4 Damaging Effects of Mice or Rat Infestations in the House

Facts About Rats and Mice

mice-litterYou may be wondering how mice and rats enter the house. Another question is what they do once they enter the house.

Rats can enter the house by entering through holes or gaps that are as small as half an inch. They can also chew on smaller holes to make them bigger for them to enter. On the other hand, mice can enter holes with a diameter of at least 1/4 of an inch. They also chew into these holes if they are smaller than 1/4 of an inch.

In addition, mice and rats prefer warm areas rather than cold places. Due to these mice and rats normally enter houses and similar structures when the weather starts to become cold. They can also multiply faster if they find a good source of food inside houses and other buildings.

Mice and Rats inside Houses

While the sight of mice and rats inside the house may be repulsive and unpleasant, these rodents can cause damage inside the house. They chew, urinate, and make nests inside the house. These critters can also cause diseases to spread.

Rodents do the following once they enter a house:

1. Make a mouse or rat nest

Rodents will use any material available to them. They can use clothes or fabrics store inside boxes and old newspapers. These critters also chew on magazines or important documents. After chewing these items, they will put them together and make a comfortable nest where they can stay.

Mice and rats may also chew on drywall, wiring, and insulation. This will damage the house and possible cause fires since the wires will have no insulation to protect them.

2. Look for Sources of Food

These rodents will go around the house looking for food. This may happen before or after they make a nest.

While going around the house, they will urinate or even drop feces as they go around. This will contaminate the areas they pass through. They may even walk on food and packaging if they enter the pantry or the place where you store food. This means you will be touching their urine trail when you touch these items.

Mice and rats will chew into packaging while searching for food. Their sharp teeth allow them to chew into bags and boxes that you may think are safe from them.

After mice and rats find food, the food may become sources of food-borne diseases. These diseases include:

  • Salmonellosis, which people can acquire when they eat or drink food or liquids contaminated with rodent feces. This causes abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever.
  • The CDC said some rodents can transmit some diseases directly. These diseases include Plague, Lassa Fever, Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis or LCM, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, South American Arenaviruses, Leptospirosis, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever, Salmonellosis, Tularemia, and Rat-Bite Fever.

3. Look for Water Sources

Rodents also need water to live. While they may find water in some food, they also look for other sources of water. These may include water stored inside the water bowl of your dog or cat. They may also find it in slow-draining sinks or tubs and the bottom part of a potted plant.

Rats are also capable of swimming through the sewers and enter the home through the toilet bowl or water drains. While these are not common, they can also happen at times.

4. Procreate

Rodents can procreate at fast rates. Die to this, their population can easily multiply inside a house or building. This normally happens when they have enough food and water. A good shelter can also make this happen faster.

  • Rats – Female rats normally have around seven litters each year. Each litter has around 14 young rates. Rats can fully develop within four weeks. Due to this, a single year will result to numerous generations inside the house with every female rat in the litter.
  • Mice – House mice can produce around ten litters each year. Each litter will have around six young mice. But, it is also possible that one litter can have up to 12 young mice. Mice can grow into adults within seven weeks. Due to this, the mouse population inside the house can multiply fast within a few months when the conditions are right.

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