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Can Rats and Mice Cause Expensive Property Damage?

March 28, 2024 Vinx Pest Control Rodents
Can Rats and Mice Cause Expensive Property Damage?

Rats and mice, though small in size, can wreak havoc when they invade your home or property. Beyond the health risks they pose, these rodents are capable of causing significant and expensive property damage. Keep reading to explore how rats and mice can cause costly damage to your home and belongings.  

Understanding the Threat

Rats and mice are more than just nuisance pests; they are destructive creatures that can compromise the structural integrity of your property. Here’s how they can cause expensive damage:

  • Chewing and Gnawing: Rodents have powerful teeth that continuously grow. To keep their teeth in check, they gnaw on anything they can find. This includes electrical wires, insulation, wood, plastic, and even metal pipes. Their gnawing can lead to electrical failures, plumbing leaks, and compromised insulation.
  • Contamination: Rodents are carriers of various diseases, and their urine and feces can contaminate surfaces and food. Cleaning up after a rodent infestation often requires professional remediation, which can be costly.
  • Nesting: Rats and mice create nests using materials like paper, fabric, and insulation. These nests can block ventilation systems and create fire hazards, especially if they are near electrical wires.
  • Structural Damage: Rodents can burrow into walls, attics, and crawlspaces, causing structural damage over time. This can result in the need for extensive repairs and renovations.

Costly Consequences

Let’s delve deeper into the specific types of property damage that rats and mice can cause, along with the potential financial implications:

  • Electrical Damage: Gnawed electrical wires can lead to short circuits, power outages, and electrical fires. The cost of repairing damaged wiring and potential fire damage can be substantial.
  • Plumbing Issues: Rodents can chew through water pipes, leading to leaks and water damage. Repairing plumbing systems and addressing water damage can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Insulation Destruction: Rodents often use insulation materials for nesting. Replacing damaged insulation is not only costly but also affects your home’s energy efficiency.
  • Structural Weakening: Over time, rats and mice can weaken structural elements of your home, such as wooden beams and support columns. This compromises the stability of your property and necessitates costly repairs.
  • Health Risks: If rodents contaminate your food or living spaces, you may incur medical expenses due to rodent-borne diseases.

Preventing Expensive Property Damage

Given the potential financial consequences of rodent infestations, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to prevent these pests from invading your home:

  • Seal Entry Points: Conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify and seal any gaps or cracks that rodents can use to gain entry.
  • Maintain Cleanliness: Keep your home clean and free of food crumbs. Store food in airtight containers, and promptly clean up spills.
  • Use Traps: Set traps in areas where you suspect rodent activity to catch them before they cause extensive damage.
  • Professional Pest Control: Consider hiring a professional pest control service to conduct regular inspections and implement preventative measures.
  • Regular Maintenance: Maintain your property by addressing maintenance issues promptly. Fix leaky pipes, repair damaged insulation, and replace gnawed wires.

The question of whether rats and mice can cause expensive property damage has a resounding “yes.” These small rodents have the potential to inflict significant financial losses by damaging your home’s infrastructure, electrical systems, plumbing, and more. To avoid costly repairs and ensure the safety of your property and loved ones, take proactive steps to prevent rodent infestations and seek professional assistance when necessary. Remember that investing in effective rodent control measures can ultimately save you from the expenses associated with property damage caused by rats and mice.

How to Catch A Rat

September 13, 2019 Vinx Pest Control blog
How to Catch A Rat

If you’re currently hearing the shuffle of small feet and wondering how to catch a rat, we’ve been there. Having rats in your home is uncomfortable because you know how disease-ridden they are! There are tons of DIY solutions to catch a rat, but the most effective ways to catch them are traps, bait, and poison.

Let’s break down everything you need to know about catching a rat. Often times, Dallas homes have been exposed to rats at some point. They are very common in the area, and if your neighborhood has a problem with them, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll deal with them occasionally. There’s nothing worse than getting that first rat in the house, so let’s catch it!

However, if you’ve got rat problems, you try these steps, and you can’t catch them, give us a call. We service the entire DallasFort Worth area and our expert exterminators can solve your rat problem, guaranteed. We can help you at your home or office. Click here to see our pricing.

What does a rat look like?

To make sure you’re first dealing with a rat, let’s discuss what a rat looks like. There can actually be other rodents (like squirrels) in your attic, so it may be hard to see whether or not you’re dealing with a rat. So, what does a rat look like? A rat has these five distinguishable characteristics:

  • Rats are active at night, so you may find them sleeping in your home during the day.
  • Heavy fur on their bodies rather than on their ears and tails.
  • Can stand on their hind legs, but regularly run on all fours.
  • Vary in color and size, but many are brownish-gray.
  • Dark, beady eyes and a long, pointed nose.

Can rats climb walls?

Rats can indeed climb walls. Many people believe that rats cannot get into their homes as long as they have all bottom-floor holes patched up. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Rats are exceptionally good climbers. While they often get onto your roof through branches and trees, they can climb virtually anything, which is why it’s important you have no holes in your roof that rats can squeeze through.

Do rats bite?

Many people ask us, do rats bite? Sometimes, they can. While rats are not considered to be aggressive animals, they will bite if they feel cornered or pressured. Most of the time, rats will leave you alone. However, if you do get a rat bite, it’s important to seek out a doctor.

Rat bites are hardly ever serious, but they can cause something called rat-bite fever. Rat-bite fever can cause joint pain, fever, and a rash. This is a condition that will need to be prescribed antibiotics to get rid of.

What diseases do rats carry?

Sometimes, people wonder what diseases rats carry.  And the bad news is that they can carry a lot of diseases! These are the animals that started the plague, and they still carry that today. Besides the plague, rats carry:

  • Hantavirus
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus
  • Salmonella
  • Tularemia
  • Leptospirosis

What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like?

What does rat poop look like?

One of the first signs that you have rats is finding rat droppings around the home. They are shiny, black, and ½ inch to ¾ inch long. It is comparable to mouse droppings but much larger. Finding rat poop around your home is a good sign that there is a rat infestation somewhere around.

What do rats like to eat?

Rats are notoriously not picky eaters. They eat your trash, crumbs, and anything they can get their hands on. Because of this, it’s common for rats to be in homes that aren’t always considered “dirty.” You could have children dropping crumbs, dog food could be left out, or your trash could be improperly sealed. All of these things can lead to rats.

However, one of rats’ favorite foods is peanut butter. While most people think that mice love cheese (and they do), peanut butter is actually the best food to try and trap a rat with, which we’ll explain a bit more about next.

What kills rats instantly?

Snap traps are the only thing that can kill rats instantly. Rat poison will kill rats almost instantly. We recommend using rat poison to kill rats only in enclosed traps that are outside of the home and that other animals and children cannot get to. Rat poison is extremely dangerous to other animals and humans. We don’t want anyone getting hurt by it, which is why we recommend using it outside in enclosed traps.

We also never use rat poison in the home because rat poison doesn’t kill rats on contact. It takes a few hours for the poison to work through their system and rats can die within your walls, which leads to a whole other host of problems.

How to trap a rat?

When you are trying to trap a rat, there are a few things you need. You’ll need traps that are specific to rats (they are much bigger than the snap traps used for mice) and a bait of some sort. There are many different traps to choose from with rats. Some people will use a bucket of water with a “plank” above that rats will climb and slip into the water and drown. Others use humane traps where they catch them alive and rerelease them into the wild, and others use glue traps. We don’t recommend any of these traps. Glue traps can lead to rats chewing off their own limbs, drowning is inhumane and not always effective, and re-releasing them into the wild could cause more trouble for you.

Purchase a trap

We recommend using snap traps and bait for a home DIY approach. However, always make sure that the snap traps are away from little ones and yourself. If you need traps around the home, look for enclosed traps that are not harmful to humans.


Once you’ve purchased your traps, you need to bait them. We recommend using peanut butter. Peanut butter has a strong smell that rats are drawn to. They love the taste, and it’s easy for them to sniff it out from far away. Apply a dab of peanut butter to each snap trap that you have set up.

Sit and wait

After baiting, sit and wait. You want to check your traps once a day. Hopefully, if you have a rat infestation, you’ll start to see activity on the traps within 24 hours. Once your trap has caught the rat(s), do some prevention work.


Make sure once that rats are taken care of that you seal up all the holes so that they cannot get in again. Rats can get through a hole just as small as a pencil, so you want to patch them up well. We offer a rodent exclusion service to prevent rats or mice from getting into your home or business in the first place. 

Conclusion: How to catch a rat

When you need to know how to catch a rat, remember the rat trifecta: poison (outside and away from people and animals), bait, and trap. This DIY approach is effective and can get rid you of the infestation that you have.

However, if you’re not up to the task of doing it yourself and are in the Dallas or Fort Worth areas, give Vinx Pest Control a call. We serve the entire DFW area including PlanoGarland, and Bedford. In Texas, we also serve the Sulphur Springs area. We’re happy to come out and help you with your rat problem, and we guarantee our service. If you’re still dealing with rats after we come out, we’ll come back and take care of them for free. We also serve the Charleston and Greenville, SC areas. Give us a call at 972-855-8469 or fill out the form to get a free quote today.

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