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The Commensal Rodents

Keeping rodents out of your home and yard is important. Leptospirosis, salmonella, plague, and many other diseases can be spread by rodents and the fleas they carry.

House Mouse
- Small, often invades homes
- Can cause damage to homes
- Can have six litters of five young per year
- Lives about 1 year

Roof Rat
- Large, often seen on power lines and fences
- Most common in established residential properties
- Big ears and eyes
- Tail longer than body
- Can have many litters
- Live 1-2 years

Norway Rat
- Large, tail shorter than body
- Small ears, blunt nose
- Tend to burrow underground
- Live 1-2 years

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How to Tell

Signs of Rodent Activity
- Piles of hollowed snail shells under bushes, fences or near potential nest sites
- Greasy "rub marks" (caused by oily fur) along beams and corners of buildings or fences
- Chewed or hollowed citrus fruits on or near trees
- Droppings are left in frequently traveled areas

Trapping
Trapping is the most effective and least toxic method of removing rodents. Baiting is not recommended inside of homes.
- Use foods the rodents are eating at your home. Also try dog food, peanut butter, and bacon.
- Trap along areas where rodent activity is evident.
- Put traps where they are inaccessible to children and pets.
- Pre-bait: put bait on the trap, then place at site unset, let rodents eat all the bait. Do this twice, then bait and set the traps.

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Exclusion is Key!

Check these areas for commensal rodents who are dependent on people for food, water, and harborage. Disrupting as many of these key elements as possible is crucial to eliminating your rodent problems.

Remove food sources (pet food, dropped fruits, birdseed, etc) every night

Repair gaps in doorways in the home, sheds, and garages.
- Seal gaps and holes in raised foundation buildings

Clean Up
Carcasses: use a plastic bag or rubber gloves to remove a dead rodent. Put it in a plastic bag, close securely, and put in outside trash.
Droppings: Don't sweep or vacuum droppings. Put on rubber gloves, dilute bleach to a 1 to 10 solution in a spray bottle, spray droppings and surrounding area, let sit for 5 minutes, then wipe up with a damp paper towel. Wash the rubber gloves before taking off, then take off gloves and wash hands again.

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Trim bushes and trees back at least 12" from walls and fences as well as 12" - 18" above the ground. Use the same distances for items near fences and walls.
Seal cracks and holes; stainless steel wool is a good deterrent.
Preferred nesting places include:
- overgrown ivy
- untrimmed fan palm trees
- bougainvillea
- Italian cypress trees
- areas with lots of clutter