- Clear away any decaying or infested wood from around buildings.
- Remove firewood from inside buildings and away from the sides of buildings.
- Do not bury stumps or other wood debris close to your house.
- Pay attention to the state of landscaping props (like decorative bark, retaining walls, and driftwood).
- Correct humidity problems in your home.
- Replace decaying or infested structural wood with sound material.
- Remove food sources to discourage ants from invading buildings.
- Keep food in sealed containers and regularly sweep up all crumbs and other food fragments.
- Keep your home clean to prevent re-infestation.
- Make sure that all screens fit properly and that there are no cracks or holes that would allow flies to enter your house.
- Weather strip windows and doors.
- Fill any cracks or crevices with caulking around doors, window frames, and other openings in the building structure.
- Install insect screening over air vents in soffits.
- keeping cats indoors
- inspecting your pet regularly
- regularly mowing and raking your lawn to discourage animals that may carry fleas
- repairing window screens and other places that unwanted animals can use to enter your home
- covering sandboxes when they are not being used
- Wash pet and family bedding in hot, soapy water every 2 to 3 weeks. Lift blankets by all 4 corners to avoid scattering the eggs and larvae. If an infestation is severe, replace old pet bedding.
- Vacuum carpets and cushioned furniture daily.
- Clean around cracks and crevices on floors and along baseboards.
- Steam-clean carpets.
- baseboards near sleeping quarters
- points of entry (for example, around door and window frames)
- small areas in the yard where pets rest or play (like dog houses)
The house mouse has large ears and is light brown to dark grey, with a lighter colour on its belly. It is often found in urban areas. The deer mouse is brown or grey with a white belly and feet. The white colour on the underside of its tail is an easy way to spot a deer mouse. It may invade buildings near fields and woodlands in the fall.
A rat is larger than a mouse and can weigh up to 0.5 kilograms (1 pound). The Norway rat and the roof rat look similar, but their habits are different. The Norway rat builds elaborate systems of tunnels and burrows at ground level. It prefers damp areas like crawl spaces or building perimeters. The roof rat is an agile climber and prefers to live in trees, vines, and other dense vegetation. It will infest attics, rafters, or roofs, and upper stories of buildings.
Mice and rats are carriers of disease, and can damage property. The deer mouse is the most common carrier of the deadly hantavirus. For more information on hantavirus, please visit Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety
How do I know if I have a problem?
Scampering and scratching sounds in the walls of your home at night, signs of gnawing or chewing, or damaged food packages can mean you have an infestation of mice or rats. Other signs include droppings and urine, burrows or holes in and around foundation walls, or tracks on dusty surfaces.Mice and rats are prolific breeders. Tackle the problem of occasional invaders right away to avoid a severe infestation.
Prevention is key in controlling rats and mice problems in your home.
- The first line of defence is to get rid of easy entry points. Mice can squeeze through cracks as small as a dime, while rats can enter through a quarter-sized hole. Even the small gaps created by worn thresholds under doors will allow mice access to your home
- Use metal weather stripping under doors, and weather strip windows
- Patch cracks in foundations
- Stuff steel wool around pipes before caulking or plastering
- Cover dryer vents, attic vents, and soffits with fine mesh metal screening
- Make your home less appealing to rodents
- Remove cosy nesting sites in unused clutter around your house and garage
- Cut tall grass and weeds back from your house
- Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids
- Raise woodpiles about 30 centimetres (1 foot) off the ground. Place them away from your house
- Never place fatty or oily food waste, eggs, or milk products in the composter
- Use a layer of heavy metal mesh between the soil and the bottom of the composter
- Eliminate water sources (like leaky taps, sweating pipes, and open drains)
- Keep your kitchen clean. Store dry food and dry pet food in metal or glass containers
Use caution when near urine and droppings:
- Wear rubber gloves and a dust mask during cleanup
- Dampen droppings and debris with a solution of bleach and water before wiping up
- Wear gloves to dispose of dead rats and mice
- Double bag the bodies of dead rats and mice in plastic bags and put in a garbage bin with a secure lid
- Wash hands and exposed clothing thoroughly after clean-up, and separate from other laundry
- Never sweep or vacuum dry droppings. The dust that is raised can cause illness
Bats are flying creatures of the night, not much bigger than a house mouse. Bats can live up to 10 years. The wingspan of the two most common Canadian species (the little brown bat and the big brown bat) ranges from 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14 inches), though some can be larger. A single brown bat is very beneficial: it can easily capture 600 mosquitoes each hour. A colony of 500 bats can eat a million insects nightly. When bats invade buildings and homes though, they become a nuisance. Their presence, the parasites they carry, and the smell from their droppings and urine can all be a problem. Bats may bare their teeth and squeak loudly, leading many people to believe they are vicious. In reality, the bat is only trying to ward off a possible attack from one of their predators (which include hawks, falcons, owls, cats, snakes, and humans).Rabies is a potentially fatal viral disease in humans and other mammals that is spread by bites or scratches and through contact with saliva or bodily tissues. Although attacks by rabid bats are rare, anyone bitten or scratched by a bat or any other wild animal should get medical help right away. Bats are usually noticed by their droppings or noise-making. Their musty smelling droppings can be mistaken for those of mice or birds. Bat droppings can look like crushed, fine, shiny undigested insect parts, while mouse droppings are firm and do not break apart easily. No white colour appears in bat droppings, like it does in bird feces. To save energy, bats have the ability to enter a dormant state that makes them look like they are sick, asleep, or dead. Sometimes bats can be seen around outdoor lights that have attracted insects. Sometimes in favourable conditions (like high humidity and temperatures above freezing), bats will roost in buildings throughout the winter. To tell if bats are roosting in a building, inspect the outside of the building before dark when bats leave their roosts, or when they return at dawn. Watching for an hour should be enough to find entry and exit points. Prevention Staple or duct-tape bird netting over entry points, with the bottom part hanging loosely at one to several inches from the building. This will allow the bats to crawl under and leave the roost site, while returning bats will not be able to re-enter. Watch your house for several evenings at dusk to make sure bats have not found another way to get in. Once bats are no longer seen leaving the building, the netting can be taken down and the holes sealed. Since bats tend to avoid daylight, lighting an infested area may cause them to leave. This method is believed to be most effective if done shortly after bats return from their hibernating sites. If you have successfully removed bats from your home, the best way to keep them out is to seal all points of entry (like spaces under eaves, electrical conduits, and holes around the chimney and windows). Vents that must be kept open can be protected with a fine screen. Larger openings can be sealed with a high quality caulk, sheet of metal, or window screen. Unlike rodents, bats will not gnaw their way through, but they will push aside loose barriers. Bats help control mosquitoes, so they should be encouraged to roost in our neighbourhoods (just not in our homes or buildings). Install bat houses in trees where bats will not be a nuisance. Bat houses can be bought in hardware stores and garden centres, or easily built with rough leftover wood. Install them facing east or southeast, and be careful that tree branches do not block the door.
For more information, you can go to Health Canada:
Whatever your pest, we have the solution.