The Damage and Diseases of Rats and Mice

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Avoid Damage and Disease with Rodent Control

Rodents – Rats, mice and even squirrels – cause damage to homes, stored items, and autos.

Their damage is predominantly caused by gnawing and by contamination.  Cascade Pest Control has a number of highly trained rodent control technicians, some of whom have been studying rodent behavior and consequences for many years.

Although we at Cascade Pest Control encounter rat- and mouse-caused damage daily, and yet still get surprised by these critters, we find it hard to help folks when they know so little about what they’re up against.  Here, years of Cascade experience is distilled into an introductory look at Rodent Damage and Disease—The damage and diseases of rats and mice.

Gnawing and Contamination

Rodents continually gnaw to maintain their continually-growing incisor teeth.  They gnaw to eat hard foods and to shred nesting materials.  But most importantly they gnaw to gain access through wood and even aluminum to gain access into enclosed spaces.

Rats and mice also cause damage by contaminating surfaces and other materials with their urine and droppings which they leave anywhere and everywhere they traverse or nest.  Rodents also carry a variety of disease pathogens—not the least of which is the deadly hantavirus, carried by mice in suburban and rural areas of western Washington (or Puget Sound region).

The greatest damage caused by rodents in residential settings occurs to homes and autos.

Damage to Home – Insulation

In homes, rats and mice love to traverse through and nest within the layers of insulation—most often in attics and in crawlspaces.  Their activity compresses and/or shreds and misplaces the insulation resulting in heat loss and expense.   Contaminated insulation can also become a potential health hazard warranting costly insulation removal and replacement work.

Take note:  When it’s time to sell your home, it will have to undergo a home inspection.  Any damage or contamination found at the time of sale will result in an immediate requirement to remedy the situation at whatever the cost—or allow the transaction to fall through.

Rats and squirrels are known to chew through roofing materials and house siding, causing $$ damage while gaining access into the structure…and often chew on electrical wiring—mostly causing dead circuits, but occasionally causing house fires.

Rats and mice chew up and contaminate all manner of stored items (food, upholstery, etc.)

Damage to Autos & Other Vehicles

Significantly, rats have gained a notorious reputation in the Puget Sound region for causing significant $$$ damage to cars.  While sometimes they ruin expensive auto interiors (upholstery), they most often damage engine hoses and high-tech wiring—both of which can render your vehicle inoperative AND cost $ hundreds, if not $$ thousands, to repair.

This same damage also occurs to stored boats, travel trailers, and other vehicles. (expensive RV?)

And they spread disease here too.  In a 2016 greater-Seattle-area hantavirus case the suspected route of contamination was a mouse nest in the car’s ventilation system!

About the Author:
Kurt Treftz is the co-founder of Cascade Pest Control and has been observing rodents, their behavior and the consequences of their presence for forty-one years.  Cascade’s rodent control experts have the experience to know how rat, mice and other rodents behave and how to control them.  We’re also familiar with the property damage, destruction, contamination, and disease that rodents can cause.

Cascade Pest Control serves Tacoma, Greater Seattle, Bellevue and the Eastside, Everett, Skagit & Island counties, Bellingham, Leavenworth & Wenatchee.

Call Cascade Today:
Western Washington 1-(888) 989-8979

Chelan County/Wenatchee Valley 1-(509) 590-9243

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