If you regularly hear scratching in your walls or the pitter-patter of little feet above your ceilings, you may have rodents in the walls of your house. They love taking up residence in people's homes, eating their food, and gnawing on their belongings, which is why you need pest control in the Greater Chicago area to get rid of them. Otherwise, they can damage your property and spread disease to you, your family, and your pets.

How To Tell If It's Rodents In Your Home

Not all rodents in the Greater Chicago area are eager to get into your home, but the ones who are can be tireless in their efforts. The types of rodents most likely to invade homes in the Chicago area are mice and rats. Whereas voles stay outside, digging holes in your yard and ransacking your garden.

Sounds aren't the only way to tell if you've got rodents in your house. You may see tube-shaped droppings that are tapered on the ends in your cabinets or on your kitchen counter. You might notice a distinct odor, especially in your attic, basement, or crawl space. You could see oily or greasy marks along your baseboards or the lowest part of your walls where rodents rub when they move around your home or gnaw marks where they have chewed. You may even see a mouse or rat scurrying across the floor one day.

Is It Dangerous For Your Pets To Have Rodents In Your Home?

The short answer is yes. Rodents carry all kinds of diseases that can infect pets as well as humans, including:

  • Hantavirus
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tularemia
  • Salmonellosis
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM)
  • Rat-bite fever

Rodents also carry fleas, ticks, and mites, which would love to take up residence on your dog or cat and spread throughout your home.

Pet-Friendly Tips To Keep Rodents Away From Your Home 

For effective rodent control in the Greater Chicago area, you must first keep rodents away from your home. Of course, you need to do so in a pet-friendly way, so Fido and Fluffy aren't at risk. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Keep your outside garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids, so mice and rats can't get into the trash.
  • Get rid of bird feeders and bird baths which provide ready food and water sources for rodents.
  • Take in pet food and water bowls in the evening for the same reason.
  • Harvest your garden frequently so rodents don't have as much to snack on near your home.
  • Clean up any dropped fruit or nuts from trees to remove another food source.
  • Clear out any piles of brush or debris rodents could nest inside.
  • Keep your lawn mowed to give rodents fewer places to hide.
  • Thin out dense vegetation in your flower beds or yard to eliminate more areas that could provide nesting opportunities.
  • Fix any leaking faucets or drainage issues so rodents aren't attracted to a ready source of water.
  • Fill in any cracks the width of a pencil, about ¼ inch wide or larger. Rodents have collapsible rib cages, so if they can get their head through a hole, they can get their whole body through it. 
  • Use ¼ inch hardware cloth, 26 gauge or stronger, to cover vents and gaps in the eaves or overhang of your roof to prevent rodents from using these entry points.
  • Put a cap on your chimney.

Preventing rodents from getting into your home in the first place is the best way to deal with infestations. Once rodents have made their way inside, seeking professional help is advised.

The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Rodents Around Your Home

The most effective way to get rid of rodents around your Greater Chicago area home is to call in a professional pest control company, such as EcoGuard Pest Control. EcoGuard is a locally-owned, family-owned company with more than 15 years of experience in pest control, serving the Greater Chicago area. We believe in using the least amount of pet-friendly, child-safe pest control treatment materials as possible to take care of your littlest loved ones.

We also offer rodent bio sanitation. After all, cleaning up the mess left by rodents can be just as dangerous as having rodents in your home. We want to put your mind at ease by safely cleaning and sanitizing the areas rodents have been living in your home. Whether it's mice or rats, we can make a visible difference in the safety and sanitation of your home. Call EcoGuard today to schedule a free inspection and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in the Greater Chicago area.