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Rats & Mice Removal

Mice Mice Frequently Asked Questions House Mouse General Info Rats Rat frequently asked questions General information on Rats
How do I know if I have mice or rats?

For a more detailed description see our general information sections below. Rats are about 25 times larger than mice which make it much harder for them to find an entry point into your house. Mice are actually 15 times more likely to get into your house then rats. Both house mice and Brown rats are primarily nocturnal (awake and active at night) so usually you will hear both animals at night. Mice are excellent climbers and are often heard in the attic or in walls well above ground level while The Brown rat almost never climbs and will only be at or below your main floor. Mice droppings are about the size of a grain of rice while a rat dropping is usually about ½ to ¾ of an inch long. Rats must drink water every day and usually get in and out of your house every day. Look for tunnels going deep underground, about 2 inches in diameter, outside, close to the foundation. House mice may leave shallow trails in the grass on your lawn but they don’t dig holes down into the earth. Rats are much larger than mice so they make a lot more noise. You are more likely to hear them.


Mice

How does Aanteater eradicate my mice?

House mice are the single most common structural pest problem in southern Ontario. All of our technicians at Aanteater Pest Control & Wildlife Services have done hundreds and in many cases thousands of mouse exterminations in homes and businesses.
  1. It starts with an inspection of your property to determine problem areas.
  2. The technician will use a variety of methods including baiting, exclusion and traps. Baits are placed only in areas inaccessible to children and pets with safety our highest priority.
  3. The technician will then determine how mice are gaining entry to your home or building and complete a written report locating these areas and detailing the best methods to seal all potential entry points.
At Aanteater pest Control Services we believe the best pest control means solving the underlying problem not simply masking the symptoms. If you have any questions please call your local number. We would be happy to help.


Mice Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to prepare for a mouse treatment?

Clean up your kitchen to eliminate crumbs or other sources of food. Also disinfect areas where mice have been to eliminate scent trails and disrupt normal patterns of behaviour. This will force mice to spend more time searching for food and increase the likelihood of them encountering our pest control measures. Have children and pets out of the way when the service is done. Take note of any places of high rodent activity as this information may be of aid to your technician.


Do mice love cheese?

Actually mice don’t even particularly like cheese. They love sweet foods like chocolate and peanut butter. They also like grains and meat.


Is it true that mice go outside in the spring and summer and only move indoors in the fall?

Mice are the most common pest to infest your home or office. Mice are always happy to move indoors however they do infest our homes more often in the winter. At Aanteater we normally see about twice as many mice indoors during the winter as in the summer.


Is having a mouse in your house an indication of poor sanitation?

No, we see mice in almost every neighbourhood. Large houses have more places that mice might gain entry however once mice have entered your house how you store food may have an effect on how rapidly the population grows. It’s also a good idea to have a 3 ft. barrier around your house where there are no ground cover plants. This creates a sort of no mans land that mice are afraid to cross. Having your house professionally sealed from the outside will guarantee that mice are permanently excluded from your living space.


Do mice dropping pose a health hazard?

Many diseases are carried by mice and mouse droppings. Three of the most serious diseases are:
  • Salmonella: This is a bacterial infection caused by ingesting food contaminated with droppings. Usually symptoms are fairly mild however ingestion of large amounts of the bacteria may cause severe inflammation of the intestine and diarrhea. Individuals with suppressed immune systems may become seriously ill.
  • Leptospirosis: Although many animals are carriers of this disease it is most often spread to humans by food that may contain the urine from mice. Initial symptoms resemble the flu after which the patient will appear to recover until the second more serious phase occurs which may cause meningitis, liver or kidney failure and death.
  • Hantavirus: Rarer than Salmonella , this is probably the best known disease transmitted by mice. Hantavirus is transmitted through mouse droppings and may become airborne when the dropping dry out. Usually it starts with generalized symptoms (fatigue, fever and muscle aches) gradually becoming more severe over the course of about a week. Late symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing and severe pressure around the chest as the lungs fill with fluid. Hantavirus is fatal in 38% of cases. Hantavirus is much more common in deer mice than in house mice although deer mice do commonly get into homes and offices.

Doanticoagulant rodenticides dehydrate mice causing them to go off in search of water so that they often will die outside your house.

No. Although many people believe this, it’s not true. Actually it thins their blood making it impossible for them to get enough oxygen; the mice will gradually become tired then pass out. Most often they will die in their nest site. A mouse has less than 2 ml of water in its entire body and it is rare that you will notice any smell.


You used a one way door on my house to remove a raccoon. Does that work for mice?

House mice may never leave your house once they have entered. Mice do not absolutely need to drink water; they can get all the water they require in the foods they eat. Attaching one way doors to the exterior of your house is not a very effective method of eradicating mice. Sealing the exterior of a house after the mouse population has been eradicated is much more effective and will help to ensure that you are not reinfested again.


Where do mice live in my house?

Mice will live in any dark void within the infrastructure of your house. Favourite places include under the kitchen cupboards, buried in insulation in the attic, under bathtubs and between floors.


Is there anything I can use torepel mice to keep them out of my house?

There are a few repellents available on the market. There is no evidence that any commercially available chemical repellent has any effect on mice.Sonic devices which supposedly use high frequency sound to repel mice are another common repellent offered for sale as an easy permanent solution for mice. Unfortunately none of them has much if any effect. Dogs and cats have very acute hearing and they don’t seem to notice these sonic devices either. These devices are unregulated by the government. Manufacturers are free to make any claims they wish. Aanteater’s technicians will professionally inspect your home and not only show you how mice are gaining entry but will also let you know the easiest ways to seal up the entry points. If you need help with sealing the exterior we offer complete exclusion services. Before any exclusion is done the resident population should be exterminated. This is done most effectively using a combination of traps and baiting.


House Mouse General Info

Physical Characteristics

Brown or gray, House mice grow up to 8 in. (20 cm) long, including a 4-in. (10-cm) tail. They consume almost anything edible, even sampling soap, paste, and glue. They mature quickly and are ready to mate two to three months after birth. In warm areas or heated buildings, mice breed throughout the year. Mice travel over their entire territory daily, investigating each new change or new object. Mice have poor vision relying on smell, touch and hearing. They also have an excellent sense of balance, enabling them to travel along wires, ropes and similar thin objects. They are capable of leaping 12-16 inches vertically and can run up any vertical surface (wood, brick, weathered sheet metal, cables, etc). Mice are generally nocturnal in nature.


Breeding Habits Life cycle

Mice breed throughout the year and can become pregnant within 48 hours of producing a litter. There are usually 6 mice per litter and females may produce 10 litters (50 young) per year. It takes 18-21 days for gestation and 35 days for a mouse to mature. Their lifespan is 15 to 18 months.


Nesting Habits/ feeding

The house mouse has been distributed by humans from Eurasia to all inhabited areas of the world and usually seeks shelter and food in human dwellings. They make their nests out of any soft material and as many as 3 females may use the same nest. Mice usually only travel 12-20 feet from their nest. Nests are found in wall voids, under stoves and behind refrigerators. Mice normally feed 15-20 times per day and will eat anything humans eat. Mice are “nibblers” and do small amounts of damage to many food items rather than doing extensive damage to any one item. They normally feed at dusk or just before dawn. They have to consume 10%-15% of their body weight every 24 hours and require extremely small amounts of water.


Damage and Disease

Mice dropping are smooth with pointed ends and are 3-5 mm long. In 6 months one pair of mice can eat 4lbs of food and produce 18,000 fecal droppings (50/day each). Mice droppings and urine can transmit salmonella and other food diseases. In order for a mouse to wear down their teeth, mice have to constantly nibble and chew on their surroundings (wires, cables, and other building structures).


Rats

Norway/Brown Rat general information

How does Aanteater eradicate my rats?

Norway Rats are a common structural pest control problem in southern Ontario. All of our technicians at Aanteater Pest Control & wildlife Services have done hundreds and in many cases thousands of rat exterminations in homes and businesses.
  1. It starts with an inspection of your property to determine problem areas.
  2. The technician will use a variety of methods including baiting, exclusion and traps to exterminate your rat population. Baits are placed only in areas inaccessible to children and pets with safety our highest priority.
  3. The technician will then detail any exterior features of your landscape that may have attracted rats to your property and make appropriate recommendations.
At Aanteater Pest Control & Wildlife Services we believe the best pest control means solving the underlying problem not simply masking the symptoms. If you have any questions please call your local number. We would be happy to help.


Rat frequently asked questions

What sorts of things attract rats to my property?

Food, water and shelter is the short answer. Rats love nice gardens with lots of ground cover. The flowers and ground cover provide food as well as hiding places. Bird feeders are the perfect food source. Even though the rat probably cannot actually reach the feeder, birds will spill so much seed on the ground that it doesn’t matter. Storm sewers close by or a fish pond or even a bird bath may provide rats with a water source. Stacked firewood, composters and a nearby green space is also a common feature. Make sure to secure your garbage outdoors in steel garbage cans if there are rats in your area as they will gnaw through plastic easily.


Why do rats want to get into my house?

A house is warmer and dryer than anywhere outside. Usually rats will not find sufficient food or water in a house to survive but it is certainly the best shelter around.


Why is it important to get rid of rats?

Rats urinate and defecate 25 times as much as mice. They are a terrible health hazard carrying a multitude of diseases and because of their persistent habit of gnawing are a serious fire hazard.


Should I get rid of rats if they are just outside?

There are many species of rats. Only one is a pest in southern Ontario. The Brown or Norway rat. It is important not to indiscriminately destroy other species of rats like muskrats that are actually indigenous to north America. Norway rats exist everywhere in the world that there are people. They live only in close proximity to us. Norway rat populations may multiple 10 times more quickly than other species of animals. Two rats in your backyard could easily become 50 throughout your neighbourhood if no one takes action to control them. In addition Norway rats are an invasive species not naturally indigenous to North America. They damage the ecosystem by killing many other small mammals and birds as well as consuming food sources that might support other animals. Norway rats should always be considered a pest and appropriate control measures should be taken.


Are rats ever aggressive toward people?

No. Rats will never seek out a person or become aggressive except in very rare circumstances if they are very sick and totally confused. Never pick up any wild animal as it will inevitably bite you. Rats are no exception but given the opportunity they will stay as far away from you as possible.


How do I keep rats away from my house? Repellents?

The best way to keep rats away is by simply making the environment around your house unattractive. Ground cover should not grow right up to your house. Stack firewood at the end of the garden, not against the house. No bird feeders within 40 ft of the house. Shelving in the garage should have the bottom shelf 8 inches off the ground as this reduces the number of hiding places in your garage and makes rats feel exposed. Let the city take care of composting. Rats love composters. Sonic repellents that plug into the wall have been for sale for many years and do absolutely nothing. They are a sham. Chemical repellents also have little or no effect on rats. Unfortunately there are no laws regarding manufacturers’ claims for these products.


General information on Rats

Introduction

The Norway or Brown rat is one of the most common and best known species of rat. It has spread to all continents except Antarctica and is by far the most common rat in Southern Ontario. It lives where people live in urban as well as rural areas.


Description

The body is 18-24cm (7-9 inches) in length with an additional 15-20cm (6-8 inches) of tail. Weight is generally 300-500g (11-16 ozs) with females smaller than males. Fur on the back is usually brown however lots of variations occur. They are mostly nocturnal with poor eyesight but excellent sense of smell. There are many species of rats and rat like animals however only Brown/Norway and black/roof rats are a pest. Although roof rats have been reported in Ontario they are extremely rare.


Behavior

Brown rats are highly intelligent animals. Research has shown them able to remember specific things for long periods and to stop and think about situations in order to reasona solution. They are very social animals that live in packs. A pack usually consists of 1 male with 5-15 females. Territories vary from ¼ acre to 10 acres. Male rats are very aggressive defending their territories from other invading males however territorial behaviour may decline significantly in high density populations. Norway rats are excellent tunnelers with an elaborate system that may reach down several feet. They can climb if needed but are primarily a ground dwelling animal. They will eat nearly anything but given a choice will take fresh whole grains or meat first. Gestation is 21-24 days with litters ranging from 8-12 pups. A female may have 4-7 litters per year. Pups are sexually mature in 10-12 weeks. A single female may successfully raise 20 offspring per year. Wild female Norway Rats usually produce a first litter within 55 days of being born. Norway rats in the wild live about one year which means that given an ample supply of food, harbourage and water, Norway rat populations grow very quickly increasing by approximately 18 times every 6 months. This proliferation potential sets them apart from nearly all other mammal pests with the exception of house mice. In contrast, tree squirrels and raccoons will produce on average 4-5 offspring each year.



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