Once the cooler temperatures start to make their appearance, rodents look for a warm place to winter. In many cases that may mean your home. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rodents are responsible for a host of diseases. These include hemorrhagic fever, salmonellosis, and even the plague. Because these can be severe, it is important that homeowners are aware of a few misconceptions regarding rodent control.
There's Just One or Two Mice in the Home
You see a mouse and decide to put out a trap to catch it, thinking this will be the end of your rodent problem. Unfortunately, rodents rapidly reproduce. Discover Magazine reports that rodents are capable of having as many as 2,000 babies in the course of one year. This means if you see one, chances are you have a multitude of additional mice in your home that you can't see.
Cheese is the Best Bait for Catching Rodents
Despite the many cartoons that depict mice being attracted to cheese, it is not the best bait to use. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommends using seeds, peanut butter, or cotton balls. The cotton balls actually attract the mice because they use it as a nesting material.
Getting a Cat Will Deter a Rodent Infestation
Although cats are natural hunters and will capture a mouse if they see one, they are not great rodent deterrents. In fact, homeowners often leave cat food out so that their beloved pet can chow down whenever it so desires. Rodents actually like cat food, so in this instance, you are actually feeding the mice and rats and encouraging them to stick around.
Flushing the Rodent Down the Toilet Will Get Rid of It
If a homeowner ended up capturing a rodent and wanted to get rid of it, flushing it down the toilet isn't the best way. Not only will the rodent not drown, but it will crawl right back up the pipes and out of your toilet into the home you just evicted it from.
Rodents Head Outside to Die After Consuming Rat Poison
Rat poisons are made up for anti-coagulants that lead to the rodent's death within a few days of consumption. Unfortunately, rats do not know to go outside and die. Most of the time they end up kicking the bucket in your walls. Over time, homeowners will start to notice a horrible odor that they won't be able to locate and remove.
Contacting a licensed rodent exterminator is your best bet when dealing with a rodent infestation. They are knowledgeable on the best way to remove all of the pests, even the ones you can't see. They will also do this in a way that no mice are left to decompose in your walls.