Busting Myths: Mouse and Rat Edition

mouse peeking out of gap meant for plumbing pipe

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Ready to test your knowledge of rats and mice? Even though these tiny creatures are among the most common U.S. rodents, there are many widely circulated myths about them--some true and some false. Is cheese the best bait to catch a mouse? Can a rat swim up through your plumbing and end up in your toilet? Find out below!

True or False: A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a nickel.

True! This is one of the reasons why it’s so easy for mice to infest a property. Similarly, the average rat can fit through a half-dollar-sized hole, and a small rat can squeeze through a quarter-sized hole.

True or False: Rats and mice only live in dirty homes.

False! While it’s true that messy homes with spills, crumbs, and open food containers can be more inviting for rodents, you can still end up with an infestation even if you keep your home relatively clean. Some people inadvertently attract mice and rats by leaving out pet food or bird feeders or neglecting to seal rodent-sized entry gaps and holes around their homes’ exteriors.

True or False: A rat can chew through cinderblock.

True! Rats are alarmingly powerful and persistent chewers with strong teeth. Believe it or not, rats’ teeth are rated harder than iron and copper on the Mohs hardness scale! Along with cinderblock, rats have also been known to chew through plastic, wood, brick, aluminum sheeting, and glass.

True or False: Cheese is the ultimate bait to catch a mouse.

False! While it’s not unheard of for a rodent to eat cheese, mice don’t find cheese as irresistible as the old cartoons and movies portray. You’re more likely to catch a mouse with seeds, grains, or fruit: think carbs vs. dairy.

True or False: Rats can swim up through your home’s plumbing into your toilet.

True! Although it’s not a typical problem, some people walk into their bathroom to find a rat in their toilet. Rats can tread water for up to 3 days straight and hold their breath underwater for up to three minutes. These swimming skills allow them to travel from the city sewer to your sewer line and drain pipes, and finally up into your toilet. This video from National Geographic shows precisely how it happens.

True or False: Rodents don’t spread disease.

It depends! While domesticated pet rats and mice don’t pose any health risks greater than a pet cat or dog, feral rodents can spread diseases directly and indirectly. They can do this by:

  • biting people or other animals;
  • carrying parasites;
  • contaminating food and water with their fur, dander, urine, and droppings.

This is why any rodent infestation should be dealt with right away, no matter how small it seems.

Mice & Rat Control in Charlotte

At Sage Pest Control, we offer customized rodent control solutions to treat the problem while keeping every member of your household safe--including your pets. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how we can help you: (704) 413-3398.

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