Thorn Pest Services / Company / Resources / Blog / Get Rid of Mice and Rats in Your Home

Get Rid of Mice and Rats in Your Home

By Thorn Team • Feb 7th 2022

Residential rodent control is a complex puzzle. When it comes to mice and rats, there are likely a lot of pieces at play and it's important to take a close look at all of them.

Thorn services pest control

Residential rodent control is a complex puzzle. When it comes to mice and rats, there are likely a lot of pieces at play and it's important to take a close look at all of them.

Rats and mice can cause extensive damage, including serious sanitation issues. They also spread all kinds of diseases and parasites. If that's not enough, their presence has also been known to trigger allergy and asthma symptoms.

In short, you don't want mice or rats setting up camp around your property, and you especially don't want them inside your home. If you think you have a rodent issue, it is important that you identify the problem correctly and deal with it quickly.

Luckily, the system of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) can be utilized to find lasting solutions for even the worst rodent infestations, and these steps can be put into practice whether you live in Utah or elsewhere.

Are those rats or mice in your home?

Before formulating a pest control plan, it is absolutely essential to determine whether you are dealing with mice, rats, or something else.

While this may not seem like an important step, identification is actually the first and most important step in an IPM program. The biology of the pest in question will greatly influence what treatment methods make a difference, so proper identification is key.

Some Quick Advice From Thorn: Keep your eyes and ears open. Both mice and rats are nocturnal, meaning you are most likely to hear and see them at night. If you are hearing sounds during the day, you may be noticing other pest activity. Don't rule anything out before investigating. Consider that the culprit could also be birds, bats, wildlife, ants or even yellowjackets in a wall void.

If you live in Utah and don't feel comfortable investigating your home alone, we'd be happy to help! Read more about our HomeGuard residential services or contact us for assistance.

The Key Differences Between Mice and Rats

If you've crossed other possible pests off your list and you're sure there is a rodent activity in your home, make sure you know which rodent is causing you trouble.

It can be difficult to get your eyes on these nasty, nocturnal critters. Don't expect to see them around frequently. While this can make identifying them seem tricky, keep an eye out for the signs of their presence. One of the first and most common visible signs of an issue are rodent droppings.

If you find rodent droppings, resist the urge to run away and take the time to get a closer look. The droppings left behind by an animal can tell us a lot about them. Compare the droppings you found in your home to a grain of rice. If the sample is smaller than the grain, a mouse likely left it, but if it's bigger, you're probably seeing signs of rats.

If you're unsure about a potential rodent issue in your Utah home and you need help with identification, feel free to snap some pictures of the activity you see and send them our way! We'll let you know what we see and give you advice on what to do next.

CAUTION: Scaring rats makes controlling them more difficult. If a homeowner assumes they are dealing with mice, they are likely to implement control methods that are not proper for the managing rat populations. Improper control can make a rat problem far more complicated and difficult to get a handle on long-term.

As indicated by the Journal of Applied Ecology, rats are naturally neophobic. This means they are wary of new or unexpected changes to their environment. Combine this with their skittish nature and surprising level of intelligence and this can mean that, if traps fail to catch them the first time around, the chance to catch those rascals may not come easy again.

Why does this matter?

Mouse traps are simply too small for trapping rats. Rats will likely notice the new traps, get comfortable with them and eventually trigger them. Triggering the mouse traps will be frightening for the rats and may even wound them, but almost surely won't be lethal. Given their intelligence, these rats are now likely to avoid getting near any traps in the future.

If you are unsure if the rodent issue in your home has been caused by mice or rats, it is always best to reach out to a professional so they can make sure your rodent problem is dealt with properly and according to the pests' biology.

What are the Signs of a Rodent Issue?

As confirmed by the EPA, you may not even see mice or rats until the issue has gotten out of hand. If you're worried, look for the following signs of rodents in your home:

Shredded materials rodents use for nesting, such as fabric, paper or plastic

Entry points that the rodents have chewed out along the roofline, foundation, or other areas of the home

Signs in your pantry, drawers or cabinets of chewing, especially on food packaging

Rodent droppings and urine in your crawlspace

Strange and musty odors coming from the dark, hidden spots of your home and yard

How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice

To get rid of rodents using practical and successful pest control solutions, it is important to implement Integrated Pest Management principals. The primary goal of IPM is to manipulate factors in the environment to create a place that is not attractive to the pest.

Think about what could be attracting the mice or rats to your property or home. These attractants are also called conducive conditions. A conducive condition is anything that is drawing the rats or mice to your space.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Where are the rodents feeding and finding water?

2. Are there any messes around that could be enticing to them?

3. Where do the rodents hide out and what is creating their harborage areas?

4. Have they made their way inside and if so, where are they getting in?

If you are having trouble identifying what conducive conditions there could be around your Utah home, feel free to reach out to us here at Thorn.

Pest Control: A Team Effort

If you end up needing professional help removing mice or rats from your home, look for a company that specializes in IPM and be prepared that pest control isn't always a quick fix. It can take time and patience, especially depending on the severity of the issue. You may see results quickly, but pests are persistent. They will want to come back. It will take ongoing effort to keep them away.

A pest control company that specializes in IPM will be thorough and upfront about the situation at hand. Expect that they will likely provide you with feedback regarding what you can do to help keep rodents away from your house for good. These suggestions may change depending on the time of year and could include:

Clearing away ground cover where rodents could be hiding

Cleaning up any messes along the foundation of your home

Picking fallen fruit up from fruit trees to reduce available food sources

Do you live in Utah? Please don't hesitate to ask us about what could be causing a rodent issue around your house. Our IPM specialists look forward to working alongside you to bring peace to your property.

How the Pest Specialists at Thorn Get Rid of Mice and Rats

Thorn is a locally owned and operated company that takes pest control seriously. Our Utah pest control technicians are highly experienced and regularly tested on their IPM knowledge.

At Thorn, we understand how rodents think and we stay up on the latest in pest control methods and treatments. By knowing pest biology inside and out and putting IPM into practice, we work to get ahead of the pests that are bothering you. We implement management strategies that achieve results and give peace of mind.

Depending on the circumstances, we may use any of the following methods of control:


Sealing up entry points

Clean up and sanitation methods

Habitat modification

Monitoring of surrounding rodent population and activity

Notice rodenticide (rodent poison) didn't make the list.

While there are certain situations that warrant the use of rodenticide, it should always be used in tandem with other control methods, and it shouldn't be a go-to solution. Thorn seeks to reduce the use of rodenticide whenever possible by utilizing IPM. It's not that we won't rodent baits when needed, but given the other tools available to us, we find that it's rarely necessary.

When it comes to mouse and rat control in Utah, we stay up to date on the most efficient treatment protocols, all the while keeping your family and the environment in mind. This way, we can increase the efficacy of our HomeGuard program while reducing the risk to your loved ones, pets and the environment.

About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today

Share this story
About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today