ABC Blog

Florida Rats: What Homeowners Need To Know

Florida rats

There are many types of rats in Florida, but there are three common types of rodent pests that Florida homeowners are most likely to encounter living in their homes or garages, or elsewhere on their property. While there are similarities and differences among these three main types of Florida rats, what homeowners need to know about all of them is that rats and other wild rodents pose a very real threat to our homes, as well as to our health.

Rats can cause extensive property damage as they build nests and chew their way through wood, electrical wires, drywall and more. Rats and other wild rodents are also known for spreading serious diseases to humans and other animals, including bubonic plague—yes, the very same sickness that spread like wildfire during the Middle Ages, killing off over half the entire population of Europe.

Even if you never come into direct contact with … Read Full Post »

Are There Smells That Keep Rats Away?

Smells that keep rats away

A homeowner who has dealt with rats or mice inside or elsewhere on a property may wonder: are there certain smells that keep rats away? If rats are naturally repelled by particular scents, foods, plants or other substances, it makes sense that these could be good deterrents for someone to use in keeping their home and property free of rodents.

Before we get into more specifics about making your home less attractive to rats and mice, let’s talk about why rodents really are a problem that needs to be handled both quickly and effectively. If you’ve ever had rats living in your home, attic or garage, then you know these pests are far more than just a simple nuisance. These pests carry infectious diseases, as well as parasites, including fleas and ticks that can be dangerous for people and pets. Worse still, the gnawing needs of these animals can cause extensive … Read Full Post »

Where Do Squirrels Go At Night?

Where do squirrels go at night

One of the reasons you bought your house was the fact that the property had some wonderful mature trees. Over time, you found your yard and the same beautiful trees had become a haven for squirrels.

One day, as you were about to go to sleep, a question popped into your head: Where do squirrels go at night?

Most homeowners don’t realize that there are tree squirrels and ground squirrels, and that some types nest in dens, while others sleep in drays. Some varieties prefer underground homes, while other squirrels find in-tree hideaways more comfy.

While many of us find squirrels in their natural habitat quite adorable, it’s an entirely different story if and when these animals scratch, claw and gnaw their way into houses to set up their dens or nests in the relative comfort of fireplaces or attics. To make matters worse, these invasions often happen without homeowners realizing it—at least for a … Read Full Post »

Do Rats Eat Dog Poop? Your Questions Answered

do rats eat dog poop

Many homeowners who have dogs may wonder, Do rats eat dog poop? Before you begin to snicker, consider that it’s a fair (and common) question, especially if you’re dealing with a rat problem—or even a full-fledged rat infestation. Trying to figure out what food sources you’re inadvertently providing your unwelcome visitors is a smart strategy since prevention is almost always easier than finding a cure. To put it another way, it’s easier, not to mention safer and more humane, to make your home and property unattractive to rats than to try to deal with a rat infestation by trapping or coming into close contact with the rodents themselves.

To keep rats away from your home and yard, or to get rid of them once they’ve moved in, it’s essential to have an effective plan in place. Rats aren’t just “gross,” scary or pesky; they can actually pose a real danger to … Read Full Post »

Do Mice Hibernate? Keeping Rodents Out Of Your Home

Do mice hibernate

Do mice hibernate? Do rats hibernate in winter? These are both valid questions if you’ve had any type of rodent activity in or around your home, or if you’re worried that mice might move into your living space in search of a safe place to spend the winter. After all, humans aren’t the only ones who prefer to stay warm and cozy during cold weather. All mammals share the same instinct to head indoors where they can hunker down and stay snug and toasty until warmer temperatures return.

When animals hibernate, they go into a long, deep sleep in order to survive colder temperatures and periods when food is scarce. Contrary to common belief, mice and rats do not hibernate in wintertime; rather, they stay active throughout the year, including during the coldest months. People may even have more mouse sightings in their homes during winter than in warmer seasons, since … Read Full Post »

Do Raccoons Eat Cats? Protecting Pets From Wildlife

Do raccoons eat cats

Do raccoons eat cats? It’s a question many cat-loving homeowners have pondered. If you have a furry companion that spends time outdoors, especially at night, you may worry about your cat’s safety, and with good reason. While raccoons tend not to be aggressive, cats sometimes can be, and backyard standoffs may result when there is a dispute over territory or, especially, food.

Fights between felines and raccoons are not unheard of, and raccoons can carry rabies, roundworm and other infectious diseases, so any clash between a cat and a raccoon poses a potential threat to the cat’s health, not to mention your own. So yes, under some circumstances, raccoons can and will kill a cat, and if they do, they may go as far as to eat your beloved pet. For all of these reasons, it’s important to learn about raccoons and their behavior around household pets, so you’ll know how … Read Full Post »

Deer Mouse Vs. House Mouse: Which Is The Bigger Pest?

Deer Mouse vs. House Mouse

Scritch-scritch-scratch. Scritch-scritch-scratch.

When the sound wakes you up in the middle of the night, you immediately know: something got into the walls.

But what? Rats? Squirrels? Opossums? Raccoons?

Could be any of these uninvited guests. So, you grab a broom and flashlight and head out to search for entry points, not exactly sure what you’re looking for.

Luckily, your mission doesn’t take long. You not only discover the tiny hole the critters used to get in, but also actually see one of the little visitors scampering away—a mouse.

Now comes another important question for any homeowner: was it a house mouse or a deer mouse?

Deer and house mice are two of the most common rodents found in homes in the southern states. A majority of homeowners often have a hard time telling one from the other, so this is one of the most common questions pest professionals are asked.

Why does this matter?

While both types of rodents … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Rats Live?

How long do rats live

How long do rats live? It’s a common question, and an important one if you have rats living and breeding in or near your home. Rats are known to be unsanitary and carry diseases (bubonic plague, anyone?), and they can cause extensive property damage if they’re allowed to build nests and breed in places they shouldn’t. Rats in the wild are prey to snakes, coyotes, owls and other animals, so they often live for less than a year, but rats living in more protected indoor areas can live for two to three years. If their breeding is unchecked, they can produce thousands of babies over the course of their lifetimes.

Homeowners across the southern states have reported a recent uptick in rat activity in many residential neighborhoods, which makes it all the more important to understand rats and their habits, so you can protect your home from these dangerous pests. Read … Read Full Post »

5 Natural Ways to Rodent-Proof Your Home

5 Natural Ways to Rodent-Proof Your Home

Finding a mouse or rat can be a shocking and revolting experience, but it’s a common one. Remember, a rat can enter a hole about the size of a quarter; a mouse only requires a dime-sized hole. If you can fit a pencil into the hole, it’s likely a mouse can fit through as well.

Mice, rats and other rodents cause billions in damage every single year. In addition to structural damage, they can also create health and fire hazards when they chew on wiring, contaminate food and die inside the home. Rodents are known to carry a myriad of diseases and even other pests, such as lice, ticks and fleas.

While we normally think of rodent infestations as a winter issue, rodents and other animals still need food and shelter in warmer weather. Unfortunately, rats and mice are year-round pests. All they need is a little incentive, such as food, warmth … Read Full Post »

Rodent Control: How to Build a Barn Owl Box

Rodent control is extremely important this time of year. Temperatures are getting cooler and rodents are looking for a warm place to spend the winter months. Fortunately for us, North Texas is home to the best possible natural rodent control: barn owls. Barn owls are expert hunters with a healthy appetite. One owl alone can eat up to 10 mice a night and have 6-to-10 chicks to feed at a time.

Another upside is that they love the grassy plain areas covering much of North Texas. However, barn owls do not construct their own nests, which can make them seem scarce in many areas. By building a simple barn owl box for them to nest in, they will quickly make it their home and, in turn, help make sure your home and garden stay rodent free.

How to Build a Barn Owl Box

Step 1: Design

The box needs to be roomy enough to … Read Full Post »