On average rats eat about 1 ounce at a time, while that same 1 ounce could kill 10-12 mice. Number one mistake is underestimating the size of a rodent infestation. Your goal is to take them out faster than they reproduce in order to break the life cycle.
NOCTURNAL MAMMALS– Daytime activity is normally a sign of large numbers
REPRODUCTION– For mice 5-6 mice reproduce 50-60 in 60-90 days. Rats are slightly less.
TRAVEL BEHAVIOUR– They like to run next to structures that their whiskers touch and leave a pheromone trail to follow habitually. Corners are generally used for eating, grooming and nesting.
ENTRY POINTS- Mice usually low entry points with holes the size of a dime or larger. Norway rats can gnaw through lead pipes and are good climbers but usually borrow under structures, shrubs, trees, weeds, good hiding places. Roof rats are excellent climbers with extra padding and longer toes these rats may sometimes never come to the ground.
· SIGHT– Nearly blind.
· SMELL- Pheromones are released to provide scent trails and communicate with other rodents and to find food.
· TOUCH- They use long whiskers located all over their body for guidance along walls and objects. They do not like open spaces.
· SOUND- They have sonic and ultrasonic range of hearing. They can communicate with each other using sounds that we cannot hear and can pinpoint locations.
· TASTE- Excellent. Newborns can taste their mother’s diet through her milk and favor those foods later. They can remember which foods make them ill (needs only to happen once to remember).
· KINESTHETIC-SENSE: Detects bodily position, weight or movement of the muscles, tendons and joints. Since they have memorized muscle movement they can create a memory of the environment and still move through it without looking when they get comfortable with their environment.
NESTING- MICE, corners usually 10-30 feet from food and water. NORWAY’S, burrows 90-145 feet away from food and water. ROOF RAT’S, tree/rooftops usually 100-300 feet away from food and water.
· Sanitation (cleaning up refuse places and water sources)
· Exclusion (sealing up holes with copper or steel wool, hardware cloth, and tight fitting screens and doors)
· Baiting is recommended. Inside single dose poison is recommended to give them time to get out without dying in the house. Multiple dose may be used outside because of the risk of secondary poisoning.
BAITING (Poisons)-Mice are curious and check out new things. Rats are cautious of new things placed in their area and need to feel comfortable with it first.
· Maintain an uninterrupted supply of bait. Check stations every day, especially the first 2 weeks.
· Place stations on runways that they are most likely to encounter them.
· Do not touch (with your fingers) or move the bait stations for greater acceptance.
· Since rats fear new things sometimes we need to coax them into the box. This can be done by placing a non-toxic food attractant just inside entry points like a dab of peanut butter or a piece of dry dog/cat food.