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Local Articles in Southern California

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Pest Control Services

A homeowner's guide to hiring an exterminator or pest control company to rid your home of insects or rodents.

Mice and rats

A homeowner's guide to dealing with rodent infestation, including how to identify when there's a mouse problem and what to do to get rid of mice and rats.

paper wasp
Pest Control/Exterminating

Here's how to avoid getting stung by haphazard wasp nest removal.

Even after snow falls, a quick thaw that produces melting snow can push a lot of bug activity out of the soil and into homes. (Photo courtesy of Greenix Pest Control)
Pest Control/Exterminating

You know those bugs that bugged you last spring? Even when the snow hits, you might discover they never really went away.

kitten at the vet
Pest Control/Exterminating

Feline fleas are a nuisance, even if you don't own a cat. A pest control expert gives tips on how to eradicate fleas from your home and yard.

Ants can get into your house through very small openings. Inspect all windows and doors around your home for potential points of entry. (Photo courtesy of Greenix Pest Control)
Pest Control/Exterminating

Don’t put out the welcome mat for ants this spring: Learn how to repel these common pests.

Angie's Answers

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You have a lot of questions. I will try to cover them all.

First, mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
Second, unlike rats, mice are very small; it would take a major infestation to generate a persistent odor as indicated.

Elimination starts by sealing the exterior foundation of the home, door sweeps, broken windows, cracks in the foundation, holes around electrical service, water faucets and dryer vents.

Secondly, food sources must be eliminated. Mice only need 1 gram of food a day and they extract water directly from the food they digest.

Next, mice infestations are more localized than people think, bait under the house might not have any effect. Heat sources like refrigerators and hot water heaters are suspect as a base of operation.

Snap traps are highly effective when used where dropping are found. Use a variety of bait, peanut butter (avoid this if children are present), brownie, fruit and even dental floss tied to the pedal (nesting material).

As for the odor, look for an enzyme based cleaner / deodorizer.

 

If the problem continues seek the help of a Pest Control Professional with rodent experience.
 

Hope that helps,

Andrew Deluca



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The quickest way I've found to get rid of them (as opposed to preventing them - see answer above) is to put a half cup of cider vinegar (must be cider vinegar) in a jar or bowl and put a half-dozen drops of dishwashing liquid on top of it.  Leave out on a counter wherever the problem exists. Empty and refill as needed.
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Legally, it needs to be pest control - wildly boring technical explanation regarding Federal pesticide laws that I won't bother you with.  Having said that, depending on where they are located in your chimnet, you could do it yourselt.  Most wasp control products will shoot 12'-20'.  So, if they are in a lower section of your chimney you wait until dark (they return to their nests before dark) and reach up above your damper and spray the nests.  If you're not averse to being on your roof, do the same thing from the top.  Otherwise, hire a professional.
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An exterminator - you have to careful that the pests are driven out of the attic BEFORE the entrance they were using is closed up, otherwise you have dead decaying animals in your attic - can cause a stench that lasts for weeks.

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