How to Locate a Mouse in the House and Why Get it Out Now

Locating a mouse in the house is actually a fairly simple process. Mice, being as voraciously hungry as they are, will generally let you know the moment they arrive, and once they do, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible. A mouse in the house may seem cute, but the reality is that they can bring in fleas, ticks and disease, and spoil your food.

mouse in the house

What to Look For

It almost goes without saying, but the first sign that you have a mouse in the house is when you notice droppings. These are generally small, black, pointed oval shapes that will begin to litter places that the mouse visits.

They will most often be found around food, in and around cabinets, on top of kitchen counters and near sinks. Remember, mice need food and water to survive, so that’s the first thing they will be looking for in any household invasion.

Although droppings are a sure giveaway that there is a mouse in the house, they may not always be easy to see, particularly on carpeting, on darker surfaces or if you have a lot of clutter on your counters or in cabinets.

Another telltale sign of a mouse infestation is food bags or boxes that have been gnawed on, with food particles that have spilled out. If boxes of cereal, rice, sugar, candy or sweets, among others, have a tiny hole at the edge or near the bottom that looks as though the edges have been serrated, it’s a sure sign of a mouse.

Of course, once you notice gnawing, look carefully in the area, and you’ll be sure to see mouse droppings. Gnawing and eating go hand in hand with droppings.

Mice are Not Nice

If you find that you have a mouse in the house, the next step is to get rid of it. Sure, mice may look cute and cuddly, especially to the kids if you have any, but they are vermin and can potentially destroy all of your packaged food by spoiling it with liquid and solid waste. Viruses, fevers, salmonella and even the plague have been associated with mouse infestations, so you will want to get it out, now!

What to Do

If there is, literally, only one mouse in the house, or perhaps two, you may have a chance to get rid of them yourself. There are dozens of traps available, from the most common snap traps, to live traps, electric zap traps and even glue board sticky traps. There are even mouse poisons obtainable too, and generally with one feeding, a mouse will succumb.

In many cases, traps are the way to go because you can actually see what you have caught. If there is only a single mouse or a couple of mice that have gotten into your house, once trapped and the signs disappear, you’ll know you got them.

The Old Saying…

Unfortunately, the old saying that goes, “Where there’s one mouse, there’s sure to be more,” is usually true. Mice follow their own footpaths and scent, and they breed fast, so in general, if one mouse has made it into your home, it probably isn’t the only one there.

With that said, in most cases, if you notice a mouse, the best solution is to call a professional exterminator at Guarantee Pest. Not only will they get rid of the problem, but they will also find out where the pests are coming from, so you can take steps to nip your mouse problem in the bud before it starts again.

For more information on how to get rid of the mice that are in your home, visit our website today.

3 Types of Rats in Florida and How to Tell Them Apart

There are three main types of rats found in Florida. If you think that your home has a rat problem, then knowing how to identify what type of rats you have can make it easier for you to trap them. Of course, if you think you have a rat infestation, you’ll want to schedule a pest control service right away. The following are the three most commonly found types of rats in Florida and how you can identify them:

types of rats

1. The Roof Rat

About the Roof Rat

The Roof Rat is the most common type of rat found in south Florida. Roof Rats are identified by a number of different names, including Palm Rats, Fruit Rats, Citrus Rats, and Black Rats. For the most part, they are vegetarian—although they will eat almost anything that is available. Female Roof Rats can produce as many as 20 offspring within a year, and they tend to live between two to three years, which is why you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as you identify them.

Identifying the Roof Rat

Roof Rats typically grow between three to eight inches in length. They are usually black or dark brown in color and have long tails as well as big ears and eyes. Their fur is smooth, and their bodies are usually smaller and sleeker than Norway Rats. Their droppings are between 12 and 13 millimeters long with pointed ends, making them smaller and sharper looking than Norway Rat droppings. They often nest up near the roof, such as in an attic space. You can sometimes identify their presence by the grease marks they leave along surfaces.

2. The Norway Rat

About the Norway Rat

Norway Rats are most often found outside, although they will venture indoors in search of food. They are omnivores and will feed on everything from meat to fruits to grains. Unlike Roof Rats, Norway Rats are burrowing rats, which means they are often found in basement spaces and crawl spaces. They will usually hide during the day. Norway Rats typically only live for around a year, but females can produce up to 22 offspring within a year.

Identifying the Norway Rat

Norway Rats can reach lengths of up to 16 inches. Their fur is usually shaggy and brown or grey in color. Their tails are shorter than their bodies, and they are usually covered in scales—as are their ears. It’s usually easy to tell them apart from Roof Rats, especially by the shape of their droppings, which are not only capsule-shaped, but also much larger than those of Roof Rats.

3. The Wood Rat

About the Wood Rat

Wood Rats aren’t as common as Roof Rats or Norway Rats, but they are found in northern parts of Florida. They can be a real nuisance due to the fact that they not only eat food and leave droppings around the house, but also steal small items, which is why they are often called “Pack Rats.”

Identifying the Wood Rat

Wood Rats grow up to seven inches in length and are roughly the same size as Norway Rats. However, you can tell them apart from Norway Rats because of their hamster-like look—they have long, soft, fine fur and furry tails instead of scaly tails. They range from black or grey to brown in color.

Use these tips to identify the different types of rats you might spot in your home, and be sure to contact a pest control service if you think you have a rat infestation.

To learn more about types of rats and how to eliminate them if you have an infestation, visit our website today.

Florida Bugs: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There are tons of Florida bugs that you may come across at some point in your life—some of them may even wander into your home, at which point you may do everything in your power to eliminate them. However, keep in mind that there are many different kinds of Florida bugs, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly. The following are some examples of Florida bugs that are good, bad, and ugly:

curious kid

Good Florida Bugs

You may want to think twice about calling pest control if you spot any of the following Florida bugs around your home. They can actually be beneficial to the comfort and safety of your home!

  • The Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolina) – These spiders can look quite monstrous—they reach almost 0.98 inches in size. However, they are basically harmless. In fact, they tend to shy away from humans and are even beneficial to have in your home. This is because Carolina wolf spiders eat insect pests, thereby acting as pest control for your home.
  • The Spined Soldier Bug (Podisus masculiventris) – Spined soldier bugs may look intimidating, but you should be happy to see them around your property. Although they are a predatory insect, they don’t bother humans and aren’t bothered by them. Instead, they hunt more than 90 different types of insect species, including common garden pests.

Bad Florida Bugs

If you spot any of the following bugs, you’ll want to be careful in removing them from your home. If you think you have an infestation, schedule pest control right away.

  • The Red Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta) – Ants typically are seen as harmless pests that are more a nuisance than anything else. But the red fire ant is more than just a nuisance—red fire ants will sting you, and it will not only hurt, but also leave behind a swollen pustule on your skin. Red fire ants are common in Florida and can be found in mounds throughout backyards all over the state.
  • The Formosan Termite (Coptotermes formosanus) – A termite infestation is never a good thing, but these termites are particularly destructive. Formosan termites hail from Asia and were introduced to Florida in the early 1980s. They can do serious damage to the wood structure of your home—often within as little as three months. Due to their destructive efficiency, they are often known as “super termites.”

Ugly Florida Bugs

Some bugs aren’t necessarily harmful, but they aren’t necessarily beneficial, either. But boy, are they ugly! The following are some of the ugliest bugs you may come across in the state of Florida:

  • The Palmetto Bug (Eurycotis floridana) – Cockroaches are some of the ugliest insects alive, and the palmetto bug is no exception. They’re not particularly harmful to humans, although they certainly are unsanitary. What makes this species of cockroach so particularly reprehensible is that not only are they quite large (they grow upwards of 1.2 to 1.6 inches in length), but they can also fly!
  • Love Bugs (Plecia nearctica) – By themselves, love bugs aren’t too horrible to look at. However, love bugs swarm together during the mating season, which begins in the late spring and lasts throughout summer. During this period, these pests can be a real nuisance, and you won’t want them anywhere near your home.

Familiarize yourself with these good, bad, and ugly insects and schedule a pest control service with Guarantee Pest if you identify any bad insects in your Florida-area home.

What’s Bugging You This Spring? Florida Pest Control Tips for April through July

In Florida, spring means warmer weather, plant rebirth and afternoon thundershowers. It’s also the time when pests awake from their winter slumber and invade any property they can find.

Increased ant, mosquito, bee, roach and wasp activity is often a result of explosive plant growth, a condition that allows creatures to build homes and grow their populations.

In the Greater Miami and Palm Beach area, preventing infestations requires pest control service over the parts of your property that pests love to call home.

helpful pest control tips

Controlling Plant Growth

If you think of tree branches, shrubs and other outgrowths of plant life as the roads of the animal and insect world, you’ll realize why it’s so important to keep these things from touching the exterior of your property.

Squirrels can use branches to infiltrate holes in your attic, fire ants can use limbs as a bridge to your patio and overgrown shrubs can provide the perfect home for mosquitoes right next to imperfectly sealed doors or windows.

By creating a line of defense around your property, you can prevent many different kinds of infestations. Florida pest control service experts can help you pinpoint specific hazards before they become a problem.

Living Clutter-Free

Bugs don’t really know the difference between natural plant life and ordinary junk that comes with property ownership. A simple pile of moist wood or mulch can be the perfect home for termites or carpenter ants.

Bees and other flying insects have been known to construct hives in many different types of hollow spaces, so tires, old boxes and any other structures may look like appealing locations for scouting bees.

Spending a few minutes to clear this kind of debris can save a lot of future hassle. You can make spring cleaning an interior and exterior project for yourself or hired help.

Maintaining Your Lawn

As a responsible commercial property owner in Broward County or homeowner in Miami, you likely already pay for lawn maintenance services to keep your grass cut to the right level.

It’s during springtime when keeping your lawn cut short can be most important, as ants, ticks, fleas and even snakes can be a serious threat to small children and pets.

You can ensure your lawn isn’t home to harmful critters by hiring a professional Florida pest control service to conduct routine inspections. Unfortunately, over-the-counter pest control products are rarely effective.

Checking Your Gutters

It’s easy to ignore the condition of your gutters, but not dealing with debris buildup as it happens can create paradise conditions for all sorts of pests. Roaches, ants and mosquitoes all thrive in gutters where damp leaves sit for days and months at a time.

Pests who live in gutters often have easy to access to the interior of properties where they reside. Early spring, when temperatures are still relatively cool and afternoon thunderstorms are yet to be a daily occurrence, is a great time of year to get those gutters clean.

Whether you’re conducting a routine sweep of your property for bugs or have a renter who’s dealing with a specific problem, a great way to deal with any bug problem during the spring is to call a professional Florida pest control service at Guarantee. We’ve been delivering quality pest control service to South Florida since 1946.

Is a House Mouse Destroying Your Home’s Foundation? 5 Signs of an Infestation

As cute as mice are, they can be real pests. It’s not just because they multiply rather quickly and will leave droppings all over your Miami area home. Unfortunately, mice can cause much more trouble than that.

In fact, a house mouse infestation can be quite dangerous, since there are a few types of mice, such as the deer mouse, which spread diseases like listeria and salmonellosis through their droppings, urine, and saliva. And not only are they a risk to the health of you and your family, but they can damage your home as well.

A house mouse can chew through pretty much any kind of material, including drywall, wood, soft concrete, insulation, rubber, aluminum, and gas lines. Their ability to chew through these materials can lead to all sorts of damage, from electrical wire-related fires to foundation damage. That’s right, many types of mice can actually cause severe damage to your home’s foundation.

The following are a few ways to find out if mice might be causing damage to your foundation:

mice destroying foundation

1) Listen for All Types of Mice

If you can hear scuttling sounds near your home’s floorboards, there’s a good chance mice have already found their way in and are targeting your foundation.

2) Look for Mouse Droppings

Mouse droppings are easy to identify. They tend to be small, rod-shaped, and pointed at both ends.

If you spot mouse droppings anywhere in your home, there is a greater risk that mice will make their way into your foundation, if they haven’t already. If you find them near your foundation, they may already be in the process causing damage.

3) Look for Physical Damage in the Foundation

If you see cracks or holes in your home’s foundation, the damage has already been done. If you suspect that this damage was caused by hungry mice, there are a couple of ways to identify the culprits for sure:

  • Look for urine stains by shining ultraviolet light across the area where the cracks and holes have appeared.
  • Spread flour or talcum powder onto the floor surrounding the foundation damage. If mice are in the area, they will leave tracks in the powder leading to the foundation damage.

4) Look for Drafts

Inspect the foundation for any changes in temperature within your home. This works best if there is a drastic change in temperature from inside the house to outside. For example, it’s much easier to identify cold drafts in the winter at night when your heat is on.

If you find any drafts near the foundation, shine a light at the foundation to see if it comes out the other side — if it does, mice are probably getting in through these entry points. Remember, a house mouse doesn’t need much space to operate.

5) Look for House Mouse Nests

If you have anything stored up against your home’s foundation, whether inside or outside the home, inspect these areas for nests. Firewood stacked up near the foundation, trash cans, and storage boxes are all excellent nesting areas for mice.

Foundation repairs can be costly. If you think you have a house mouse problem, you should schedule a consultation with a pest control specialist immediately at Guarantee Pest. An exterminator will be able to pinpoint the source of your mouse problem, determine whether they have damaged your foundation, and help to eliminate the mice infestation.

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