ABC Blog

Do Mice Come Out During the Day?

A mouse out during the day eating a piece of food

People often think that mice are only active at night because they usually spot them or hear them at night. In reality, you can see a mouse any time of day. Mice have just evolved to be more active at night because there are typically fewer dangers for them after the sun goes down. For example, in the wild, mice learned there were fewer predators out when it was dark, so this was the ideal time to go searching for food. This same principle can be applied to mice that are living inside your home. Once you turn off the lights and everyone heads to bed, including your pets, there’s a better chance for mice to find food and build their nests without putting themselves in harm’s way.

However, there are reasons that you might see a mouse out during the day. These rodents may be traveling to a place where … Read Full Post »

What Are the Early Signs of Bed Bugs?

two bed bugs with a bed bug egg, which are some of the early signs of bed bugs

You go to bed one night feeling fine, but wake up the next morning with itchy bites on your skin and disturbing concerns about bed bugs running through your mind. Especially if you’ve recently traveled, you’re wise to wonder about the early signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs hitchhike from one home to another—and even one city to another—by stowing away in luggage, or hiding out in blankets and quilts or in the crevices of used furniture. Fortunately, if you know what bed bugs look like and what some common signs of a bed bug infestation are, you can make a treatment plan so you won’t have to worry about the significant emotional toll that a bed bug infestation can have on your household.

Bed bugs are small, six-legged insects about the size and color of an apple seed, except flatter. They are so flat, in fact, that they can hide … Read Full Post »

Rats Won’t Go Near Traps: What Am I Doing Wrong?

a rat that is staring at a trap but won't go near it

It’s stressful enough to discover there might be rats in or around your home. It’s downright maddening to spend valuable time and money to set traps—only to find that the rats won’t go near your traps. If this kind of infuriating situation is happening to you, don’t panic. And know you aren’t alone. Rats are much more intelligent than many homeowners realize. For example, studies have shown that rats recognize when foods result in harm to another rat in the colony, and then actively avoid these foods in the future. They also notice when an object like a trap is a new addition to their environment, and they avoid it.

One way to get around this hurdle and convince rats to approach the trap is to trick them into thinking the trap is a safe object. Start by placing bait on your trap, but don’t set it quite yet. Once you … Read Full Post »

Do Raccoons Hibernate? What You Need to Know

a raccoon climbing down a tree

Raccoons are highly intelligent and curious creatures that can live anywhere from your local neighborhood to a farm out in the countryside. They’re highly adaptable, which means they can survive on all types of food, including fruit, small animals, pet food and even random waste they find in your trash can.

Raccoons use their hand-like paws to get into all sorts of places that most animals aren’t able to access. These animals also use their five-fingered paws to examine and tear apart any food they find. During the fall, raccoons begin to eat as much as possible, which helps them build up an extra layer of body fat and a thicker coat of fur, so they can get through the winter.

While raccoons don’t technically hibernate, they can sleep for long periods of time, and they often hide in their dens when it’s extremely cold outside. Raccoons are also opportunistic, and they … Read Full Post »

How Do Mice Get in My Attic? Rodent Proofing 101

A mouse scurrying around in an attic

If you’ve noticed signs of mice in your attic—such as droppings, piles of shredded paper or insulation, scratching or squeaking noises coming from within the walls or actual mouse sightings—you’re probably wondering how the mice got there.

Mice, rats and other rodent pests normally get into attics, garages and homes through gaps in exterior walls that lead to interior spaces. Even a seemingly tiny gap around a dryer or bathroom vent, for example, can be a good entry point for a mouse, since mice can squeeze through holes as small as the size of a dime. Yes, you read that right! These creatures are incredibly well-adapted to contort their bodies to fit through extremely small holes.

The reason why mice infiltrate people’s homes is the same as that of any animal trying to get inside: They are seeking warm, dry shelter; food and water and a good place to build a nest … Read Full Post »

Do Possums Attack? Your Questions Answered

A possum bearing its teeth as if it was going to attack

Possums are undeniably odd-looking animals, especially when they’re feeling threatened. When they sense danger, their first response is often to hiss and bare their teeth. But, do possums attack? Consider this as a clue: When hissing and showing off that triangular-shaped mouth full of pointy little teeth doesn’t scare off a potential predator, the possum’s next move is the one responsible for the common phrase, “playing possum.” That’s right—when faced with danger, this creature rolls over, goes limp, closes its eyes and pretends to be lifeless. Not exactly the behavior of an aggressive, menacing attacker.

Possums are not known to attack. In fact, they are known to be quite gentle and docile, though pet owners do report dogs or cats getting into fights with possums. Like any wild animal, possums do their best to avoid being cornered. They are far more likely to flee or play possum than to use any … Read Full Post »

What Do Rats Sound Like?

A rat peering into a home from a crawl space

Unfortunately, there are a number of animals that can invade your home in search of shelter, water and food. And, many times, you’ll start noticing the signs of these visitors before actually spotting them. So, how can you determine if you have rats in your home, or something else? One way to differentiate between rats and other creatures is by listening to the sounds they make.

If you have rats in your home, you’ll likely hear several specific noises:

  • Scurrying sounds as rats travel from place to place
  • Thumps as they play or fight
  • Scratching and chewing as they eat and gather supplies for nests
  • Squeaks from immature rats coming from a nest

Most vocalizations occur outside of the realm of what a human is capable of hearing. Most audible sounds come from rats that are in a state of distress.

Where will these sounds originate? For most people, your attic. This can be disturbing, because we … Read Full Post »

Do Mice Carry Fleas? Control and Prevention Tips

A flea infested mouse running along a stone walkway

Anyone who’s had to deal with a rodent infestation has probably wondered whether or not these creatures can bring fleas or other pests into a home. If you have ever asked yourself the question: Do mice carry fleas?, you should know that the answer is that they can and they often do. That means that if rats or mice have moved into your home, attic or garage, you may have to deal not only with that primary pest issue, but with a secondary one as well—the fleas that these rodents can bring with them.

This is because mice live in the wild. They pick up fleas outdoors from other wild animals, and they bring those fleas, as well as mites and other skin parasites, into any home they might invade. This compounds the pest control problem for the homeowner, making things worse for them and everyone else living in the house, … Read Full Post »

Do Raccoons Attack? What You Need to Know

A raccoon climbing down a tree, which may lead a homeowner to wonder, "Do raccoons attack?"

In response to your dog barking at something in the backyard, you turned on your patio lights to see a raccoon. This discovery brings many questions to the forefront of your mind, including whether or not a raccoon would attack you, your family members or your pets.

The good news is that, in many cases, raccoons will back off if confronted by a person or loud pets. However, this isn’t a guarantee. Sometimes raccoons can and will attack people, and this can be dangerous.

Generally speaking, raccoons attack in three situations:

  • when they’re cornered,
  • when they’re protecting their young and
  • when they’re sick.

The first two situations both fall under the larger umbrella of protection because healthy raccoons only attack humans to protect themselves or their families. Otherwise, they’ll run.

Then, why do raccoons have a reputation for being menacing?

Raccoons behave in such a way that can be intimidating to get out of bad situations. However, the … Read Full Post »

There’s a Raccoon in My Attic: What Can I Do?

A raccoon sitting on a homeowner's roof

Are you hearing something going thump in the night? If so, this might mean a raccoon family is living rent-free in your attic or crawl space. Some of the first signs that you might have raccoons in your home include the sounds of an animal moving around in the attic or chimney.

Other ways homeowners often find out these animals have moved in include visible indications, such as pawprints or damage to their house’s shingles, electrical wiring or insulation. They might also notice an accumulation of nesting materials inside the house, a destroyed garden or debris around their property, such as dead birds, feces or scattered trash.

If you spot possible signs of a problem, some ways to check whether you have raccoons on your property instead of another pest include looking at the pawprints and scat the animal left behind. Raccoons leave hand-like prints with their five-fingered paws, and their droppings … Read Full Post »