control. This is known as population pressure and it is leading reason why rats infest homes and will eat almost anything.
Rats mark everywhere the go with urine. Chemicals in the urine tell stories to other rats - think about how a dog smells where other dogs have 'gone'. These scents tell other rats 'I am male', 'I am dominant', 'I am happy', 'I am female', 'I am in heat', 'I am stressed'. There are many, many, signals in rat urine. They tell other rats where they go for food and water, where predators live, and where home is. If you have had rats these scents lead to your home. If you haven't had rats - relax, rats inspect all homes in their neighborhood for food potential and nesting potential - they'll get to you sooner or later. All neighborhoods have rats.
If you have had your home inspected for rodent access and your home has been rodent proofed, you are a step ahead in keeping rodents away, however, experience has shown that what was rodent proofed today is not always rodent proofed tomorrow AND that 'rodent proofed' often depends on how badly the rodents want back in.
A few years ago, we spent a month and charged over $10,000 to rodent proof a townhome community. Within 90 days the many of the buildings were no longer rodent proof.
Workers installing cable in two buildings, a heat pump in another, and a sump pump discharge line in yet another, had damaged sub area vents. Two additional vents had somehow gotten kicked in, by children playing, or by landscaping people. One other building had a piece of trim board fall off. 7 buildings out of 13 were no longer rodent proof in 90 days. Additionally many of these buildings now have tree limbs and vines growing over onto the roof structure and none of these buildings will be rodent proof until the vegetation has been cut back.
In areas of heavy rat population they have been known to follow cable and phone lines from utility poles to roof tops and even climb the downspouts and chew holes through the eaves or roof to get in. Rodent teeth are far stronger than wood framing or thin cedar shingles or shakes. A rat can easily chew it's way into a roof in one evening. They can also burrow several feet below the ground to come up in your sub area.
Residential Rodent Control Programs always involve inspection. It is important to inspect the home to make sure that there no obvious signs of rodent entry areas, activity, or conducive conditions.
Many programs will involve the installation of Class 1, child and pet resistant rodent bait / trap stations on the exterior. This is the highest safety rating in the industry. These stations are weighted (attached to or containing concrete blocks) to make them difficult for pets and small children to move, and they are locked, to keep the contents secure. Additionally, if baited, the bait will be placed on a containment rod to keep rodents from bringing out more bait than they can chew off and hold in their mouths.
About rodent bait: For more information and safety precautions concerning rodent baits.
Having said all that - we prefer to place rodent bait / trap stations that have rodent bait in them - in areas away from where pets frequent and young children play. Not because they pose a great risk - but because we want to be 'above and beyond' safe.
Instead, if control is needed in these areas, we prefer to use traps in the control stations instead. Traps are not as effective as bait - but have some advantages. About trapping rodents: describes how traps work, when they work, and when they stop working.
In addition to the exterior inspection, and the exterior rodent control station installation and maintenance, a rodent control program may include inspections of garages, sub areas, and roof voids, and maintenance of interior rodent control devices. Ask your technician for all of your available options. Costs will vary depending on if we have to get inside access every time and how much service time you desire.
Rodent control programs work for hundreds of your neighbors in helping to keep the population of rodents under control in their area. They can be stand alone programs, or the programs can include insect control as well. Many programs include spiders, crawling insects, such as ants, and stinging insects like wasps.
To meet state pest control guidelines, rodent control materials must either be checked on a regular basis, preferably quarterly or more often, but at the very least, every six months - or they must be removed.
Because rodent control materials must be removed, by law, our last trip to any home will include removing these materials, letting us know prior to our last service at your home, can save you an extra service fee for a technician's extra trip to your home to retrieve them.