Rodent Inspection and Rodent Control

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Learn About Cascade Rodent Control – Inspection, Treatment, Protection

Rats, mice, and rodents plague the Seattle region. So, it’s become a necessity for every home and business owner to rely on rodent control services to keep these pesky pests away.

Cascade Pest Control has 40 years of experience knowing where to look for rodents, their behavior, and how to prevent rats, mice, and rodents from nesting or entering any residential or commercial building.

Roofs and Rodent Access, Entrance, and Nesting

Roofs, whether on a house or commercial building, have places where rodents can enter and/or breed.  Those places where varying roof angles meet create special problem areas, known as ‘roof adjoinments.’  Here, any small gaps left by the framing crew or the roofers will allow rats, squirrels and mice to enter and start nesting.  Roof rats are a particular species of rat that, due to their amazing ability to climb and balance tend to nest above ground and often invade attic spaces to nest.

This video shows how roof adjoinments occur and can have easy opening to the attic.

Once inside, rodents have access to your attic space and often breed there, causing damage to insulation and contaminating the area.  We later explore the interior of roofs—the attic (see below).

Access and Food Sources…        


Rats, mice and other rodents are agile climbers.  If we’re not careful they will take advantage of situations near our homes and businesses and climb up to get in.

Your Cascade Pest Control rodent control technician will inspect for these and many other issues.

Some of the most common ‘ladders’ rodent use:

  • Tree branches – keep them trimmed at least 3 feet from eaves and roofs.
  • Stored wood or other tall items leaning against the walls – don’t store items along structure walls, which allow rats, mice or rodents to climb up to the eave or roof.
  • Tall growing shrubs and vines—again, these should not reach within 3 feet of a gutter or roof.

We humans, unknowingly, leave food for rats, mice, or other rodents. Some of the primary areas are:

  • Even small amounts of pet food remaining in or around pet dishes – inside or outside your home or building
  • Grease build up in outside barbecues
  • Spilled garbage or garbage can with loose fitting lids
  • Fruit trees and vegetable gardens

Crawlspaces and Rodents

Crawlspaces are frequently infested by rodents, both rats and mice.

In this video, we show how an unsecured crawlspace access panel can allow rats and mice to enter.  It’s not the only way rats can get into a crawlspace, just the easiest.

Rodents can also enter through improper vents, gaps in siding or the concrete foundation, and they can either travel up drain lines into the crawlspace or just tunnel under the foundation themselves.

Crawlspaces are most often tight areas that aren’t easy to get into or move around within.  They are also dusty—though sometimes muddy, dark, and loaded with spider webs. Your Cascade Pest Control technician is prepared to do the dirty work of inspecting these spaces for rodent signs.

Cascade’s rodent control technicians most often find rodent droppings in crawlspaces, as well as evidence that rats or mice are nesting in the subfloor insulation. Rats and mice both—and sometimes even squirrels—love to nest in insulation. Unfortunately, these rodents compress it and shred it in the process, costing you in heating and air conditioning costs.

This is an area where home inspectors check for rodent damage at the time of a home sale.

Attic Spaces and Rodents

Attic spaces are a particular problem when it comes to rodents. Attics provide an enclosed, safe space for them and they have an abundance of nesting material—your insulation.

Cascade rodent control technicians have seen many attics contaminated by rodent filth and the insulation compressed and/or shredded to where it’s doing little good. What’s more, rats can breed and multiply in attics for quite some time before they are ever noticed.

When rodents—either over time or from large numbers—trample your attic insulation it decreases the insulation’s R-value so that it’s doesn’t do its job keeping your home warm (or cool in the summer).

But the damage doesn’t stop there. We at Cascade Pest Control see many rodent-infested attics and many are seriously contaminated by rodent filth. Rats and mice can spread filth throughout an attic, or a substructure crawlspace. The filth is nasty and likely laden with bacteria. Cleaning your attic of rodent contamination is costly. So is replacing your attic insulation, especially when considering the skill and labor required to do it effectively.

What’s more, once rats or mice have access to your attic it’s a lesser matter for them to make their way through wiring or plumbing holes and again access to other parts of your home.

Rodent control in an attic space can be a dirty job and requires moving in tight crawlspaces, skill and hard work.  Cascade rodent control technicians are trained and qualified for these difficult tasks.

Bird Feeders and Rodent Burrows

Bird Feeders—

Bird Feeders are a wonderful addition to our homes and yards, however, mice, rats and squirrels also love bird seed. Certain birds often disperse seeds from feeders then peck at it from the ground. Others just spill it while eating.  But rodents of all kinds can climb up, and even jump out to reach the feeder.  Bird seed can be a major source of nutrition for rats and mice.

Rat Burrows—

Rat infestations often go unnoticed because they are living underground with their burrows hidden beneath ground cover and shrubs, or between stones of a rockery.  Extensive training and field experience give Cascade Pest Control technicians the skills necessary to look for and find these rat and other rodent burrows.

Neighborhood Range of Rodents

Many people think perhaps only they have a mouse or a rat problem.  But that’s seldom the case.  Rodents, rats and deer mice, have quite a large range when foraging for food.  Rats normally go up to 150 feet from their nest to locate food.  This means rodents, and rat populations, in particular, are often a neighborhood issue, not only located in one particular house.

When your Cascade Pest Control technician surveys your home they will also be cognizant of how your home’s (or business’s) surroundings can contribute to, and complicate, your rodent control and prevention service.

When neighbors feed their cats and dogs they may also be feeding the mice or rats that live in your attic or crawlspace.

Someone’s spilt garbage down the street, or another house’s bird feeders can all impact how plentiful rodents are at your property.  And as extensively intertwined as our suburban and urban neighborhoods are, rats are now established as a constantly migrating population in most areas of greater Seattle and the Puget Sound.

Of course, those living more on the edge of suburbia, or even in rural districts throughout Washington are always surrounded with deer mice.

Cascade Initial Rodent Treatment

Cascade’s initial treatment starts with a rodent inspection to determine the type of rodent(s), the extent of the current rat or mouse infestation, probable access points, and likely sources of food.  This is an extensive and dirty job.

We pay attention to help reduce and/or eliminate obvious sources of food.  Sometimes this means advising you, the client, how to do things a little differently.

Your Cascade rodent control technician will also look for such things as tree limbs that touch the roof, allowing access to the upper reaches of the structure.  Your technician will also look for hidden burrows…and possibly make suggestions to clear areas so rats or mice can’t hide.

Your Cascade Pest Control technician will go over these items with you.  Next, he or she will set traps to initiate rodent control.

Traps are an important first step to help insure that rodents don’t die in inaccessible areas and create a foul odor.  Your Cascade rodent control technician will often set these traps in attics, and/or crawlspaces, or sometimes within hard plastic enclosures to keep pets and children safe.

Your technician will evaluate to what extent rodent exclusion (also called rodent proofing)—building them out by sealing gaps and holes—is needed, and what it may cost to do so.  Every house is different and the amount of rodent exclusion needed varies widely—from no additional cost to cases where some contracting is required to repair a roof or crawl access door.

All these efforts get your home or business underway to contain the rodent problem.  It’s called an “initial rodent treatment” because it is the first step in starting a service that will, not just stop the current rat or mouse infestation, but continue to prevent and protect your property from future infestations as well.

Cascade’s Rodent ‘Inspect and Protect’ Service

Washington State’s outlying suburbs and rural areas—from Puyallup, to Anacortes—has an abundant deer mouse population.  And Cascade Pest Control’s four decades of experience has left us watching the amazing encroachment of rats as invasive species, moving right along with our suburban and urban expansion.

We need to face the reality that populations of various rodent species are continuously surrounding us.  They live in our neighborhoods, venture into our own yards, and are ready to exert all their skills and stamina to live with us in our homes and businesses.  For them it’s survival and they don’t pull any punches.

We at Cascade Pest Control know this, so we’ve created a cost-effective periodic service to repeatedly monitor rodent activity, present a formidable barrier to their gaining ground in your home, and a far quicker response when the pressure of rodents cause migrations and assaults on your property.

After the Initial Rodent Service, your Cascade technician will check the traps set previously as well as check for new signs of rodent activity.  And, as the rodent exclusion / proofing work as progressed, He/She will start to place bait in tamper-resistant bait stations at key points of the perimeter of your home or business.  These bait stations are often anchored to further prevent tampering by dogs, raccoons and other pets or wild animals.  The bait blocks are fastened on steel rods within the ‘station’ to further prevent any significant amount of bait spillage.

Each service your Cascade Pest Control certified technician will inspect these stations to determine rodent activity levels in the neighborhood.  He/She will also check the viability of the bait replacing as needed, and then continue to inspect key locations for droppings or other signs of rats or mice .  A periodic inspection of the crawlspace entrance and, preferably, an annual attic check are a must.

Whenever signs indicate that rodent populations are on the rise, or if you, our client, have noticed something, we carry out the extra measures needed for rodent control to keep you protected.

And Cascade’s excellent service doesn’t stop there.  As a part of our periodic ‘Inspect and Protect’ service we typically add a complimentary service for certain insect and spider pests.

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