We know what you’re thinking: “Of course the mouse exterminator doesn’t want me to handle my own rodent control. He wants my business!”

Well, that’s true. Topps Home Services does want your business. But that’s far from the biggest reason that we would advise you to avoid trying to tackle your critter control yourself. Here are some very good reasons to leave your problems to the experts when it comes to mice and rat extermination.

Do You Even Know What You Have?

Since many of the rodents that we deal with in a home are nocturnal, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re dealing with without the help of a professional. If you’ve seen chewed wires, does it mean you have a roof rat or a house mouse? Was that animal you saw crawling around your home’s foundation a Norway rat or something even worse? We can often identify the offending creature by the damage it causes and the droppings it leaves, and then we’ll know the exact path to take.

As the old saying goes, you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight. Only after you properly identify the creature at hand can you find the right way to deal with them. And speaking of how to deal with them…

Do You Want To Deal With the Instruments of Destruction?

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Unfortunately, the mouse traps that are sold in stores are still rather messy to use. If you go with the old-school approach and use the kind that snap and break the critter’s neck, you’re going to have to view the carnage and pick up the whole thing. Spend a bit more and it might leave the body a bit better hidden, but you’ll still need some way to verify that it’s actually in there and not just a false catch.

But what if you go the poison route? That’s actually quite a bit worse. The problem with poisons is that they kill the mouse or rat wherever it is. Sure, it might be dead, but it might be dead in the middle of your kitchen or bedroom. (At least then you can see it and get rid of it). Most likely it will eat the poison and then crawl off to its nest to die, so you will now have poison-filled rodent bodies decaying in your garage, attic, basement, or inside the walls. That’s not something anyone wants.

You Might Be Feeding Them

When you combine the topics of those first two headings up above, it turns out that DIY rodent control might be feeding the creatures instead of killing them. Let’s take the Norway rat, for instance, one of the biggest rodents you’re going to find around here. Adult Norway rats get huge, up to nine inches long…and that doesn’t include the tail! If you can’t properly identify the animal you need pest control for and you’re just putting out basic mousetraps, you’re not going to get rid of the animals in question. In fact, you might just be feeding them if the traps are too small!

Why is the quote about “building a better mousetrap” so well-known? Because mice and other rodents have defeated the intent of so many mousetraps from the past. Their hunger is great, and their small brains can circumvent many traps that can be purchased at the store. That’s why you need a professional rodent control expert.

Traps Can Hurt, Poisons Can Kill

Consumer-focused traps can hurt your fingers and hands when you’re setting them. They’re also problematic for curious little hands, so you’ll want to keep them out of reach of any children.

Poisons are even worse, because it goes beyond just having a hurt hand. In addition to leaving dead rodents in odd places, poisons can also create dangerous situations for anyone in your home who comes in contact with them. In the end, do you really want these poisons hanging around your home?

They Carry Disease, and You Don’t Want To Handle Them

Take away everything you know about mice and rats and just look at them. They’re actually kind of cute. They’re fuzzy, they scamper, they have cute little ears and noses. Sure, they have weird, beady eyes, but compared to a star-nosed mole or a ghost-faced bat, they’re downright adorable. No wonder some people keep them as pets.

So why do we want them out of our houses? Well, the primary reason is that they’re disease carriers. The problem is that sometimes the rodents are just the carriers, and the disease might not affect them at all. So a perfectly healthy rat can still make people in a home very sick.

Here’s a list of some of the diseases mice and rats carry (though not all of these diseases are necessarily in Texas):

  • The Plague (yes, that The Plague, the one that wiped out a third of Europe)
  • Hantavirus
  • Rat Bite Fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Weil’s Disease
  • Lassa Fever
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
  • Leptospirosis
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever

Why shouldn’t you deal with your own rodent control? Because mice and rats can transmit these diseases even after they’re dead. In fact, they don’t even have to be alive or present in order to transmit disease. The mites and fleas they carry, as well as their urine and feces, can be disease vectors. Yet another reason you should call a professional mouse or rat exterminator.

You Might Not Get Them Fast Enough

Here’s the thing about mice: they breed incredibly fast. Mouse gestation is about 20 days long, and they’ll have an average of seven young in a litter (and as many as 14). With one female being able to have between five and 10 litters a year, you can see how two mice can quickly become hundreds of mice.

If you choose to be your own mouse exterminator, you probably won’t be able to hit the problem hard enough. Just putting a few mouse traps because you saw some mouse droppings isn’t going to get them fast enough to keep up with their reproduction. You need someone who knows what they’re doing, leaving (and monitoring) enough traps in order to get them all. Because if you miss just two mice, or one pregnant female, you’re going to be right back in the same rodent-filled boat before you know it.

You Might Not Identify the Entry Points

In a recent article, we discussed the ways in which mice and rats get into your home. Sometimes it’s due to a tilted foundation, other times it’s because of a crack in the garage’s flashing. Mice and rats are good at getting into homes no matter what.

Here’s the thing about working with the professionals at Topps Home Services. Not only can we be your critter control experts, but we can also identify the most likely places where they’re getting in. And since we’re also general contractors in the Georgetown area, we can seal up the ways they got in and fix any problems they made of your house at the same time.

Go With The Pros

Instead of trying to handle your rodent problem yourself, why not let the professionals handle it? A rodent control expert can come into your home or business, properly identify the creature at hand, and deal with it in the right way. Contact Topps Home Services today!