With colder temperatures on the horizon for Illinois this week, pest control experts say rodents will be looking for warming borders like your home.
Chicago has been dubbed the country’s “ugliest” city by pest control company Orkin for a number of years, and residents of the state deal with invading field mice every year.
There are eight species of mice and rats in Illinois, according to Bird Watching HQ. The brown rat, black rat, easter meadow mouse or field mouse, house mouse, golden mouse, eastern deer mouse, white-footed deer mouse, and western harvest mouse.
Zachary Smith, owner of The pest typesaid rodents are a public health concern and can cause significant damage to both residential and commercial buildings.
“The larger the rodent population, the fewer hiding places there are and they are more motivated to enter a structure, and they typically enter by gnawing,” Smith said.
Smith advises homeowners to seal entry points to your home, but mice can squeeze through very small holes.
“It’s difficult to mouse-proof a house,” Smith said. “They fit through anything your pinky can. It just takes more diligent catch, catch, catch to get mice out.”
Smith said while most of us associate rats with sewers and holes in the ground, brown rats are nimble climbers and can be found in attics and inside walls. He adds that rats aren’t as dumb as you think they are.
“That’s why it can take days or weeks for a rat to be killed by poison because they can learn from the deaths of their fellow rats and avoid the same fate,” Smith said.