There are many ways Tampa residents attempt to control rats and mice. Some work, some don't, and some create additional problems. If you're currently dealing with a rodent infestation, the best solution is to contact EcoTech for rodent pest control in Tampa, but we're not saying this to advertise our services. We point this out because we want to save you from dealing with misery. It is extremely frustrating to attempt rodent control and fail. It is also frustrating to hire someone to deal with a rodent problem and not get desired results. In both cases, you'll find some helpful information here. Join us as we look at how you can detect rodents before and after control methods are used, why effective rodent control is critical, some ways rodent control falls short of addressing rodent problems, and what EcoTech does to get results every time. If you're currently dealing with a rodent infestation and you're past the point of frustration, navigate to our contact page and reach out to us for immediate service.

house mouse crawling on potted plant
rat eating trash in backyard

Identifying a Rodent Problem In Your Tampa House

Knowing how to detect rodent activity before and after treatments is useful. Before a treatment, detection helps with targeting key areas. After treatments, it helps to make sure no rodents remain in your home. Whether you work to control rodents yourself or you hire someone to do it, you will want to know that the rodents are gone. Rodents in Tampa are often tricky to control. Here are some ways to find evidence of activity.

Droppings: The best way to evaluate a rodent problem is to find and inspect rat and mouse droppings. We know; it's gross. But droppings can tell you what type of rodents you have in your home, whether they are currently active, and what areas they're exploring. You'll find droppings in hidden or secluded spaces. 

  • When you find droppings, examine them for freshness. Black, moist droppings are fresh. Old rodent droppings will appear gray and will crumble when you squish them. Wear a mask and gloves when dealing with rodent droppings.
  • Clean droppings up when you find them. Doing so can help you detect activity. When you return to an area you've cleaned and you find new droppings, you know rodents are still active in the area.
  • Rats and mice rarely infest a structure at the same time, so you're likely to have one or the other. Mice droppings are smaller than a grain of white rice. Rat droppings are larger.

While unpleasant, detecting and evaluating rodent droppings is a crucial skill to have if you hope to stop rodents.  

Holes: The second best way to evaluate a rodent problem is to look for holes. Look for holes in your exterior wood, around exterior doors, baseboards, food packages, and objects stored in your attic.  

  • When you find holes in building materials, seal them. The tool for this job is usually a can of expanding foam. Be cautious when applying expanding foam as it adheres strongly to skin and it is difficult to get off. Once the hole is patched, check back in a few days to see if rodents have chewed through the material.
  • When you find holes in food packages, clean the area and throw the food package away. Also, check for holes in pantry walls or the backs of your kitchen cabinets.
  • When you find holes in store furniture, you're likely to also find rodents, droppings, and other easily recognizable signs. 

As you consider holes, keep in mind that a full-sized rat only needs a hole the size of a quarter to get through. Mice only need a hole the size of a dime.

Grease Marks: When rodents run along baseboards or across pipes and timbers, they leave grease marks. They do this because the places they explore are often dirty places. The darker the grease marks, the more rodents you have in your home.

Nests: When you inspect your attic, you might find nests up there. Rodents create nests from gathered materials, such as clothing, paper products, insulation, foam, cotton, etc. Look for nests in recesses, nooks, and holes.  

Urine: If you have a rodent infestation, you're likely to smell urine. The more rodents you have, the stronger the scent will become. Unfortunately, detecting a urine scent won't help you determine whether or not you have an active infestation. You'll need to look for the other warning signs listed above if you smell rodent urine.

When you find evidence and properly evaluate whether or not the evidence is fresh, you'll know if rodents are still inside your home. While there are several types of rodents in Tampa, all rodents provide these warning signs. 

The Diseases Spread By Rodents 

If you currently have an infestation and you're deciding what to do, or you had someone try to get rid of your rodents but you still have a rodent problem, you should understand the risks. Knowing how rats and mice impact your health and damage your property motivates you to do what is necessary.

  • Rodents pick up harmful bacteria and spread them around. Some bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli, can make you very sick and lead to a hospital visit.
  • Rodents contaminate areas with their feces and urine. It isn't good to have an animal leaving waste inside your home, but rodent waste is particularly problematic. Some rodents spread hantavirus and other diseases. When waste is left in ventilation ducts, diseases can spread through the air. 
  • Rodents carry ticks and fleas. These parasites spread diseases that impact human health. We recommend visiting the CDC to learn about diseases spread by ticks and fleas. There is a potential for serious harm.
  • Rodents chew holes in your exterior, which can lead to moisture and mold problems. Mold is another way to get sick from a rodent infestation, particularly if it is black mold.
  • Rodents chew on wires inside walls and attic spaces. If a rat or mouse cuts a live wire, it can spark a fire. Experts believe 20 to 25 percent of fires that spark from unknown sources are likely to be rodent-related.
  • Rodents chew on many things. When they damage your property, it can hit you in your wallet. While not related to the spread of diseases, you're likely to feel sick when you have to replace something expensive because rodents decided to chew on it and soil it with their waste.

When rats and mice get into your home, they will reproduce quickly. As they grow a population, they increase their ability to present a threat to your health and property. But, before you decide to purchase traps and go after rodents with extreme prejudice, there are a few things you should know. 

Why Mouse Traps Don't Work

Obviously, traps work. Professionals use traps to control domestic rodents and the furry-tailed rodents that enter homes by way of eaves and roof vulnerabilities. So why don't mouse traps work when you deploy them? Here are a few possibilities.

  • Mice don't prefer cheese. If you attempt to bait mice with cheese, you're not likely to get great results.
  • Rats eat cheese but are suspicious of traps. If you lay traps to catch rats with cheese, you may still have no success.
  • Rodents avoid open spaces. If you lay traps down in an open attic space, rats and mice may never come near your traps.
  • Rodents have an incredible sense of smell. They can use this ability to detect your scent on the traps you set. If you touch the traps with your hands, you'll have a harder time capturing rodents.

Professionals use traps to capture rodents in domestic environments, but even a professional can have little success when deploying them incorrectly. The service team at EcoTech Pest Control Services doesn't rely solely on traps. Our Green Pro Specialists use several control methods in an Integrated Pest Management strategy to control rodents. Let's look at how this works.        

How To Safely Get Rid Of Rodents In Your Tampa Home

Only a fraction of pest control providers have earned Green Pro Certification through the National Pest Management Association. We are proud of our team for achieving Green Pro and Quality Pro certifications. What it means to have this level of pest control is that you'll get a scientific solution to your rodent control issue.

  • We inspect your property and evaluate warning signs, conducive conditions, routes, and other factors.
  • We use a control strategy that uses bait, snap traps, glue boards, and other control products.
  • We seal entry points rodents are using to get into your home. The materials for this job are caulking, hardware cloth, and steel wool.
  • We evaluate the success of your treatment and alter the control strategy as needed.
  • We follow up until there is no sign of continued infestation.

Get the results you want. Contact EcoTech for rodent control in Tampa. Our Green Pro team has the training, experience, and professionalism to address your problem. Reach out to us at any time. We're here to help.   


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