A Guide To Rodent-Proofing Your Longview Home

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One early automotive invention we take for granted is shatterproof glass. Can you imagine how treacherous driving was before engineers discovered they could keep the glass from shattering by infusing it with a thin plastic layer? Many people probably were injured by flying glass shards when a small rock struck their windshield. 

Just as we want our car windows to resist flying objects, we want our homes to be resistant to rodents. We do not desire rats, mice, and other rodents to access our living spaces and endanger our family members or pets. How do you keep rodents out of the house? 

The first step to rodent-proofing your home begins with partnering with the Longview pest control experts at Gecko Pest Control. With over 20 years of rodent removal experience, our locally owned and operated company knows how to stop rodents from accessing your home. Nominated for the 2021 Better Business Bureau's Award of Excellence, our expert technicians are graduates of the Purdue Pest Management Course taught by a certified staff entomologist. When you partner with us to protect your home against a rodent invasion, you receive individual service with a personal relationship. 

The next step for rodent-proofing your Longview home requires learning about the problematic pests, how to protect yourself, and how to keep them out. We cover those necessary items in this article, so please keep reading.

Types Of Rodents Common To The Area

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Rodents are mammals with fur, two ears and eyes, four legs, and a tail like your household pet, but with a glaring difference. The distinction that defines a rodent is the upper and lower pair of incisor teeth. These teeth have a hard layer of enamel on the front side and a softer, dentine layer on the backside. When the animal gnaws on items, it forms a razor's edge where the dentine and enamel meet. Rodents don't only chew on glass, metal, wood, and even concrete to sharpen their teeth, but the main reason they gnaw on items is to keep their teeth manageable. A rat's teeth grow about four inches annually, and if a rat fails to keep them trim, they will become too large and prevent the rat from eating.

You can put rodents into two categories: wildlife and commensal. Squirrels, chipmunks, moles, and voles are examples of wildlife rodents. These animals stay away from humans and avoid them when possible. Commensal rodents (e.g., rats and mice) live around humans and often depend upon them for food; these rodents infest many Longview homes. 

Two types of rats invade homes in our area: Norway rats and roof rats. Although sometimes called street rats or sewer rats, Norway rats did not arrive in the United States from Norway but came from Asia. Norway rats have plump 7 to 9-1/2-inch bodies covered by brown hairs with interspersed black hairs; their long, scaly tail adds several additional inches to their total length. Although color-blind with poor eyesight, they can move through a home foraging for food in the dark using their keen sense of smell, touch, and taste. These heavy rats are good climbers and swimmers, but they prefer to live in the basement and lower levels of homes.

The roof rat is the counterpart to the Norway rats. Like the Norway rat, from head to tail, their bodies also have a total length of about 16 inches, but they are slender and not as heavy. Roof rats share the same topside coloration as Norway rats with a grey, black, or white underbelly. As their name suggests, these rats, also known as ship rats or black rats, live in attics and the upper level of homes. 

Mice are the other commensal rodent that infests many Longview homes. House mice are the type of mice that are problematic for most homeowners. Without the tail, house mice have a 2 1/2 to 3 3/4-inch dusty grey or light brown topside and a creamy underside. If you add the additional 2 3/4 to 4-inch tail, a house mouse is about 5 to 8 inches long and is much shorter than a rat. House mice have a pointed muzzle, unlike the rats' blunt muzzle. House mice prefer to live in dark, secluded areas in the home. 

Both rodent types leave behind similar rodent infestation signs. These signs include droppings, grease marks on walls and objects, gnaw marks on furniture, food containers, appliances, and four and five-toed tracks. Although they leave similar signs behind, one way to determine what rodent kind is infesting your Longview home is to examine the droppings. Rats produce rod-shaped droppings 1/2-inch or longer. Norway rat feces has a blunt end, but roof rats and house mice produce pointed-ended droppings. Although roof rats and house mice leave pointed droppings, you can distinguish between the two by size. Roof rats leave 1/2-inch droppings, but house mice produce 1/8 to 1/4-inch feces. 

Gecko Pest Control can remove whatever Texas rodent is in your Longview home. Our trained technicians have the knowledge, skills, and tools to stop the species from invading your space.

Rats, Mice And Other Rodents Can Be Very Dangerous

Rats and mice can be harmful to the contents of your house due to their constant gnawing. Rats chew two to three-inch holes in floors and walls, and both damage wood furniture. Both species create nests in wall voids behind cabinets and appliances where wiring may be present. Because of the inborn need to chew on nearby objects, they eat through the protective coating on electrical wires and communication lines. Losing the internet is not fun due to rodents, but having your home destroyed by an electrical fire is far worse. Since they also hide in appliances near the warm motors, they can access circuit boards and cause short circuits that disable the unit and cause costly repairs. 

Beyond the physical damage rats and mice cause are the ways they can harm your health. Rats and mice forage in drains, sewers, garbage containers, compost piles, and other polluted areas. As they move through these areas, bacteria and viruses transfer from the tainted surfaces onto their oily fur. Both rodent types have poor eyesight, so when they travel through a home in the dark, they constantly bump against items and objects and leave behind grease marks filled with disease-causing pathogens. Furthermore, the bacteria and viruses on their feet transfer to countertops, utensils, and cooking surfaces as they travel across them. 

Rodents consume pathogen-laden organic materials from polluted areas, which they later deposit onto surfaces inside a home through defecating and urinating. Another way rodents spread disease-causing organisms is through the saliva they leave on plastic and glass food containers. Mice and rats disperse bacterial pathogens that cause leptospirosis, tularemia, and salmonellosis; they also distribute viruses such as the cowpox virus. They can be vectors for roundworms that cause trichinosis. In addition to the diseases they spread, specific rodents transmit unique diseases. For example, rats spread a bacterial infection known as rat-bite fever and house mice adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In addition to the bacteria, viruses, and roundworms on their fur, rodents often have parasitic fleas and ticks hitchhiking. These blood-eating insects can transfer diseases and tapeworms to humans and animals.

Gecko Pest Control provides rodent control in Longview to protect your family against the ravages of diseases spread by rats and mice and to protect your home and belongings from damage.

Four Simple Yet Effective Rodent Exclusion Tips

Once Gecko Pest Control removes rodents from your Longview home, you want to do all you can to ensure they don't return. Although no one can eliminate all the rats and mice in your neighborhood, you can take these steps to deter them from entering your house:

  1. Seal openings with steel wool
  2. Cover the attic and crawl space vents with one-quarter-inch steel wire
  3. Attach a spark arrester to the chimney opening
  4. Prune tree and shrub branches away from the house

Rodents can squeeze through holes no larger than a dime and three-eighths-inch gaps. Because they can chew through caulk, plug those openings with steel wool or concrete. Look for openings in the foundation and along the roof line. Trim trees and shrubs from the house to prevent roof rats and house mice from entering the attic and second floor. 

When you call Gecko Pest Control to get rid of rodents, our trained, certified technicians will identify access points and provide additional exclusion ideas specifically for your location.

The Pros To Know For The Best Rodent Control For Your Home

Whether it is mice or rats, Gecko Pest Control removes different types of rodents in Longview. We will send an experienced technician to inspect your house. We will identify entry points, attractants, hot spots, and the species infiltrating your space. Once we gather the data, we will create a strategic plan utilizing traps and treatment products to remove the rodents from your Longview home. Contact us today to learn about our rodent removal plans and service guarantee and schedule a free inspection.

What Gecko Pest Control Customers Are Saying

"I just wanted to say that y’all have some of the best and kind hearted employees working for Gecko. Landen came out today and went above and beyond to represent the company and who he is as a person. I am very thankful for his hospitality and professionalism. Great team you have!!  Proud to be a Gecko customer."

Steve B
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"Love this company. Very professional. All there employees are professional, knowledgeable, helpful and just darn nice!"

Greg S
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"Ryan did a very thorough job in spraying around the house. He walked the exterior of the house with me to learn my specific needs. He was even very helpful to help move the humming bird feeders before this initial spray.  Daren was also very informative I’m explaining the services.  They were able to come out the day I called and were prompt arriving."

Sue B
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