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Pest Control Methods – Chapter 3 – Rodent Pest Control Methods

Posted on September 19th, 2017 by Panther Pest Control Team
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rodents

Image source: Wikimedia; License type: CC BY-SA 3.0

Table of Contents

Chapter I – Organic Pest Control Methods

1.Organic Methods of Pest Control

2.Natural Pesticides For Plants

3.Best Insecticide For Vegetable Garden

Chapter II – Chemical Pest Control Methods

1.Chemical pest control methods

2.Advantages and Disadvantages of Chemical Pest Control

3.Texture of Chemical Pesticides


Chapter III – Rodent Control Methods

1.Rodent Pest Control Methods

2.Rat Pest Control Methods

3.Common Rat Control Products

4.Mice Pest Control Methods

Chapter IV – Bird Control Methods

1.Bird Control Methods

Rodent Pest Control Methods

The rodent pest control methods suggested below, are among the most popular ways of dealing with rodents and are used all around the world. Being familiar with them will help you to put an end to any future rodent infestations and will help you to protect your health and property from any disease or structural damage.

Rodenticides

Using any of the rodenticides, listed in chapter 2 – Chemical Pest Control, will give quick and efficient results in terms of exterminating almost any rodent. However, the use of chemicals is often an inadequate solution, especially for domestic and commercial properties.

Chemicals contaminate the environment and cause pests to die slowly, which makes them hide inside walls before getting killed. Their carcasses remain there for weeks and emit terrible smell. Their dead bodies attract other microorganism and the contamination may turn out to be even higher before starting the pest treatments. For this reason, alternative, chemical free methods have to be used.

Rodent traps

rat trap - a method for rodent pest control

Image source: Maxpixel; License type: CC0 Public Domain

Rodent traps is a non-chemical solution for pest infestations of rodents. There is no pollution with chemicals when rat traps are used and you can easily find the carcass of the dead rodent after it’s exterminated. This makes its disposal much easier.

A proper food bait is required to lure the rodent into the trap. This means whoever is laying the traps should think carefully of what is the most comfortable food for the particular infestation as other animals should not be attracted by the bait, otherwise serious issues may occur.

What we recommend as a bait is nuts, chocolate, cereal grains, meat and other food rich in carbohydrates.

Mind that rats are very suspicious about anything new in their environment and traps will initially cause discomfort and a sense of threat among the rodents. This may last for weeks which means the vermin will only chop tiny bits off the bait and snapping them inside the trap will take time.

Once few of them fall victims of the device, lay the traps somewhere else among the property and change the bait. This will give a higher effectiveness for extermination.

If you wander how to make a DIY trap, check this video:

Glue or sticky boards

glua board - an inhumane rodent pest control method

Image source: Wikimedia; License type: CC BY-SA 3.0

Glues and sticky boards are considered an inhumane rodent control method. Thus, in some countries such products are strictly regulated and pest control companies are not allowed to use them for treatments.

Basically, sticky boards consist of a piece of hard surface covered in glue on top of which a bait is placed. The glue is super sticky and with an instant effect. One a rodent gets on it, it literally starts dissolving on top of it. While dying, the rat or mice is making constant squeaking noises. See a squealing rat trapped on a glue board.

The main disadvantage of glue boards is that it may trap other animals, mostly pets such as snakes, cats, birds and more.

This may lead to fatal consequences if urgent action is not taken.

It may take up to 5 days for a rodent trapped on a glue board to die. The outcome would probably happen because of starvation or dehydration, it’s also possible that other animals would try to consumer the trapped one. This whole mess can be easily avoided by using another method for rodent extermination.

At Panther Pest Control we recommend to NOT use glue boards as a solution for any rodent infestation, no matter the scale of the invasion of rats or mice into your property. There many alternatives such as the rodent control methods listed below:

Ultrasonic rodent repellents

Ultrasonic rodent repellents will have a great repelling effect on any rodents that have infiltrated inside your private or commercial property. Rodents are extremely sensitive to such noises and can’t stand being near by a source that emits them.

While a person may hear a sound with a frequency of up to 23 000 Hz, a rodent is able to catch noises with a frequency of up to 76 000 Hz.

This fact saves people many problems as it would be really annoying if we could detect the sounds from the ultrasonic repellents as well. Since we can’t, they can be used even in room where people sleep or spend much of their time at home. If there aren’t any other pets such as dogs, the ultrasonic repellents will be ignored completely by anyone at home.

A note should be taken that such repellent devices cannot kill rodents. They simply make them leave the area around the repelling device which doesn’t guarantee any long-term results in the fight with the rodents.

For this reason, we highly recommend to use ultrasonic repellent only outside the living area – inside garages or other out-of-the-house areas, which are well rodent-proofed. This will prevent the vermin from making holes into shed and garages.

If such devices do not provide you with the desired results of pest control, this means the rodents have adapted to the noise and no longer

Rodent-destroying animals

cat - a rodent destroying animal

Image source: Pixabay; License type:CC0 Public Domain

Another very effective rodent control method is attracting rodent-destroying animals which naturally feed on rats, mice and other similar vermin.

Pet animals such as dogs and cat that are not too domesticated would kill a rodent too. This is hardly enough for destroying a whole population of rodents though. Unless you have an army of at least 10 cats and terriers constantly guarding your property.

Birds of prey would naturally deal with rodents but there aren’t any in urban areas. In case you decide to attract a wild one, it probably won’t work as such birds prefer to hunt on living prey and would not pay attention to any bait you place around.

Cats and dogs

Terriers used to be extremely popular for rat extermination before advanced chemical rodenticides were invented. This breed is still largely used in farm fields where owners prefer not to spoil the soil of their property with rodenticides and other chemicals.

If cats and dogs are well fed by their owners, there is a very small chance they will run after a rodent. For sure the pet will not go on a hunt for rodents if the owner already provides it with decent quantities of food. Starving dogs, on the other side, are much more likely to react to noises of rodent and to chase them as a prey.

Having a domesticated, well-fed pet is sometimes worse than not having a pet at all. It will not kill rodents because there’s no reason for that, in addition to this, its food will attract more of the pesty vermin.

Birds of Prey

Almost any bird of prey is known to naturally deal with rodents. Devices such as hawk kites, which perfectly resemble birds of prey, are even used as a bird control method.

  • Barn Owl
    The barn owl feeds on rodent, mostly those that inhabit fields. These are voles, mice and gophers. A single family of barn owl is able to consume an average of 3000 gophers a year.From 10 to 12 gophers is a standard number of gophers being eater by an owl per night.
    In case there are barn owl around your place, you should not be afraid of some common rodents. If this predatory bird is not observed, try to attract it with shelter or food and if it’s not common for your area, better find an alternative species. You can check any of the following below:
  • Eagles
  • Harriers
    Harriers are great natural predators of rodents because of their sharp-eyed sight and hearing.
  • Falcons
    Falcons are swift-flying birds which prey on rodents with great efficiency and quickness. If there are falcons in proximity to your property, then you should not be worried of pests at all.
  • Vultures
    vulture - a bird of prey used for rodent pest control

    Image source: Wikimedia; License type: CC BY-SA 3.0

    Vultures feed on rats and often fall victims because of this. Rat poison seems to harm vultures who eat the carcass of poisoned rats. Such scenario was spotted in Turkey in late 2014 when plenty of vultures were poisoned after preying on dazed rats, poisoned by chemicals.

Rodent Pest Control Home Remedies

Bay Leaf

bay leaves - natural rodenticide

Image source: Pixabay: License type: Public Domain

While bay leaf is attractive to rats, it also serves as a natural poison to them and once they consume a decent amount of it, the vermin get exterminated. You can lay some bay leaves in any area infested by rats if you’re doing pest control on your own.

Rats think of bay leaf as their food and tend to eat it but, it actually kills them. Put some bay leaves in the rat-prone area. Keep repeating the process until all of them are gone.

Dried Snake Litter/ Cat Litter

Dried litter of snakes or cats may serve as great rodent-repelling solution. Naturally, rodents have evolved to find such smells threatening as they give sign that there is a predator nearby.

You can buy such litter at a zoo store and place it around your property where rats or mice have been spotted. It will not kill them but will at least make them stay away until you come up with an idea for effective pest control.

Note: You should be cautious when using cat litter as rodent detergent because it may be infected with toxoplasmosis, which might be extremely dangerous to humans and other pets.

Ammonia

Ammonia may easily be turned into a spray detergent by adding 2 spoons of detergent from any store in addition to a 100-150ml of water and 2 cups or ammonia.

The mixture will provide an instant protection from rodents to the surface it is applied to. Rats, in particular, can’t stand the smell of ammonia and immediately try to avoid it. As long as the the substance is applied regularly, you won’t have any rat problems
See more examples of rodent control remedies in our guide on how to get rid of rats.

Rat Pest Control Methods

rat

Image source: Pixabay; License type: Public Domain

Make sure you are familiar with the most popular methods of rat extermination. You would like to pick the most comprehensive and effective one when the moment comes.

Rat Poison

rat poison - common rodent pest control method

Image source: Pixabay; License type: Public domain

Rat control with poison is considered as one of the most effective way of rat extermination but hides many threats you should be familiar with in order to do it properly and safely. There are three main types of rodenticides or rat poisons, these are:

  1. Anticoagulants
  2. Metal phosphides
  3. Hypercalcemia

How do rat poisons work?

Rat poison is usually a chemical substance for pest control, the effects of which were mentioned in chapter 2- chemical pest control methods.Rodents are clever scavengers and are difficult to kill. They learn fast to avoid dangerous foods.

Generally, rodenticides have either instant or residual effect on the rodent and exterminate it slowly (up to 5 days) or shortly after the vermin consumes the rat poison.

Most rat poisons are infused with rat food for easier consumption. When rats or mice take tiny bits of it, they may not be eradicated instantly. This is fine, as more of the rat poison is required for the kill, which they eat hours or days after the first take.

If rat poison that was  spread in the infested area hasn’t been consumed by the rodents, don’t remove it. Rats are often suspicious about new stuff at their place, even food and won’t make any contact with it until they feel safe to proceed.

We recommend the usage of residual rat poisons because this makes other vermin less stressed about the poison and they also get to it for a bite, which increases the effectiveness of the treatment significantly.

How to Use Rat Poison

In case you decide to use rat poison on your own, we advise you to read these helpful tips on how to use rat poison correctly.

They will provide you with essential information for non-problematic DIY rat control with great efficiency. Meanwhile you’ll be able to read what’s going on if any signs of not successful extermination appear.

  • Rodenticides may be harmful ingested by non-target wildlife. Pets are less threatened as they need to eat tremendous amounts of rat poison to get any serious health issues. Usually such volume of rodenticides is not applied during treatments.
  • Change bait if it’s gone or hasn’t been tasted by the rodents. Do this at least once in every 4 weeks, not earlier.
  • Dispose of dead rodent as soon as possible. You want to avoid disease transmission.
  • Most recommendations suggest changing out rodent bait every 4-6 weeks. Very moldy or decayed baits are unattractive to rodents, and thus may not be any better than no baits at all.
  • The dye of the rodenticide changes the color of the mice and rat droppings. If they become red, green or blue, this is a sure sign that the vermin has eaten from the poison and its effect has started.

Traps

Snap traps are a classic solution for rodent infestation and are largely used even nowadays. Often they turn out to be even better solution than chemical rodenticides. Snap traps are the preferred pest control solution over glue traps for the reasons we mentioned earlier in this post.

The core difference between the two device is that the snap trap gives a quick and clean dead, while glue boards are very inhumane, cause a lot of agony to the animal and threaten other animal species, specifically wildlife and pets.

The biggest downsides of mousetraps are the mess and cruelty. You’ll have to deal with a dead mouse, which is not only disgusting but it also puts you at risk of contracting disease. Between setting the traps and cleaning up the ensuing mess, they can be a lot of work.

How to Place Rat Traps

a rat trapped by a snap trap

Image source: Wikimedia; License type: CC BY-SA 4.0

  1. Use plenty of them, not just few. Wherever a rodent was spotted, a trap should be placed. No matter the observation, the rats are always more than expected.
  2. In case a property is infested mostly by rats, use largе size traps. Otherwise there’s a risk of failure in the snap trap for not being powerful enough to kill the rodent instantly.
  3. Leave a distance of 4-6 meters between each trap. Clutter is not recommended and will only reduce the productivity of the snap traps.
  4. Leave traps around even when there isn’t an infestation of rodent. This way you will make new coming vermin comfortable with the object since their arrival. Once you put baits on them, they will be less sceptical to take a bite and get snapped to death instantly.
  5. Use gloves when handling the carcasses of rodents to avoid disease transmission and bacterial contamination.
  6. Make sure your hands are very clean before dealing with traps. If you have made contact with an animal like a dog or cat before that, the smell of will be transferred to the trap and will act as a natural deterrent. This will prevent the rat from getting near by the trap which will make its extermination almost impossible via the contaminated snap traps.

Common Rat Control Products

  • Rat baits
  • Rat Bait Kits
  • Rat Bait Stations
  • Rat Traps
  • Sound Repellent Device

Mice Pest Control Methods

Sanitation

Mice are highly intelligent as our canine friends – dogs, these furry rodents are natural students who excel at learning and understanding concepts for survivability. This makes them able to sneak into very small areas with limited amounts of food and shelter.

The poor sanitation of most buildings where food is stored, often attracts house mice in great numbers, if not pest-proofed. A good sanitation will increase the possibility of dealing with the mice infestation and will reduce food and shelter options for the already existing mice. Also, good sanitised premises, in turn, make baits and traps much more effective.

When the food sources are secured, the next step is to pay particular attention to eliminate all places where mice can find shelter. If every spot in the home or business property where mice can hide or build nests and reproduce is well sanitised and proofed, they cannot survive in large numbers.

Making the Property Mouse-Proof

A really successful method with lasting effect in battling with rodents is to block their access and prevent them from entering a building through cracks, openings in building foundations, openings in water pipes, vents and other utilities.

You should seal any openings inside the building larger than ¼ inch. For this purpose, you can use steel wool mixed with caulking compound. Try to apply the mixture evenly and smooth the surface so that mice won’t be able to pull out or chew through the patching material. Avoid using any easily chewable materials – plastic sheeting or screen, wood or rubber for sealing the gaps.

Make sure that all doors, windows and screens are also mouse-proofed by ensuring that they are well insulated. A good option is to cover the edges with metal to prevent rodents from gnawing. Also, try to block out mice from accessing any places where food is stored. Best keep any dried grain and meat products in resealable airtight or metal containers.

Traps

Trapping is also one of the most useful ways to prevent mice access in your property, not just a rodent control method. It is preferred method, most commonly, when there are just a few of them. Trapping has a variety of benefits:

  • It is a non-hazardous method;
  • It allows users to be sure that the mouse has been exterminated;
  • Users are able to remove the mouse remains, so they can avoid any unpleasant odours that may appear when poisoning mice.

Sound and Electronic Devices

The use of sound and electronic devices for rodent control has very limited success for various reasons. It is true that mice react to loud, strange or unfamiliar noises. But when that noises become repetitive, the rodents stop paying attention to them and easily ignore them. A simple proof is the fact that mice live in very noisy locations like factories and even grain mills. There is also a limitation of the ultrasonic sound as it is directional and doesn’t pass through solid objects.

The operational range of ultrasonic devices is limited for one more reason – the intensity of the ultrasonic signal gets weaker with distance. No reliable research provides any data that artificially created sounds of any kind repel rats and mice away from industrial or home buildings as these rodents adapt quickly to repetitive sounds.

Mice Control Home Remedies

After all, prevention methods are most effective when you don’t let mice in your property. This way you won’t have to kill or deter them.

Here is what measures to take in order to mice proof your place:

Store Food Correctly

ceramic food container that prevents rodents from chewing on it

Image source: Maxpixel; License type: Public domain

  • Use Better Containers
    The list of building materials that mice can chew through is a long one. Just to mention a few, mice can chew their way through: paper, wood, cardboard, plastic, vinyl and aluminum. So if there is a food packed in boxes, don’t mistaken it for being safe. As you can see from above, plastic is not a decent option as well.
    What can be used is metal, ceramic and glass. These are considered a much better alternative, however watch for soft plastic lids though, they’re a weak spot. Jars and metal coffee cans are also an excellent choice for food storage.
  • Mouse-Proof Storage Units
    Thinking on a bigger scale than individual containers where your food is in, another option is to completely rodent-proof your overall pantry by keeping products in a larger cabinet. Mice are also known as good climbers so single shelves won’t do any good. Therefore a sturdy cabinet with a tightly sealed door might do the trick.

Aluminum foil

The aluminum foil is much more humane method against mice infestation rather than using traps or hiring professional exterminators. Squeeze the aluminum foil through cracks in the wall and the mice should disappear even if the foil doesn’t fill the whole empty area. The sharp texture of the aluminum is what scares the mouse from trying to slide through it.

Natural predators of mice

Go back to the chapter where we talk about pest-destroying animals. Overall, terriers are the most suitable pets you can get as a natural form of mice control.

Peppermint Oil

peppermint oil - natural rodent repellent

Image source: Public domain pictures; License type: Public domain

Take some cotton balls and soak them with 20-30 drops of peppermint oil and leave them in corners, near the sinkhole and wherever else it’s needed. Once the smell of peppermint fades away, this means the time to replace the balls with new ones has come. Alternatively, you can use fresh mint leaves or mint toothpaste if you are not able to get yourself the oil. Why don’t you plant some fresh mint in your garden?

Ammonia

The smell of ammonia is very repulsive to rodents and it is enough to drive them away for long periods of time. Now instead of using it only for a cleaning agent, you can create a wonderful rodent repellent from ammonia. How? It’s easy. Mix 2 cups of ammonia with 100ml. of water, then add 2 spoons of detergent and place in a bowl. Put the bowl in a place where mice appear most often.

Replicas of Predatory Birds

replica of predatory bird used as a rodent deterrent

Image source: Wikimedia; License type: CC BY 2.0

This method is easy and fun. Fake until you make it real! Sometimes it is not very appropriate and affordable to get a real predator that will keep the pest away from your premises, then simply play brain games with the rodents by placing replicas of actual predators. This is what a fake owl looks like. If you don’t like this, maybe try the fake flying hawk deterrent.