Although most south Floridians welcome the cooler weather, it may draw inside several unwanted guests. As temperatures drop, rodents are more likely to invade homes looking for warmth. We can't blame them, but we also do not have to live with them. Rats and mice can strike terror in even the most fearless of people, with good reason.
Rodents, namely the roof rat and the Norway rat, can cause damage to electrical equipment and door frames via gnawing, stain walls and pipes from their body oils, and cause a strong odor from droppings and urine. No one wants to be dealing with these unwanted pests; So if you see or hear any rodent activity in your home, business, or landscape, call Hulett Environmental Services for a free rodent inspection and recommendation to get rid of the infesting rodents, for good.
Signs of a Rodent Infestation
When a home or business is infested, the first indication is often hearing rodent activity at night. You may hear rodents scurrying about, or the sound of gnawing. Sometimes rodents can be seen racing around the landscape, or along fence lines. If you see or hear any of these signs, call Hulett Environmental Services today, before an infestation becomes severe.
In severe infestations, there may be a scent of urine and feces. Urine stains or rodent droppings can be found scattered about the home, near the nest, or in foraging areas. These droppings are black, slightly curved in shape, and can vary between a half inch to three-quarters inches in length. You may find gnaw marks on wires, beams, door frames, cabinetry, foods, etc.
Rodents may also make “nests” out of building materials, scrap, small branches, insulation, etc. Rodents tend to utilize the same entry points, or “runways”, when foraging for food and returning back to its nest. Overtime, these surfaces will be stained black from the frequent rodent contact. These oil or grease marks are referred to as “rub marks”. But don’t worry, you do not have to go through this process alone. If you see or hear any rodent activity, or are interested in a preventative program because you suspect you are in an area of high activity, call Hulett Environmental Services today for a free rodent inspection and treatment recommendation.
How to Control Rodent Infestation
Hulett Environmental Services offers an integrated approach to rodent control that includes:
- A Thorough Inspection of Your Home & Landscape
- Identify Rodent Indicators
- Recognize Conducive Conditions
- Recognize Structural Deficiencies
We then communicate these recommendations to help relieve rodent pressures. Along with our recommendations, Hulett will discuss with you the best course of action from the following:
- Strategically place traps in concealed areas within the home to remove interior infestations.
- Installation of exterior rodent bait boxes that are lockable, self-weighted, and placed in inconspicuous areas around the perimeter of the home to help control the exterior population of rodents.
- In areas with high rodent activity, a rodent exclusion is recommended. This includes the mechanical prevention of rodents from invading a home by creating a discrete physical barrier to common rodent entry points such as the AC chase, vent stacks, roof intersections, etc.
How to Deal with Rat Infestation
One of the main reasons rodents will invade a home or business is to nest, or to forage for food or water. By maintaining a clean home with good sanitation practices, homeowners can reduce their chances of becoming infested. Some of these suggestions are as follows:
- Store food goods in sturdy, reusable containers
- Use frequent garbage removal
- Store garbage in a sturdy, lidded-can
- Remove clutter or potential harborage areas such as stored furniture, boxes, etc.
- Prune trees and shrubs away from the roof or any other potential entry points
- Pick-up any fallen fruits from fruiting trees
- Ensure screens and soffits are intact
However, even when utilizing all these techniques, rodent infestations can still occur. Read below in order to learn what to look out for to determine if your home, business, or landscape may be infested with rodents.
Types of Rodents
There are two types of rodents that are commonly found infesting homes in south Florida. These two rodents are the roof rat and the Norway rat. Proper inspection and identification are critical, as the prevention and treatment recommendations may differ depending on the type of rodent activity in the area. As a full-service pest control company, Hulett Environmental Services is here to help.
Roof rats are small, agile rodents that usually weigh a half-pound or less. Roof rats can be identified by having a tail that is longer than the distance from its pointed muzzle to the end of its “slender” body. Because of its body and tail, the roof rat is an excellent climber, and uses this ability to feed on fruiting trees. The roof rat will also utilize this ability to climb onto roofs by using trees, shrubs, or power lines. Once here, the roof rats can gain access into attics through very small gaps in roof intersections, vent stacks, soffit vents, etc. After nesting within an attic, roof rats will defecate, causing odor and sanitation concerns, and potentially damage pipes or electrical wiring due to their constant gnawing.
Norway rats are large rodents that can weigh up to 1 pound or more. Norway rats can be identified by their hairless tail that is shorter than the distance from its blunt nose to the end of its “heavy-set” body. Norway rats tend to be ground dwellers, living in sewers or burrows, especially within our coastal communities. These nests are typically found near homes or businesses, as the rodents will forage for food, often our garbage. Because of their bodies and habitat, Norway rats typically invade homes through entry points near ground level, or even via plumbing. Once nesting within a home, a female Norway rat can have tens of offspring, growing an infestation quickly.
Why Choose Hulett’s Rodent Control Service?
Hulett Environmental Services is a family owned pest control company that has provided pest, rodent, and termite control, structural fumigation, and lawn and ornamental services for over 50 years. Each of our certified applicators are trained to practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by a graduate Entomologist from the University of Florida, a Board-Certified Entomologist recognized by the Entomological Society of America, and a plethora of fully state certified and licensed operators.
If you think you have noticed signs of rodent activity, but are not quite sure, you can upload photos directly to our safe and secure form for our experts to evaluate online. After reviewing the pictures, an expert will contact you with our advice on the next steps. Hulett Environmental Services offers free pest control inspections, with no obligation, and will outline a program to control or prevent rodent infestations. With our Rodent Control Service, we ensure your home remains rodent-free. That way, you can maintain your peace of mind.