Sarasota and Bradenton's Most Highly Recommended Rodent and Wildlife Removal and Prevention Service!

To understand how we handle rat and mouse infestations, please click here "Pest Proofing".

Knowing more about these rodents may help the understanding of why it is so important to remove them, and to do so humanely.

  • Rats reproduce every 19-23 days and are ready to mate again in 2 days.
  • Rats typically have 7 litters a year. It takes little time to have a large scale rat infestation.
  • Mice reproduce slower and typically have 2 litters a year.
  • Rats and mice can bite up to six times a second. They have no problem with chewing into and through your AC ducting, electrical wires, TV cables or anything else in your attic or crawl space. 
  • Rats can climb walls and even swim under water to get where they want to be.

On top of the sleepless nights rats and mice can also cause numerous long and short term health hazards (See our “Health Risks” page).

Rats and mice are a fact of life in Florida and most areas. If one rat or mouse got in then more can follow. Pest proofing your home is the only way to insure you do not have a rodent infestation again. 

Rodents are basically incontinent. As they walk they dribble urine and leave droppings everywhere.  All homes and businesses, even new ones, have potential entry points for rats and mice. Building a home to code does not mean that you are keeping rodents out. Rodent Solutions specializes in pest proofing local homes from rodents (rats, mice and squirrels) and other wildlife by using improved construction methods that are above and beyond any local building code. 

Mice are fairly uncommon in the Sarasota / Bradenton area of Florida. If mice are spotted they are most commonly roof rats (fruit rats, black rats) and Norway rats.  We commonly hear stories about rats that our customers have seen being of outrageous sizes which are typically overstated out of fear or the shock of seeing one. The largest rat in our area of Florida is the Norway rat. The heaviest the Norway rat ever reported was 1.8 lbs.  Some rats, if provoked and cornered, will fight their way out of the confrontation as will many wild animals. It is rare for a rat to outwardly attack a human. 

Young babies, bed-confined elders, and the homeless are occasionally bitten by unprovoked rats or mice. Most often, these individuals fall asleep with food residues on their hands or faces. Foraging rats or mice attempting to lick or chew the food residues off the sleeping individual will accidentally bite them.

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As the weather gets colder, now is the time of year when we start having to account for winter when our pets are outside.

While we are making sure our pets are warm inside, all sorts of non-domesticated animals are seeking refuge from freezing temperatures, too. This includes some animals that you don’t want in your home, like rodents.
While I think mice are adorable, I’d still rather not share my abode with them. It’s also true that if mice can make their way into your home, then cold air probably can, too.

There are a few ways you can make sure your home is filled with warmth but not rodents.

It’s very important to patch up small holes that lead to the outdoors. Mice are very small and will take any opportunity to sneak inside. Even if you think it’s “too small,” you’d be surprised at how mice can fit through even the tiniest cracks. The best strategy is if you can spot it, just patch it.

Another entry point for mice and air can be openings around drain pipes. Filling these holes will keep out rodents and save you money and energy.
It’s important to keep an eye on your garage door and make sure that all of the edges are meeting up, because this can be another great entrance for mice.

If you think you have a mouse, there are a few ways you can tell for sure, according to the Humane Society:

  • Look for small holes chewed through bags containing cookies, breads and pet food.
  • Look for small black droppings that are about the size of a grain of rice.
  • Mice nests are made of paper, string and other household items that mice find laying around. The nests are often found in drawers and cabinets that aren’t used very frequently.

If you do indeed have a mouse, do not fear — you can get rid of it. I don’t like to kill mice because they’re not doing anything except what’s natural: They’re looking for a warm home and they’ve decided my home is pretty nice. Really, a mouse in my house is no different or somehow bad compared to a mouse in my yard; it’s just a mouse that’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Instead of a ubiquitous spring-loaded mouse trap, you can get live traps that you can use to catch a mouse humanely and remove it from your home. Live traps catch mice by luring them through one-way doors into containers with bait inside.

Poisoning mice can be cruel and it can also lead to other animals being poisoned. Mice can potentially eat poison, then leave a house and die from the poison outside. The poisoned mice can be eaten by other animals, which then also die from the poison.

Glue paper is also not a nice way to get rid of mice. It seems even crueler to me than poisoning or using traditional traps. Mice that get stuck on glue paper will be unable to move and will starve to death while they try to escape.

Live traps are definitely my favorite option for getting mice out of my house. But I much prefer avoiding having mice inside my house in the first place.

Here are some things you can do around your house to minimize how attractive your house can appear to mice:

  • Sweep up crumbs wherever they are. Be sure to check in out-of-the-way places such as under your toaster and in corners of cabinets.
  • Make sure that all your leftovers are wrapped up and put away quickly after a meal. The longer food sits out after a meal, the more chance it has to be spread around your house or for you to forget about it and leave it out.
  • Seal and store your pet food bags securely. This is also a good idea if you have bird seed stored in your house.

So clean up your crumbs and fill all of your house’s holes this winter. And if you still get a mouse seeking shelter, try a live trap and release it outdoors. Let’s do our best to make winter as pleasant as possible for ourselves, our energy bills and our animal neighbors.

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A 1982 Canadian film, Deadly Eyes, presents an invasion of Toronto by concrete-gnawing rats plumped up to the size of dachshunds by steroids.

Rats need to gnaw to keep their teeth sharp. Rats can gnaw through soft metals, hard plastics and concrete walls. - Photo: Brett Jordan

Their proportions were no coincidence — some of the stars were dachshunds dressed in rat suits. However, recent headlines might lead even a reasonable person to suspect that the world is falling prey to a breed of super-rats.

Last year, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported on a so-called "Viking Rat" that gnawed though the concrete wall of a home belonging to the Bengtsson-Korsas family. Measuring 40 centimetres long from nose to rump, the rat reportedly terrorized the family cat before succumbing to an industrial-strength rat trap.

Rat expert Steven Belmain, professor of ecology at the University of Greenwich in England, frequently finds himself dispelling myths about rats. While individual specimens may tip the scales, most rats are standard issue.

"Stories of rats of alarming size have been with us for a long time," says Belmain.

"This is partly because we often don't get a good look at rats, and when we do see them, they look big.  When it's cold, rats have thicker fur coats, but also many urban rats are particularly well-fed and in environments with relatively little predation can reach large mature sizes.  Many of these reports are about the larger Norway rat, however, escaped pet rats sometimes get the blame — normally African pouched rats."

The Norway rat, also called the brown rat, is the most common found in Canada and typically grows to 25 centimetres long, tail excluded. The slightly smaller black rat is restricted to the coast of British Columbia. Thanks to vigorous pest control measures, rats don't live in Alberta — at least not for long.

The notion of rats "eating" their way through concrete isn't exactly accurate, Belmain says. They "gnaw" their way through construction materials, mouths closed.

"Rats need to gnaw as their teeth grow continuously and gnawing keeps them sharp," says Belmain. "Rats can certainly gnaw through concrete and metal, most normally soft metals such as tin, aluminium, copper and lead, but I have seen gnaw marks on steel, various hard plastics such as waste pipes and terracotta pipes — as well as concrete walls."

Alice Sinia, an entomologist and technical advisor with pest control specialist Orkin Canada, notes, however, that all concrete is not created equal, nor is it equally well-maintained. Substandard cinderblock may not be an impediment to a motivated rat.

"Rats will usually only gnaw at material softer than their tooth enamel," she says. "They'd prefer to gnaw through softer material instead of concrete."

She notes that an integrated pest management (IPM) program begins with exclusion — ensuring that rats can't easily get inside a structure. That's the responsibility of architects, builders and eventually owners.

Concrete construction should be free of gaps. Even a hole 13 mm in diameter is large enough to allow a rodent to squeeze through. Gaps around pipes, vents and utilities are prime entry points.

Foundations should also be designed with no loose soil around the perimeter, where rats might dig.

Belmain notes that some construction products, such as plastic, incorporate unpleasant tasting materials to discourage rats.

"These do not always work as rodents do not taste everything they gnaw through," he says. "They close off their mouths as they chew through things they have no intention of eating."

Eliminating food sources is the second major strategy of IPM. If there's no food inside the building, there's no incentive to gnaw at concrete.

"Rats generally seek shelter only in places where they first find food," says Sinia.

"If they are already living inside, we prefer to use mechanical traps and avoid rodenticide to manage the rat population."

Finally, it's unlikely that rats are becoming larger, says Belmain. While they've quickly developed resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides over the past 50 years, growing larger isn't exactly an evolutionary advantage.

"The abundance of food in urban areas may drive large sized rodents, but other factors will drive towards smaller rodents," he says.

"The premise of rats getting larger does not account for other needs such as being able to get into small spaces or escape predators. We simply don't know what factors will be more important in a changing environment."

Sinia says she agrees, noting that there's no evidence of the development of Canadian super-rats.

"However, nature is very interesting," she says. "In nature, never say 'never'."


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An imgur user has posted a horrifying image to the photo-sharing website which will haunt the dreams of many.
in August, the National Geographic published a video describing the resilience of rats and how they're able to penetrate our toilets.

"A rat's ribs are hinged at the spine, enabling it to easily squeeze through the tightest spaces - like the pipes draining your toilet," it said.

"And rats are great swimmers too; they can hold their breath for up to three minutes. See how quickly a rat can go from the city streets to your bathroom."

And an image posted on imgur is clear evidence a sizeable rat is more than able to wriggle into our pipes and up our toilets.

"Rats and toilets... I didn't know it could actually happen! One of my biggest fears as a child," user Cecebird wrote.

"This was at a hotel my uncle was staying at, in his hotel room...He heard scratching in his bathroom. I would check out immediately! If it happened once, it could happen again."

Never using a toilet again...


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A teenage girl who was scratched when breaking up a scuffle among her three pet rats wound up in the hospital with an extremely rare case of rat-bite fever.

The infection, which is caused by a bacterium found in rat saliva, generally causes fever, joint pain and rash, and is fatal in up to 13 percent of cases, according to the report of the young woman's case.

Rat-bite fever, which was described in writings dating back 2,300 years, is rare: Only about 200 cases of the disease have been reported in the past 150 years, the authors wrote in their report, published today (Dec. 22) in the journal BMJ Case Reports. [10 Deadly Diseases That Hopped Across Species]

Dr. Carina Brown, a resident physician at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the lead author of the case report, said she had studied rat-bite fever when preparing for an exam in medical school, but never thought she would see it in practice.

But the teen's case was considered "classic" because her symptoms were typical of the disease and she had spent time around rats, Brown told Live Science.

The young woman went to the emergency room in January 2015 because of pain in her hip and lower back, said Brown, who was a medical student at Penn State Hershey Medical Center when she saw the patient.

The teen told the doctors that she also had experienced fevers, nausea and vomiting during the prior two weeks, Brown said.

The young woman was admitted to the hospital and, after developing a fever on the second day, was given broad-spectrum antibiotics, Brown said. At that point, the doctors suspected that the patient might have contracted an infection in her joints that may have been causing the pain, she said.

But fever, rash and joint pain can have a number of different causes, presenting a "clinical challenge conundrum," the authors wrote in the report. (Some of the other possible diagnoses included Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Coxsackie virus, the authors wrote.)

However, the patient had offered up some clues when she was first admitted to the hospital: She told the doctors that she had several pets, including a dog, a cat, a horse and three rats.

Because she lived with pets, the doctors suspected several zoonoses (diseases contracted from animals), including rat-bite fever, Brown said.

Still, the diagnosis of rat-bite fever wasn't confirmed until the lab results from blood cultures — which took seven days — came back, according to the report.

Once confirmed, rat-bite fever is very treatable, according to the case report.

The doctors treated the young woman using intravenous antibiotics for four weeks. After five days, her fever and rash disappeared, and after four weeks, her joint pain completely went away, the doctors wrote.

Brown noted that the patient still has her pet rats, but added that she now wears gloves when handling them.

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Multitudes of feral cats roam New York City's concrete jungle, and some now have a practical purpose: They're helping curb the city's rat population.

A group of volunteers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction, then spays or neuters and vaccinates them. The goal is to return them to their home territory, but some end up in areas rife with rats.

Feline rat patrols keep watch over city delis and bodegas, car dealerships and the grounds of a Greenwich Village church. Four cats roam the loading dock at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where food deliveries and garbage have drawn rodents for years.

"We used to hire exterminators, but nature has a better solution," said Rebecca Marshall, the sustainability manager at the 1.8-million-square-foot center. "And cats don't cost anything."

About 6,000 volunteers have completed workshops where they've learned proper ways to trap cats.

The program is run through the privately funded Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters. It estimates as many as half a million feral and stray cats roam New York's five boroughs.

The life of a street cat is a tough one. Some are former pets, abandoned by owners. Plenty die of disease and malnutrition or are hit by vehicles. Others ingest poisoned cat food — set deliberately to get rid of them, cat advocates say.

Many of the animals are displaced as a result of New York's development, with new construction creating perilous conditions for those that once inhabited the city's nooks and crannies, from vacant lots, decaying factories and empty warehouses.

One colony of two dozen cats living in a lot on Manhattan's West Side are about to be displaced by construction on a new $3 billion office tower. A City Council member is working with residents and developers to make sure the creatures are moved to a safe location.

The Javits Center's quartet of cats — Sylvester, Alfreda, Mama Cat and Ginger — were lured to its 56 loading docks about two years ago with pet food brought by animal-loving employees. On a recent fall morning, Sylvester stationed himself next to a commercial truck, ready to pounce if needed.

The cats are predators but don't necessarily kill rats. Instead, experts say the feline scent and droppings repel the rodents.

"A mother rat will never give birth near a predator because the cats would eat the babies," said Jane Hoffman, president of the mayor's alliance.

The cat population is controlled through spaying and neutering, provided free of charge by the Humane Society of New York and the ASPCA. In most cases, adoption is out of the question for feral cats because they are just too wild to be domesticated.

Thanks to the volunteers, says Marshall, "we're protecting wildlife in the city, and the cats get a second chance at life." Source:

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Although it has a face—and body—that only a mother could love, the naked mole rat has a lot to offer biomedical science. It lives 10 times longer than a mouse, almost never gets cancer, and doesn’t feel pain from injury and inflammation. Now, researchers say they’ve figured out how the rodents keep this pain away.

“It’s an amazing result,” says Harold Zakon, an evolutionary neurobiologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who was not involved with the work. “This study points us to important areas … that might be targeted to reduce this type of pain.”

Naked mole rats are just plain weird. They live almost totally underground in colonies structured like honey bee hives, with hundreds of workers servicing a single queen and her few consorts. To survive, they dig kilometers of tunnels in search of large underground tubers for food. It’s such a tough life that—to conserve energy—this member of the rodent family gave up regulating its temperature, and they are able to thrive in a low-oxygen, high–carbon dioxide environment that would suffocate or be very painful to humans. “They might as well be from another planet,” says Thomas Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Gary Lewin, a neuroscientist at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association in Berlin, began working with naked mole rats because a friend in Chicago was finding that the rodent's pain fibers were not the same as other mammals'. In 2008, the studies led to the finding that naked mole rats didn’t feel pain when they came into contact with acid and didn’t get more sensitive to heat or touch when injured, like we and other mammals do. Lewin was hooked and has been raising the rodents in his lab ever since. They are a little more challenging than rats or mice, he notes, because with just one female per colony producing young, he never really has quite enough individuals for his studies.

So instead of studying the whole animals, he began isolating single nerve cells from the mole rats and investigating them in lab dishes to track the molecular basis of the rodent’s pain insensitivity. The pain pathway is kicked off when a substance called nerve growth factor is released by injured or inflamed cells. This factor binds to a protein on the pain-cell surface, a so-called receptor named TrkA, which relays the “pain” message throughout the cell. In us and other mammals, that message increases the activity of a molecular pore, called the TRPV1 ion channel, causing the cell to become more sensitive to touch or heat. “So the cell says ‘It hurts more,’” Lewin explains.

But that doesn’t happen in naked mole rats. Lewin evaluated the workings of the animal’s pain pathway components by mixing them with those of standard rats and putting the combinations in immature frog eggs. For example, the naked mole rat TRPV1 channel sensitized the egg to acid and heat when the rat TrkA was put into the egg cell with it. Thus, Lewin and his colleagues narrowed down the breakdown in this pathway to the TrkA receptor itself. The naked mole rat version of TrkA failed to activate the ion channel as efficiently as the rat version of TrkA, Lewin and his colleagues reveal today in Cell Reports.

When they compared the amino acid sequence of naked mole rat protein, the researchers found that three of these protein building blocks were different from the rat version and one was also different from the same protein in other mole rats. That particular difference made the naked mole rat receptor inefficient at relaying the pain sensitization signal.

Similar defects are seen in people, says Clifford Woolf, a neuroscientist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School who was not involved with the work. But contrary to the portrayal of the unstoppable blond giant in The Girl Who Played with Fire, a mystery thriller by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, “if an individual has mutations that reduce the capacity to feel pain, that’s extremely dangerous,” Woolf says. “It’s not a relief from pain; it’s a disaster,” because the body cannot detect when it's hurt.

But for naked mole rats, this drop of efficiency likely represents a good compromise, Lewin explains. Nerve growth factor and the receptor are important to the proper development of the nervous system. Thanks to this less efficient, albeit still functioning, receptor, the naked mole rat still winds up with an adequate nervous system, but with fewer pain nerve cells. That, in turn, could reduce the energy the animal needs to fuel its nervous system, likely useful in an environment where starvation is common and the body wants to conserve energy. “This illustrates how big steps in evolution can sometimes proceed from a single small mutation,” Zakon says.

The naked mole rat work could inspire better pain treatments. “Traditional medical interventions for pain have frequently attempted a brute force approach, which can cause unintended bad side effects,” Park says. For example, neurologists have tried pain drugs that neutralize nerve growth factor and control pain without the use of opioids, say in arthritis. But sometimes the treatment leads to damage to the knee joint. “Using what has been learned from the Lewin paper,” it might be possible to tweak the receptor for nerve growth factor to limit this side effect, says Lorne Mendell, a neuroscientist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Source:

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Study reveals how rodents keep warm by shape-shifting into one terrifying mass

  • Rats in a huddle rotate so those on the edge are brought into the warmth
  • Behaviour causes the rats to act like a centrally-controlled, larger creature
  • 'Rat super-organism' relies on a combination of selfishness and sacrifice
  • Model shows how each rat must sacrifice has some of its own heat to make sure the group has a balanced temperature

Like penguins, rats huddle together when it's cold, and separate when it's warm.

They also rotate, so that the rats on the outer edge are brought into the warmth of the centre before being moved back out again.

This behaviour, new research suggests, causes the rats to act like a terrifying, self-organising 'super-organism.'

Scientists as the University of Sheffield say the huddled mass resembles the actions of a larger, centrally-controlled creature that can shape-shift to retain heat.

But rather than a centralised brain, this 'rat super-organism' relies on a combination of selfishness and sacrifice.

The researchers created a model which shows how each rat must sacrifice has some of its own heat to make sure the group has a balanced temperature.

Lead author Jonathan Glancy at Sheffield University explains: 'Our model describes the huddle as a self-organising system.

'[It] reveals how complex group behaviours can emerge from very simple interactions between animals.'

Huddling is an important example of a self-organising behaviour with a clear evolutionary advantage, because animals that can coordinate their movements to keep warm are more likely to survive.

Future experiments could test the accuracy of the model, and shed light on how evolution might take advantage of useful tricks like huddling.

This work, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, is part a study into how huddling equations could be used to coordinate movement patterns in teams of cooperating robots.

It could also be used to create 'bio hybrid' teams of robots and animals.


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There are a large variety of different rodents in the world, one of the most well-known and unwelcome species being the rat. Despite what you may have learned from the movie Ratatouille, rats can cause a lot of problems in your home. Despite the little rodents creating a menace, they can be fascinating. Below is a compilation of some interesting facts about rats and rodents in general that may surprise you.

1. There are more than 2000 types of rodents

When you think of rodents you probably think of mice and rats, and probably not much else. But there are over 2000 types of rodents and they include squirrels, chipmunks, porcupines and many more! There are a variety of rodents around the world, but the two most common rodents in Toronto are the House Mouse and the Norway Rat.

2. The word rodent comes from a Latin word that means to “gnaw”

Different types of rodents use their sharp incisors to gnaw foods, break through barriers and to defend themselves. Their teeth grow from 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches a year. Rodents wear down the teeth by eating down walls, animals, and wood.

3. Rat Facts: Female rats reproduce as early as 3 months

A female rat can mate as many as 500 times with various males during a 6 hour period. Thus, a pair of rats can reproduce to an astonishing 2,000 descendants in a year! It is any wonder that a rat infestation can be difficult to get rid of when they repopulate this quickly?

4. Rodents can tread in water

Rodents can swim in water for up to three days; therefore, if you flush them down the toilet, they may actually come back up through the same route! That’s a pretty shocking and terrifying thought, isn’t it?

5. Rats transmit diseases

Rats are known to transmit serious diseases to humans, including, Q fever, plague, Weil’s disease and viral hemorrhagic fever. If you suspect you have a rat infestation, the best thing you can do, is to call an exterminator to remove them immediately. Unlike many other pests which are relatively harmless, rats are known transmitters of disease.

6. Rodents can squeeze through tiny holes

Rodents can squeeze through holes as small as ¼- inch! So make sure you seal up any cracks in your foundation, garden, doorways, garage or any other areas where rats may be able to sneak in. You may think the space is too small for a rat to creep in, but you’re better safe than sorry.

7. Even rodents get bullied

Rodents fall in to problems with peer-pressure just like humans do! They will often do whatever the others in their pack are doing just to fit in, even if that means eating food they are not familiar with.

8. Do not underestimate a rodent’s brain power

Rodents are quite intelligent, especially given their size. In 2007 scientists discovered that, like humans, rats have the ability to reason and make decisions based off what they learn. There are many tests being conducted on rodents to prove that they are intelligent creatures.

Though fascinating, rodents and rat infestations can often become an unwelcome problem in your home and are far from ideal housemates. 

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Why Do Rodents Gnaw?

It’s a natural and necessary survival mechanism.

Rodents rely on gnawing as a means of survival in the wild. They use their incisors and powerful jaws to gain access to harborages, obtain daily resources such as food, water and nesting materials, assist in climbing, and as weapons against enemies.

By gnawing on and through wood, rodents create openings into tree trunks, hollow logs, or cut and clear through the thick roots of trees to hollow out nest cavities. Around and inside our buildings, rodents gnaw through doors, floors, windows and walls for the same purpose — to gain entrance to possible harborage and protective sites.

In the wild, food and moisture can be obtained by the rodent gnawing on various types of plants, seed shells, and tree bark. Larger food items are first nibbled into easy-to-handle sizes by the incisors prior to grinding with the cheek teeth. The stems of various plants often contain insect larvae and moisture that the rodent accesses via gnawing.

In addition, when the stem is felled via gnawing — much in the same way a beaver fells trees — the top of stems may reward the rodent with a nutritious seed head. And the stem itself, or the leaves growing along the stem, can be gathered and used as nesting material.

Why it Matters.

Of particular concern and interest is the rodent’s seemingly excessive attraction toward gnawing on man-made wires. Rodents attack utility wires, computer wires, the wires of our vehicles, and a wide range of other wires of different shapes, sizes and function.

Moreover, rodents often seem to “select” the critical current-carrying wires of electrical equipment. This is borne out in livestock and other agricultural facilities where rodents are major economic pests because of their repeated attacks on the wires of aeration fans and conveyor belts, resulting in expensive shutdowns of these facilities.

But as wires do not offer the rodent any nutritional return, what is it about wires that rodents find so attractive? Because such little research exists on this subject, nothing is known for sure. Perhaps wires appear visually similar to other items attractive to rodents, such as the familiar shape and diameter of plant stems and tree twigs. If indeed rodents also respond to the electrical current and vibration of a wire, perhaps the sound or vibration is similar to the rodent as that sound made by trickling water, or an insect feeding or traveling through plant stems.

Regardless, gnawing is a natural and necessary survival behavior of the rat and mouse. When they move into our buildings and equipment, rodents are simply behaving instinctively as they have for thousands of year. Being an opportunistic animal, the rodent has learned it has little to lose and usually much to gain by gnawing on the many objects encountered during its daily explorations.


Rat Bites: What You Need to Know

Rats are equipped with large teeth and administer painful bites when threatened. Healthy rats typically avoid people and prefer to be active when buildings are quiet. However, when cornered, they will lunge and bite to defend themselves. The saliva of some species of rats carries hazardous diseases, such as leptospirosis and Hantavirus. In rare cases, rat bite victims may contract rat-bite fever. Humans bitten by rodents are also susceptible to tetanus infections.

Whether in cities, farms, neighborhoods, dumps or sewer systems, rats live within close proximity to human habitats. Outside, they can be found in trees or burrowing beneath the soil. However, rats are also common household pests. As carriers of many known diseases, these rodents can prove extremely harmful to human health.

Buildings near train stations, subways, garbage dumps, parks or railroads may be densely populated with Norway rats. While rat bites are relatively uncommon, they can be dangerous.

Rat bites may be shallow or deep. Some display single puncture wounds, while others display multiple abrasions. Bleeding often occurs. Although infection is rare, all rodent bites should be promptly and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Tetanus immunizations may be required for those who have not received them in recent years. Despite common belief, no rodent bites in North America ever have resulted in the transmission of rabies. However, a person bitten by a rat should seek a medical professional. (Source: Orkin)



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Mouse Meningitis

When most people hear the term rodent-borne disease, the likes of Hantavirus, plague, rat-bite fever and salmonellosis are probably the first few to come to mind. However, there’s another rodent-borne viral infectious disease people should be aware of as we enter the winter season — Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, or LCM, which is caused by lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). LCVM is transmitted to humans following exposure to fresh urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials from infected house mice. Individuals who are bit by an infected rodent may also be at risk of exposure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5 percent of house mice throughout the United States carry LCMV and are able to transmit the virus. Infections are more common in the colder months when mice enter homes seeking shelter from the looming winter elements.

Symptoms and Treatment of LCMV
Most commonly, infection with LCMV has two phases. The first phase has non-specific “flu-like” symptoms, such as fever, malaise, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. The second phase of illness is dominated by neurologic disease. According to the CDC, symptoms may include meningitis (fever, headache, stiff neck, etc.), encephalitis (drowsiness, confusion, sensory disturbances and/or motor abnormalities), or meningoencephalitis (inflammation of both the brain and meninges). Most cases are self-limited, but others may require hospitalization based on severity. That said, infection is a much greater problem for women who become infected with LCMV during pregnancy because they may pass the infection on to the fetus with serious consequences.

How to Prevent LCMV
LCMV infection can be prevented by avoiding contact with mice and mouse excrement. Homeowners should seal up rodent entry holes or gaps with a silicone-based caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both. It’s also important to take precautions when handling pet rodents (i.e. mice, hamsters, or guinea pigs).

If you're noticing a mouse issue please contact a Professional such as Rodent Solutions for rodent removal in your Sarasota and/or Bradenton Home and/or Office. - Call 941-704-0063

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Voles, also called meadow mice or field mice, are rodents with small eyes and partially hidden ears. Their underfur is generally dense and covered with thicker, longer guard hairs. There are 23 species of voles in the U.S., including the prairie vole, meadow vole, long-tailed vole, woodland vole, Oregon vole and California vole.

Voles are active day and night, year-round. They do not hibernate. Voles eat plants, especially grasses and seeds, as well as bark, crops, insects and animal remains. Voles can have between one and five litters per year, with an average of five young in each litter. Vole population levels fluctuate and generally peak every two to five years. Dispersal, food quality, climate, and physiological stress all influence population levels.

Voles construct tunnels with numerous burrows entrances. A single burrow system may contain several adults and young.

Voles can cause extensive damage to orchards, tree plantings, and field crops. Voles eat crops and also damage them when they build extensive runway and tunnel systems. Voles also can ruin lawns, golf courses and ground covers. Voles rarely come in contact with humans and therefore pose no major public health hazards; however, they are capable of carrying disease organisms, such as plague and tularemia.

Vole Prevention
The most effective way to prevent voles is to keep lawns, vegetation and cultivated areas well-trimmed by mowing, spraying or grazing. Eliminate weeds, ground cover and litter in and around crops and lawns to reduce the capacity of those areas to support voles.Keep mulch at least three feet from the bases of trees. Soil tillage is also helpful as it destroys existing burrow systems.


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Mice 101: House Mice

The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce up to 35 young per year.

House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, however, they are color blind and cannot see clearly beyond six inches.

House mice live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. House mice prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.

Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.

House Mice Prevention
To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice can hide in clutter. Don't overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building to prevent ideal conditions in which house mice can nest. Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice including droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food goods. If you suspect a rodent infestation, contact a licensed rodent pest control professional to treat and get rid of house mice.

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Mice 101: Deer Mice

The deer mouse is found in rural areas and rarely invades residential homes. Deer mice are of medical concern because they are common carriers of Hantavirus.

The deer mouse prefers the outdoors.

The deer mouse makes its home outdoors. Sheltered areas such as hollow tree logs or piles of debris make the ideal deer mouse habitat. On the rare occasions the deer mouse comes indoors, it prefers undisturbed areas such as attics.

The deer mouse transmits the potentially fatal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. The disease can be transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in aerosolized urine droplets of infected deer mice.


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Mice 101 - House Mice

The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce up to 35 young per year.

House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, however, they are color blind and cannot see clearly beyond six inches.

House mice live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. House mice prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.

Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.


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Rats are the most common pest people worry about. Scientists from Simon Frasier University have figured out a way to exterminate these rodents by identifying and artificially copying the male brown rat's sex pheromone and luring the female brown rats into traps.

Pheromone is a chemical produced by an animal that changes how another animal of the same species react to them. Often times, others describe pheromone as behavior-altering agents. Aside from sexual behavior, pheromone also initiates a change in behavior in animals belonging to the same species.

The increased population of rats has been known to cause serious harm to people. That's why it is important to understand their behavior and what they want. Rats have their own way of destroying things, spread diseases, and threaten other animals in existence. The brown rat, which is the most common rat in the world, is multiplying quickly because they have somehow mastered the proper way to avoid traps in their natural habitat.
According to, Gerhard Gries, Stephen Takács and Regine Gries biologists from Simon Frasier University, and research chemist Huimin Zhai explained that their latest pheromone discovery tackled the trap-avoidance behavior of the brown rats. In both the lab and field experiments, experts have found that female rats easily slip through the trap boxes baited with male brown rat's sex pheromone.

"We're beginning to speak rat," says Gerhard Gries who is a professor of biological sciences and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Multimodal Animal Communication Ecology at SFU. He added saying that they have started to understand the rat's pheromones, and how they sound when they communicate and reproduce it. He also explained that they have understood the rat's food preference.

Science Daily reported that the scientists have envisioned their study to influence how rats are trapped. They have already started to create an electronic gadget with the help of Pawel Kowalski in SFU's Science Technical Center. The gadget has a special algorithm that can randomly follow how young rats' sound. Another contributor to the study is Antonia Musso, a graduate student from the same university who developed special food bait that not only attracts rats, but also encourage them to feed themselves, which is one important factor to trigger the trap to work.

With the help of the combination of the effective food bait, along with the rats' sex pheromone and sound signals, scientists expect that rats will be able to overcome their disgust for trap boxes.


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Disgusting as they may be, rats are quite determined. They’re so determined that they can easily swim up into your toilet bowl from the sewer system, as this video from National Geographic shows.

The aforementioned video from National Geographic reveals how quickly a rat can get through a plumbing system. The video shows that rats have a great deal of endurance and flexibility to get where they need to go.

They can swim for three days and can hold their breath for 3 minutes at a time, the video says.

Rats also can get through tiny gaps–A rat’s ribs are hinged at the spine, meaning they can get through spaces as small as a quarter in size. All the rat needs to do is get its head through.

“First it can easily sneak into grates or manhole covers open to the street,” says narrator of the NatGeo video. “Residential sewer pipes feed into the main tunnel and a rat might consider this path an irresistible opportunity for exploration.”

According to an account published in Gothamist, an exterminator in Brooklyn said this actually does happen:

“I’ve dealt with it many times. The pipe is empty, the rat crawls through the pipe and up over the hump and into the porcelain. And he can’t get back out. What I do? I flush it down! It happens all the time, especially if you live in the basement or a first floor apartment. As soon as they go up over that hump they’re in the bowl. So they call me, I go in and just flush the toilet. 100 bucks!” he says.

“But if it’s managed to get out of the bowl, then you earn your money. If they leave the lid up, the rat can get out. Or, about a month ago, one of my employees got a call from a guy with a rat in his bathroom. This guy had the lid down, but he had one of those fabric covers over the toilet lid that wraps underneath the lid a little bit. So the rat was able to cling onto that and pry the lid open! My guy went in and beat it to death with a snow shovel.”

So, the next time you head to sleep, make sure to shut your toilet lid.


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Researchers have developed a new mouse model that could be used in Zika research to better understand the virus and find new treatments, according to a study published in PLOS Pathogens.

A person infected with Zika virus usually has no symptoms or only has mild ones. However, in recent outbreaks, the virus has been linked to increased rates of neurological disorders and birth defects. There is an urgent need for better animal models for laboratory research to study the Zika virus and potential treatments.

Previous studies have shown that young mice with specific immune system defects are susceptible to Zika infection. However, studying Zika in mice with compromised immune systems could skew results. Now, researchers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research demonstrate that mice with functioning immune systems can be successfully infected with Zika.

"This new mouse model developed by the FDA could be used to explore Zika virus' pathology and potentially help to develop treatments or vaccines," says Mohanraj Manangeeswaran, senior staff fellow in the FDA's Office of Pharmaceutical Quality. "Because the mice used in this model have immune systems that allow them to survive initial infection, they could be particularly helpful for studying the long-term effects of Zika virus infection."

The new mouse model employs a mouse strain called C57BL/6, which is commonly used in disease research. The scientists infected 1-day-old C57BL/6 mice with Zika virus and found that they develop symptoms of neurological disease, such as unsteady gait and seizures that gradually fade over two weeks.

The researchers compared their new mouse model with young mice that have immune system defects and are known to die several days after Zika infection. They found significant differences in disease progression, immune system response, and neurological effects between the two models.

Story Source:

Materials provided by PLOSNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

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  • The old wive's tale that rats and mice love cheese is false. They will eat it if there is nothing else but it is not a preferred food. At Rodent Solutions, we make our own special blend of bait that we have tested and found very effective and it does not include cheese.
  • There are no real life cats like in "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. A cat will not make it their goal to control your rodent population. They may kill them when they run across them, but adding more cats around your property will not remedy a rodent issue.
  • Mice do not "grow up" and become rats. Mice and rats are different species.


We do not use poison when dealing with a Florida rat or mouse infestation. The poison will often lead to the rodent dying in the attic causing the stench of rodent decay. 

The old thought process of "the poison will make the rat/mouse leave to go find water" is not true.

Most poisons are an anticoagulant (prevents blood from clotting) causing the rat or mouse bleed to death internally. The dead rat or mouse will then leave an awful odor potentially causing headaches, nausea and general displeasure. This also causes large flies in the the home or business which is common as the rodent decomposes.

If poisoning the rat does work, it will only take care of the problem temporarily. New rats or mice will follow the path of the old rodents and enter your home again and again.