Rodent Control in Edison & Lakewood

roof ratRodents are mammals characterized by continuously growing incisors in their upper and lower jaws, requiring regular gnawing to keep them short. Rats and mice, warm-blooded mammals belonging to the order Rodentia, are typically small in size. Mice usually weigh an ounce or two, while rats are typically less than a pound, similar in size to an underfed squirrel. The name "rodent" originates from the Latin verb "rodere," meaning "to gnaw," reflecting their gnawing habits. Both rats and mice have long tails, roughly equivalent to the length of their bodies.

While rats are larger than mice and evoke more fear and anxiety, there isn't a significant biological difference between them. Mice, like most rodents, reproduce prolifically, with litters of four to eight babies produced five to ten times a year. They reach sexual maturity quickly, often ready to reproduce at six weeks old. Mice are omnivores and consume a wide range of items, including soap and wallpaper glue. As commensals, they coexist with humans, sharing food and living spaces, and are nocturnal creatures, remaining active during the night. Like rats, mice are pests that carry diseases and cause damage to food and property.

Although less intimidating than rats in some aspects, mice can present a challenging pest control issue due to their small size and ability to enter through tiny openings. They require just a ¼ inch gap to gain entry into buildings and can survive on minimal amounts of food and water once inside. Despite their seemingly "cuter" appearance compared to rats, mice are equally destructive and pose health risks. They contaminate food, gnaw on electrical wires, insulation, and wood, and are capable of transmitting diseases such as salmonella, similar to rats.

How to identify the house mouse or rat

Norway rats are identifiable by their stocky, gray-brown bodies. Their tails are shorter than their body length and their ears are small. Norway rats are larger than most other rat species. Norway rats line their nests with fibrous materials, such as shredded paper and cloth.

Got Mice? Do you see droppings? Do you see tracks? Do you smell musky odor? You've got mice!The house mouse (Mus musculus) can be easily distinguished from deer and white-footed mice by uniform grey or light brown coloration and a nearly hairless tail. The other two species are darker on top with light-colored bellies and tails that are covered with dark fur on top, lighter fur on the bottom. House mice weigh about half an ounce and are about 6 inches in length including a 3-inch tail.

Rats are generally larger than mice. While young rats can sometimes be mistaken for mice, they can be distinguished by their disproportionately long feet.

What are the visual signs of rodent activity?

Because rats are nocturnal and stay hidden in burrows or behind drywall, actual sightings of rats are difficult. Instead, the focus is on what they leave behind and the damage that they cause. In addition to visual signs, rodents generate various sounds. With rodent infestations, you can often hear gnawing, climbing inside of walls, various squeaks, and fighting noises from territorial disputes.

Urine and droppings

Urine stain may occur along travel ways or in feeding areas. Rats mark their territory with their urine. Rat colonies have their own smell, so rats from other colonies know when they have reached the borders of enemy territory. Urine, both wet and dry, is fluorescent under ultraviolet lights.

Rodents produce up to 80-100 droppings per day and can easily be detected along runways, in feeding areas, and near shelters. Their droppings are thin and dark. They may be as large as ¾ inch and ¼ inch in diameter. Fresh droppings are soft in texture. Do not expect hard pellets. Droppings are one of the easiest, surest signs of a rodent infestation.

Marks and damage from gnawing

Gnawing is one of the key tell-tail signs of a mice control or rat control issue. A pest control professional can inspect tooth marks to determine whether they are from rat gnawing or mouse gnawing. Gnawing may be visible on doors, ledges, in corners, in wall material, on stored materials, or other surfaces wherever rats are present. Fresh accumulations of wood shavings, insulation, and other gnawed material indicate active infestations. Rodents also create entry holes from gnawing with mouse holes in the 1-inch range and rat holes are 2 inches or larger.

Smudge marks (Rub marks)

Rats have oil-secreting glands that they use to mark territory and help them navigate repetitive routes. As a result, smudge marks (rub marks) are often found along frequently traveled including walls, beams, rafters, and pipes.

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Rat tracks, runs, and burrows

Rats memorize pathways and use the same routes habitually. Runs or burrows may be found next to walls, along fences, next to buildings, or under bushes and debris. In dusty loft or basement areas, rats can leave a worn trail of footprints and tail marks, especially in areas that accumulate dirt or mud such as skirting boards, along beams, or leading to access points such as open ventilation grills, gaps in walls, and pipes and/or cable entry points. A tracking patch made of flour can be placed in pathways overnight to determine if rodents are present.

Food scraps

Rodents often leave behind scraps in sheltered spaces, particularly against walls or in corners such as nutshells.


What are the signs of a mice infestation?

A mouse infestation has signs similar to a rat infestation. Tiny black droppings are a strong indicator of mouse activity as well as cereal boxes or other containers that have an opening from gnawing. Mice also have a distinctive musky smell that may be noticeable. The mouse prevention and mouse control techniques are similar to those used for rats: sanitation, eliminating entry points into the home or structure, traps, and baiting.

What can Cowleys do for homeowners to avoid a rodent infestation?

If you believe your home has a current rodent infestation, Cowleys Pest Services will come in and execute a thorough inspection to identify the rodents involved, their access points, and the areas of activity so that a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) rodent control plan can be designed and implemented. Rats represent a serious threat to human safety and, with their breeding rates, can quickly become entrenched in your home or business.

Integrated Pest Management is key to long-term success with rodent control

At Cowleys Pest Services, we believe the emphasis should be on IPM. After we identify how the rodents are gaining access to the structure, we eradicate the current infestation using IPM strategies and then most importantly, exclude them from gaining access in the future. This is the most critical step in ensuring that the rodents will not return.

Cowleys Pest Services full-service capabilities include structural repairs that may be needed, door sweeps that may need to be added, exclusion work using caulk, foam sealant, hardware cloth, steel wool, and more. You can be sure that Cowleys Pest Services will do the most thorough job to keep your home rodent-free and your family safe.

Call or contact them today for a free inspection and estimate throughout Lakewood, Somerset, Edison, New Jersey.

We are also available for other forms of pest control. Learn more by contacting us!

Proudly serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County

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Our Locations:

Cowleys Pest Services
1145 NJ-33
Farmingdale, NJ 07727

Cowleys Pest Services
120 Stryker Ln Suite 206 A B
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Cowleys Pest Services
391 Main St #103
Spotswood, NJ 08884

Cowleys Pest Services
3490 US-1 Suite 107
Princeton, NJ 08540
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