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We don't need to tell you that rodents are bad for business. Rodents in urban areas are dirty animals that climb in dumpsters and trash receptacles and move through sewers. They will create serious trouble for your business if they find a way to get inside. The good news is that all rodents do not present the same level of threat. Join us as we discuss different rodents in The Woodlands, how to detect an infestation, and how rodent pest control in The Woodlands works to get rodents out and keep them out.

What Kinds Of Animals Can Be Classified As Rodents?


Rodents come in many shapes and sizes. There are a few ways you can tell them apart from other animals. They give birth to live babies—you won't find eggs in a rodent nest. They have hair rather than feathers or scales. And the characteristic rodents are most known for are their strong incisors (front teeth).


Common rodents in the woodlands are mice, rats, squirrels, gophers, and voles. The last two stay outside of structures and won't present a direct threat to your restaurant. Chipmunks can also become pests, but they too prefer to be outside.


When mice or rats get into your restaurant, their rodent characteristics can present trouble for you. The hairs they leave behind can contaminate food, dishes, and surfaces, and their teeth can help them get into places you don't want them to access.  

I See Gnaw Marks On My Food Packages. Could That Be Rodents?


Finding gnaw marks on food packages strongly indicates that you have a rodent problem. But you need to know how to identify these marks. Many pests can try to chew their way into stored foods. Rats and mice are far from the only ones. Here are some tips to help you solve the mystery.

  • Look for distinctive teeth marks. Damage caused by insects will look much different from mice or rat damage. Insect damage looks like the material is disintegrating, or you may not see the holes because they're tiny. When a rodent gets into your food, it will likely pour out.
  • Look for black grease marks on the packaging or surrounding surfaces. Rats and mice tend to be greasy pests.
  • Look for droppings on the floor or the shelves. Rodent droppings are dark brown or black in coloration. They're likely to have a shiny appearance and be slightly larger than grains of white rice.


It is best to take quick and decisive action when you find rodents in your restaurant. These pests will cause you to fail a health inspection.     

How To Treat Different Rodent Infestations


All rodents are not created equal. When you detect rodent activity around your business, different rodents behave differently. Some are easy to manage. Others are not. 


Squirrels: These furry-tailed rodents live outside but sometimes get into attic spaces. The good news is that they don't present as much of a threat as rats and mice when they enter structures. Squirrels prefer undisturbed attic spaces. You may keep them out by cutting tree branches that hang close to your roofline or applying something prickly where wires connect to your exterior.


Lawn Rodents: While gophers and voles are certainly pests, they're not indoor pests. You'll need lawn pest control for these critters. We recommend a trapping program for the best results. You can have some success keeping gophers and voles away if you protect the vegetation, fruits, and vegetables they feed on. An outside garden will be a primary target for these two pests. 


Mice: These rodents are public enemy number one. They grow large populations and use their small size to access structures and move about from floor to floor. All mice do not present the same level of threat. House mice are the worst. They are gray mice with white bellies. Deer mice present the least threat as these tawny-colored mice prefer sheds, barns, and outbuildings. It is essential to properly identify the mice that are exploring the exterior of your structure. If you discover deer mice, you may be able to keep them out by applying exclusions, removing hiding places near your exterior walls, and removing food options.     


Rats: Some rats are worse than others, but all rats are a threat to restaurants in their own ways. Norway rats and roof rats are the most common rat pests. Norway rats are the brown rats you find scurrying around outside. Roof rats are the black rats you see on your roof or inside attic spaces. Both are considered domestic rodents and are not bothered by humans. They'll explore your entire property and find their way into food storage and kitchen areas.

What Can I Do About The Rodents Inside My Restaurant?


We've touched on some steps you can take to deal with rodents. You can address gopher and vole problems by contacting a trapper. Chipmunks rarely create problems but are easily deterred by moving wood sources away from exterior walls. Squirrels are often easily deterred by removing access routes. If a squirrel has gotten inside, installing a one-way door may allow it to leave and prevent re-entry. These are the easy rodents. Rats and mice aren't easy to manage. They're often difficult to keep out of commercial spaces and present many challenges once they get inside. What can you do? Here are our best suggestions:

  • Clean. Food debris and juices will attract rodents into your business. They can detect the scent from a distance. Once inside, they'll eagerly explore any area where food (no matter how small) is found.
  • Deep clean. Mice and rats squeeze into tight spaces and can feed on oils, grease, and drippings. It is essential to clean the sides of kitchen equipment and clean floors underneath.
  • Protect Food. Rodents can chew through thin plastic, but food stored in sealed plastic containers is usually safe because rodents can't smell it. Moving food from cardboard or paper packaging into sealed containers can protect the food from contamination. 
  • Remove Clutter. Rodents have poor eyesight. One of the ways they navigate is by using their whiskers to feel objects around them. They prefer cluttered spaces because they can easily move around in cluttered spaces at night, which is when they are most active.
  • Trash Management. The scent of rotting organic matter in trash receptacles is all the invitation a rodent needs. It doesn't matter if there is food in the receptacle. Deodorizing containers is critical for rodent management. Along with this, trash must be removed routinely so that odors don't develop. Each night, make sure all trash is outside and away from your business.  
  • Seal Holes. Inspect storage rooms and seal any holes rodents are using to move in and out of these zones. Inspect underneath sinks and seal gaps around pipes. Inspect the exterior of your business and seal every opening you find, no matter how small. An adult mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime and is more than capable of making a smaller hole large enough to fit through.


When you take steps to address rats and mice, you reduce their ability to spread harmful bacteria and make your restaurant resistant to invasion. It is work that is well worth the effort. But you know these steps are not enough. You need to remove the rodents from your business. Many business owners attempt to trap rats and mice, but this can pose a threat to your business if you attempt to do so. Catching a few rodents can make you think you've solved your problem and allow rodents to secretly continue to present a threat to your business.


At All-Safe Pest & Termite, we support businesses in The Woodlands by providing industry-leading rodent control. Our technicians are highly-trained and experienced rodent control professionals and use a multi-pronged strategy to remove and exclude rodents.

 

  • We perform a detailed inspection to locate rodent activity, warning signs of activity, conducive conditions, entry points, routes, and other essential factors.
  • Based on our findings, we suggest a control plan to eliminate all rodent activity inside and outside of your business.
  • We apply traps in strategic indoor spaces to capture rodents that have gotten inside. 
  • As necessary, we use specially designed rodent control bait stations that are properly weighted and tamper-resistant. These traps meet all government regulatory standards.
  • If we detect small entry points near the ground during our inspection, we will use appropriate products to patch these holes, products such as silicone caulk, expanding foam, copper mesh, hardware cloth, and metal flashing. These patches offer long-lasting, all-natural protection.
  • After your initial service, we return weekly to remove captured rodents, monitor rodent activity, evaluate your control plan, and make alterations to your plan as needed. We do this until no activity is detected.


Do you own a business in The Woodlands? Contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for commercial rodent control and commercial pest control services. We can guide you toward the best solution for rodents and general commercial pests. 

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