Rodent extermination is more than just killing your rodents. A more comprehensive plan must be enacted by you and your exterminator to make sure all the rodents are removed from your home and that your problem doesn't recur. While this is especially true if you already have a recurring problem, even a first time problem is best dealt with in a way that best ensures the likelihood that you won't need another exterminator in 12 months.
You have several ways to conduct your mouse extermination. Old-fashioned snap traps are still the most popular choice and for good reason. These are effective and leave the dead animal accessible for disposal. These are generally the three most important considerations for homeowners. If you've been trying these snap traps and they aren't working, try stickier food bait such as peanut butter. Plus, mice are finicky creatures so make sure you place several traps throughout your house. It's probably a good idea to double the number of traps you think you need for your mouse extermination.
Rats pose an even bigger problem to homeowners. Their powerful jaws can gnaw through concrete causing significant damage to your home. Like other rodents such as squirrels, they can eat through your electrical wiring and create a dangerous fire hazard. Like mice, poison should not be used for rat extermination whenever possible. Rat poison can harm your pets. Plus, when you kill rats, the fleas, ticks, and mites that were living on the rat will look for a new host, which can be a public health disaster.
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More about Trapping and Exclusion
If your rodent extermination needs are beyond the control of conventional traps, you'll probably need to call a professional exterminator. If your exterminator is planning on using rodent poison or any technique that may leave the dead animals in your homes walls or crawlspaces, make sure you discuss how much the removal of the dead animals and the necessary safety precautions will cost.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, a homeowner may very well be able to deal with the immediate presence of mice or rats, but need to call a professional to perform rodent exclusion, effectively sealing the house from rodent entry points. Mice and rats have collapsible skeletons allowing them to fit through spaces much smaller than their appearance would indicate. A typical rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, a mouse through a hole the size of a pencil. Even a professional probably won't be able to make your home rodent-proof, but they'll catch a lot of things you'll miss.
Tip: Rodent extermination may use sonic devices to emit high-frequency sound waves to drive rodents from your home. They are expensive and not always 100 percent effective. If you can afford them, they may be better used as part of an exclusion plan, rather than extermination.