Issues Associated With Diy Rodent Control In Tampa
Safe, Green, and Effective Pest Control

Issues Associated With DIY Rodent Control In Tampa

mouse infestation chewing wires

Do you hear scratching in your walls at night? Is there a hole in your kitchen wall that you never noticed before? How about the gnaw marks on your box of cereal? You don’t want to believe it, but you know it’s true - you’ve got a rodent problem. Rats and mice are unwelcome guests in many Tampa homes.

Rodents aren’t just a nuisance; they are also dangerous and destructive. When dealing with a rat or mouse infestation, many people turn to do-it-yourself methods of rodent control - but just how safe and effective are these DIY solutions? In this post, we’ll explore the dangers of rodents, common DIY methods of handling them, and the best way to get rid of rodents.

Rodents In Tampa

Both rats and mice are common in Tampa homes, but interestingly, it is very rare to have both at the same time. Typically, a home will be infested with either one or the other. It’s important to be able to identify which type of rodent is in your Tampa home.


The rats commonly found in Tampa are Norway rats and roof rats. Both species are larger than mice, typically measuring 7-9 ½ inches long, plus their tails. They can range from light brown to almost black, depending on the species, with a lighter underside. Rats have long bodies and hairless tails. They can also be identified by their droppings, which are capsule-shaped and ½”-¾”, and may have blunt ends for Norway rats or pointed ends for roof rats.


House mice are the most common type of rodent you will find in Tampa homes. Mice are much smaller than rats, at 2 ½ - 3 ¾ inches in length, not including their tails. They are typically dusty gray, with an off-white belly. Mice have a round body, a pointed muzzle, and large ears. Their droppings are also much smaller than those of rats, about ⅛ to ¼ inch long, and are rod-shaped with pointed ends.

Problems Caused By Rodents

A rodent issue is not something you can simply ignore. Rats and mice carry numerous diseases, such as salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and tularemia. They can also inflict serious property damage. Both rats and mice will chew through materials in search of food and water, and rats are even able to gnaw through lead pipes. Rodents will also chew through electrical wires, which can potentially start fires.

Both types of rodents are difficult to prevent and eliminate. Not only can they chew through any material and live unseen in your walls, crawlspace, and attic, they are also able to squeeze through the smallest openings. Rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter, while mice need only the size of a dime. The prolific nature of rodents makes getting rid of them a challenge for Tampa homeowners.

DIY Rodent Control Methods

When dealing with rats or mice, it can be tempting to try do-it-yourself solutions to save money. There are tons of DIY methods for rodent control online. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Mouse/rat traps
  • Rat repellent/poison
  • Mothballs
  • Peppermint oil
  • Ultrasonic repellers

Unfortunately, these DIY solutions often fail and can even be potentially dangerous. Rats and mice are pretty savvy and will learn to avoid the areas where you’ve placed the traps, ultrasonic repellers, or mothballs. The strong scent of peppermint oil is thought to repel rodents, but in reality, it has little to no effect on rats and mice. Some do-it-yourself methods, like traps and poison, are unsafe, particularly for pets and children.

Even if you trap or kill a handful of mice or rats, DIY methods are not likely to wipe out the entire rodent population. For truly effective rat or mouse control in Tampa, you will need to seek professional assistance.

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