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Preparing for Increased Fall Rodent Activity in Tequesta

September 19, 2018

Are you ready for them? The three rodent pests that are most likely to make your Tequesta home their winter home? They are the house mouse, the roof rat, and the Norway rat, and in the fall when fruit is ripe on the tree, your home is ripe for unwanted entry. Here are some important facts you should know about the common rodents of Tequesta.

mouse on a jar

The House Mouse

There is a reason the house mouse has the word "house" in its name. These tiny 5 ½ to 7 ½ inch rodents love living with us. Our homes provide everything a house mouse could ever want: food to eat, water to drink, and protection from predators. In your yard, you'll find these skittish animals in brush piles, underneath your porch, inside a stump hole, or hiding in a discarded piece of furniture or in an old appliance waiting to go to the dump. But, given the opportunity, they're happy to hide in the walls of your home. They usually get into homes when they explore foundation walls in search of chipped mortar or chew on a window or door frame. If they're able to make a hole the size of the dime, they're able to get in. To keep them out, it is important to make your foundation perimeter as uninviting to mice as possible. Remove any clutter they can hide in. Get rid of weeds and other overgrowth. And move any stacked wood away from your home.

The Roof Rat

Roof rats should be called house rats because these rats love to live with us almost as much as house mice do. They often come into our yards to sample fruit from a tree. For this reason, they are sometimes called fruit rats. But roof rats have a wide and diverse diet that includes vegetables, seeds, nuts, slugs, snails, insects, and more. As these rodents search for food around your home, they may decide to use their strong teeth to chew their way inside. Most likely, they will attack high locations. Roof rats get their name for the way they like to hang out on roofs or in rafters, if they're able to get in. It is important to do a detailed inspection of your roofline to make sure there are no holes or gaps they can squeeze in through. At 6 to 8 inches, they are bigger than mice, and quite a bit more stout, but they can still fit through a hole the size of a quarter. Use a silicone caulk to fill patch holes until you can afford to do official repairs. Trim tree branch so no branches hang over your roof and give these rats easy access. Put wire mesh in downspouts to keep these rats from climbing up. And, while the roof is where you should focus your energy, be aware that roof rats can also get into a home through low places as well.

The Norway Rat

Norway rats are somewhat opposite of roof rats. While roof rats are more likely to seek high places, Norway rats will seek low places, going so far as to burrow under the ground. They will often make their burrows underneath piles of junk and establish them as close to a food source as possible. They can eat the foods we eat but are more than capable of living off of foods found in nature, such as slugs, nuts, fruits, and berries. These rats prefer to be outside, but they are more than capable of establishing themselves indoors. If you have a garden in your yard, be sure to put fencing at least a foot below the surface of the ground to discourage these tunneling rodents from getting at your tasty vegetables.

General Tips

When rodents get in, they can have a negative impact on everyone living in your home. Here are some general tips that work to resist all rodents.

  • Keep exterior trash in sealed receptacles and clean those receptacles periodically.
  • Address any issues that allow pools of water to form near your foundation walls.
  • Keep grass trimmed and landscaping neat.
  • Prevent piles from forming in your yard.
  • Keep toys picked up.
  • Follow this link for more pest control tips.

Rodents are active in fall. The best way to control them is with routine monitoring and trapping performed by a pest control professional. If you need assistance, Nozzle Nolen can help. Our team is one of the best in the business. We can help prevent mice and rats from getting into your home, all year long.


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