The 1, 2, 3’s on Controlling Rodents


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  1. Locate food source:  Rodents’ sense of smell is about 10 times greater than a dog, so make sure customers don’t leave food out. 
  2. Harborage and entry points:  Following air movement and heat is easier than looking for rub marks, droppings and nesting locations. Inspect areas where warm air escapes from vents, around pipes, roofs & under doorways.
    • Excess debris from trash, leaves and over-growth from groundcover provide protective cover and warmth for nesting areas.
    • Seam lines of buildings (along concrete or asphalt) hold heat from the sun, and are great run paths for rats and mice. Follow those lines!
    • Heat-sensing cameras are useful, and give a good overview of potential entry points, especially in winter. Sealing and preventing heat from escaping a building helps prevent rodents.
  3. Eradicate Rats and Mice:  Rodents are very cautious, so using more than one trap can increase your success. It is also important to use a trap cover in sensitive areas to prevent children and non-target animals. JT Eaton’s JAWZ™ MOUSE DEPOT™ (#798164) and RAT DEPOT™ (#798165) trap covers are perfect for sensitive situations. These snap trap covers effectively conceal the traps and help reduce the chances of non-target triggering. Selecting the right food to put on the trap is simple: peanut butter (if no one has allergies) and fruit snacks work well because they don’t spoil as fast as other foods. Use a very small amount of foods on traps, about half a dime works for rats and mice. Check your traps regularly. 

A final note:  Rodents and their droppings can carry diseases and contaminate surfaces. Use caution when approaching any live or dead rodent. Always be aware that rodent droppings pose some hazard, big or small. Salmonella, Leptospirosis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and Plague are still common rodent diseases. Protecting your customers, pest technicians, the public and yourself begins with knowledge:

  • Log on to to find rodent diseases in your area.
  • Have a program to identify areas where rodent droppings accumulate.
  • Entering confined spaces with rodent evidence requires use of respirators and decontamination procedures.
  • Removing rodent droppings requires understanding of decontamination procedures. 


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