Rodent Control

Petri Now Offering Rodent Proofing Services

In the last few years Petri has noticed a significant rise in the number of rodent problems in South Florida. The reason for this is perhaps best explained by the two busy and destructive hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. Not only did these storms disturb rodents living in palm trees and other harborages they provided easier access to homes and structures through the damage they caused.

Even if your home or building was fortunate enough not to suffer any damage, or has since been repaired, rats and mice can gain entry from openings as small as ½ inch and ¼ inch respectively. Some of the most common points of entry are through unsealed a/c lines, roof vents, plumbing pipes, garage vents, and adjoining roof areas among many others.

If you should have concerns about rats and mice entering your home or business Petri is now offering our customers a free inspection and evaluation of your structure to determine all potential points of entry. Whether you need Petri to solve an existing rodent problem or prevent any future problems please call us today at (954) 781-4100 in Broward or (561)278-7818 in Palm Beach and we will be happy to be of service to you.

The Roof Rat

The most common rodent problem in South Florida is with the roof rat. Slightly smaller and more slender than the Norway Rat, the roof rat is 6 ½ to 8 inches long and, including the tail, may be 13 to 18 inches in length (the tail is generally longer than the head and body). The average weight is 6 to 12 ounces; roof rats vary in color from light gray or brownish-gray to black; they have large ears and an acute sense of smell to compensate for their poor, color-blind vision. Roof rats are able to gnaw through lead, wood, copper, aluminum, cinder block, and uncured concrete. Their droppings are about ½ inch in length and generally soft and dark in color. A single roof rat averages 30 to 50 droppings per day.

Although roof rats are omnivores, they prefer a diet of fruits, seeds, vegetables, and eggs. They are also partial to snails and slugs. A roof rat consumes ½ to 1 ounce of food daily and must drink up to 1 ounce of water daily, unless its food supply is high in moisture.

A thorough inspection by Petri is the first step in rodent control. Roof rats can be found in commercial and residential settings, especially in areas with poor sanitation or an ample food supply. Heavy landscaping or undeveloped fields are ideal habitats for roof rats. A key to inspection is to look for droppings and urine, rub marks, tracks, and nesting sites. Looking higher for roof rats is also very important as they are extremely nimble and can gain access from branches, vines, pipes, rafters, and ledges. They are often first heard at night, in the attic. They may have gained access from a number of different ways: through the roof vent or soffit vents with torn screening; through plumbing pipes, through the chimney, or from the a/c line that runs in from the outside to the attic. Roof rats can enter through an opening as small as a half inch and mice can enter through an opening as small as a quarter inch.

Properly placed snap traps, baited with food the rodents may already be feeding on, such as dog food, fruit, or peanut butter is an important control measure. Installation of tamper-proof bait stations along the perimeter of the building is another step to controlling the rodent population. Sanitation measures, including removal of food, water, and harborage is another important aspect of successful rodent control. Such measures include ensuring garbage cans and commercial dumpsters have tight fitting lids, removal of dense vegetation, and trimming back trees and shrubbery. Finally, excluding rodents from entering buildings by sealing off openings at screened vents, pipes leading into buildings, doorways, etc. is essential for complete rodent control

Wildlife problems? Take a look at our Wildlife Division to see how Petri can help!