Rodent Risks – Poop and More

mouse in house chewing on cord

Rat and mouse droppings aren’t something you want to find in your home. The average mouse produces up to 100 pellets a day, and these dark brown lumps are a surefire sign of an infestation within the home. What are the potential health risks that come from exposure to mouse poop? What should you do if you find evidence of rodents in the home, and who can you call for reliable rat and mouse removal in Tennessee? The Bug Man is here for rodents as well as insects, and we have the answers to all of those questions and more.

Mouse vs Rat Poop

Mouse droppings and rat droppings are fairly similar but easy to distinguish if you know what you’re looking for. Since rats are considerably larger than other forms of rodents, their droppings are also bigger, as well as rounded in a shape similar to raisins or coffee beans. Mouse poop, on the other hand, is only around 1/8 to 1/4″, closer to the size and shape of a grain of rice. Another indicator of rats versus mice is location. Rats are known for defecating essentially anywhere they wish, while mice designate a specific area separate from their nest to use as a toilet.

There are other pests that may leave droppings similar to rodents. Cockroaches, as an example, leave poop roughly the same size as mice – although their droppings are blunt around the ends rather than pointed. And squirrel poop looks a lot like rat poop, but their droppings are rounded at the edges as opposed to tapered. Regardless of the shape or size, though, mysterious piles of droppings in your home are something that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. If left alone they can pose a health risk and a danger to the structure of your house itself.

Rat Poop Risks

It’s safe to say that the droppings of any animal are unpleasant to be around. Feces transfer diseases, and mouse poop is no expectation. The main offender, and the biggest danger to humans, is the possibility of being exposed to Hantavirus. Hantavirus is a potentially life-threatening respiratory illness transferred from rodents to humans through urine, droppings, or even saliva. Not every rat or mouse is necessarily infected, but those who are leave the virus in every pile of droppings they make. It makes even cleaning up the mess potentially dangerous, as disturbing the poop will cause the virus to be released into the air.

So if you find droppings it’s crucial not to vacuum or sweep them up. Instead, don a pair of rubber or plastic gloves and spray the area with bleach or disinfectant before carefully wiping it up with a paper towel. From that point on you can clean the surrounding area by mopping, vacuuming, and steam cleaning depending on the area infected. Doing all of this is the best way to avoid Hantavirus, as well as other illnesses that can be spread by rats like salmonellosis and rat-bite fever.

Other Mouse Poop Implications

Something that can’t be ignored is that, if you’re finding rodent poop around your property, you probably have rats or mice. Other signs of a rat or mouse infestation include chew marks on food packaging or through walls and floors. You’ll likely hear them, you’ll certainly smell them, and along with droppings, you may find scraps of fabric, paper, or other material used for creating nests. If you notice any of this, you need an exterminator to avoid damage such as:

  • Nests burrowed into upholstered furniture
  • Tunnels driven through insulation
  • Chewing through wiring in walls or appliances, potentially causing a fire
  • Chewed personal items around the area of nest

If you have a mouse or rat infestation, you need quality pest control, fast for the sake of your home and those who live in it. For homes in Central Tennessee, The Bug Man has the training and expertise you need to get rodent-free and stay there.

Pest-Free Living with The Bug Man

Rodent control is about more than removing mice or rats from your home. If we do that without addressing how they got in, it won’t be long before you’re dealing with the same problems all over again. We provide long-term control, including removal and exclusion, that focuses on your property as a whole. So, if you find a pile of droppings around your house, don’t wait to see what your rodent invaders have planned next. Contact The Bug Man today and take back control of your home.

When Mice and Rats Come Knocking

Mice found in Central TN - The Bug Man

When winter rolls around, sometimes all we want to do is sit by a cozy fire and relax. It turns out that many wild animals in Central TN feel the same. All sorts of pests try to find their way into our homes, but some of the most worrisome of these are rodents. Rats and mice are the worst offenders of breaking into our homes and building nests, causing damage (and even fire hazards), spreading filth, and possibly contaminating our homes with disease. To learn what to do to prevent a rodent infestation this year, read on for advice from The Bug Man’s technicians!

Mice and Rats in the Wall Want 3 Things

Rodents, like all other wild animals, have to take precautions to prepare themselves for a long, cold winter. They need to maintain themselves through finding a consistent hideout that creates ample resource accessibility. These are the three things that rodents need to get through the winter:

  1. Warmth: Our insulated homes provide a warm place for rats and mice to hide when temperatures drop below sustainable levels.
  2. Shelter: Rodents, especially mice, have lots of natural predators roaming around Central TN. They build nests inside our homes to have a safe place to hide out.
  3. Food: Although they can go for a while without food, rats and mice will never pass up a carb-heavy snack or some leftovers from our trash.

How to Keep Rats and Mice Outside

Some of us are familiar with the sound of rodents scurrying around in our walls, but many of us have trouble even locating their nests, let alone getting rid of them entirely. The best way to prevent a rodent infestation is to set preventative measures in place to keep them out of your home in the first place. Here are our top tips:

  • Seal off any potential access points. Rats only need about ½” of space to crawl through; mice, just ¼”! Seal any cracks in your foundation, walls, and roofing, and install screens on doors, windows, vents, and chimneys.
  • Prevent food access. This can be done by cleaning dishes promptly, quickly wiping up spills, using sealable trash bags, and taking your garbage out as often as possible.
  • Maintain your yard. Keep mulch away from the foundation of your home, clean up any yard waste piles, and keep your grass cut short to prevent outdoor hiding places.

Professional Rodent Exclusion with The Bug Man

If you’re already dealing with rodent issues or are looking to take a militant stand against rats and mice this winter, reach out to your local pest control company. We train our technicians to keep rodents out through a multi-step process of holistic inspections, multiple options for extermination and removal, including baits, traps, and relocation, and preventative maintenance to keep rodents out all year long. Contact our rodent removal team today for a free quote!

Keep Pests Out Over the Holidays

A cockroach indoors in Central TN - The Bug Man

A pest infestation is one of the last things you want to deal with during the holiday season. The family is gathering, meals are being prepared, gifts are being exchanged, and all of a sudden you have cockroaches scurrying along your baseboards or a mouse running out from under the tree. Many common practices of the holiday season make it easy for all sorts of pests to spread between homes and multiply easily. Looking to learn how to keep pests away in Central TN this holiday season? Read on for advice from The Bug Man’s technicians!

Why Do Pests Spread During the Holiday Season?

Pests are given new opportunities to spread during the holidays that we wouldn’t normally think about. These are the main ways that holiday season pest infestations start:

  • With everyone shopping online, pests have all sorts of opportunities to find temporary shelter in packaging and permanent homes where they end up.
  • Holiday plants like garlands, wreaths, and trees can all host tons of tiny pests inside them when they’re put out on display.
  • Decorations that are left in storage for the vast majority of the year can accumulate large pest populations. When brought out for the holidays, pests living in storage can spread across your home.

3 Ways to Prevent Holiday Season Pests On Your Own

Among all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important not to let your guard down against pests. Here are our technicians’ top three tips to help you keep pests outbreaks from amassing in your home during the holidays:

  1. Inspect your firewood for pests before bringing it inside. Keeping your firewood outside and off of the ground is a great way to avoid pest problems indoors.
  2. Before putting up a tree, wreath, garlands, or other greenery, shake them out outside to see if there are any pests living within them.
  3. Check the boxes you store your decorations in for evidence of pest problems. This could be scratches, bite marks, droppings, and more.

Holiday Season Pest Protection in Central TN

There’s no time to be stressed out about a pest infestation during the holidays. There is shopping to do, plans to make, and so much more on your plate. Leave the worrying to your local pest control company! When you work with The Bug Man’s technicians, you can expect a full property inspection, necessary extermination work, preventative maintenance, and complete, detailed reports of their work and findings. For a free quote on holiday season pest control, reach out to our team today!

Fall Means Mice and Rats Chewing Wires

Some rats found in Central TN - The Bug Man

When we think of pest problems here in Central TN, the most destructive one that comes to mind is a termite infestation. However, during the fall and winter when termites aren’t often swarming, arguably the most important destructive pests to worry about are rodents. Rats and mice are notorious for chewing through all sorts of things in our homes, including our electrical wiring.

If you’ve noticed torn or tarnished cables in your home, you are probably dealing with a rodent infestation of some sort. Read on to learn more about rodent problems and what you can do to stop them with The Bug Man!

Why Do Mice and Rats Chew Wires?

Rodents are known to be sneaky pests. They can live in your home for months without you ever discovering them. During the fall, rats and mice look to find places in our homes to hide out from the impending winter. If you hear scurrying noises in your walls, attic, or crawl spaces, check around for signs of bite marks on your home’s structural pieces or torn electrical wires.

Every rodent species has a pair of upper and lower teeth that never stop growing, called incisors. These teeth have to be constantly ground together or shaved away by chewing on whatever they can find. When rats and mice nest in our homes, they solve this problem by chewing up our wooden structures and electrical wiring. Noticing torn-up cable insulation is usually a sign of a rodent infestation.

Why Are Rats Dangerous?

When rats or mice get to the wiring in your car or house, they chew through the layer of protective coating that keeps the copper or aluminum safely encased. When it becomes exposed, it can cause sparks that pose a serious risk of fires, especially when surrounded by a house’s wooden structures.

It’s crucial to take precautions against rodents in the fall to ensure that you don’t have any unwanted guests in the winter. You can take these steps to keep your property protected:

  1. Seal any gaps or holes in your foundation, roof, or walls
  2. Store your food promptly after eating and seal your trash cans tightly
  3. Set your baits or traps outside to keep rodents from entering your home in the first place
  4. Call your local pest control company for an inspection

How to Remove Rodents in Central TN

One of the main problems with rodents is that they could be in your walls right now without you even noticing. If you’re worried that you might have rats in the house or mice in your attic, call up The Bug Man for an inspection. Our rodent specialists are trained to discover pest activity in even the most hidden and secluded corners of your home. To find out more about our services and receive a free estimate, contact our team today!

How Acorns are Contributing to More Ticks This Year

How Acorns are Contributing to More Ticks This Year

Did you know that 2010’s acorn crop is contributing to this year’s increase in ticks?

It’s not the early hot weather that we’ve had. It’s acorns!

While browsing Twitter the other day, we came across a story that the National Pest Management Association (@PestWorld) tweeted. To read their full article on the topic, you can follow this link: Acorns, Not Weather, to Blame for More Ticks.

Basically, the increase in the acorn crop led to an increase in mice eating the acorns. And with more mice, come more ticks. The science of pest control has a lot to do with the predator and prey food chain. One pest affects another pest.

The Bug Man serves Rutherford and Wilson County in Tennessee. We have a specialized tick service. For more information on how we can take care of your tick problem, please call us at 615-217-7284 or email us at

And, we’re active on Twitter and Facebook. We frequently post updates about pest issues in our area, as well as funny photos and videos. Join us there!

Mice in the Movies: Vile Vermin Became Furry Friends

Vile Vermin Became Furry Friends

Disney casts a lot of rodents as characters in their movies. We highlight a few of the fabled characters in our latest blog. Leave us a comment if we forgot one. It’s been rodent season for awhile. And it’s still rodent season today! Mice are still on the move. Rats are still on the run.

The RescuersWith mice on our minds for the last several months, we’ve had time to ruminate on just how many rodents show up in movies. Especially Disney movies! Let’s see. We’ve got The Rescuers. The crew of helpful mice in Cinderella. Then Ratatouille. And there are probably more that we’re missing. (Leave a comment below if we forgot a movie.)

Update: We forgot Mickey and Minnie! Thanks to those who left a comment.

In those fabled films, the rodents are the heroes! They are celebrated and cheered on! Humans are sometimes painted as antagonists. Movie-watchers can find themselves hoping that the human is defeated and the rodent rallies for a win.

How funny that rodents are usually jeered in reality. With all of the lovable Disney rodent characters out there, it leaves us wondering if people feel a sense of guilt or sadness when trying to keep rodents out of their homes.

Do you feel like you’re denying a proverbial Gus-Gus a chance at life if you call The Bug Man? Are you breaking up the storied romance of Bernard and Miss Bianca if you tell us you need a service call for mice? And what about poor Remy the rat? Is he helping you cook your family feast?

If you’re not fond of rodents in your house, give us a call at 615.217.7284. We will help you have a happily ever after.

Rats! I’ve got mice! Tips and Tricks for Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home

Rodents are rapidly running inside homes this holiday season. Check out our blog for tips and tricks on how to keep them out. Baby, it’s cold outside. And, just in time for your holiday gatherings, rodents are moving inside your home to steal a meal.

To rodent-proof your home, here are a few tips and tricks:

  1. Thoroughly examine the exterior of your home. If there’s a hole larger than a quarter or a dime, then a rodent can get through it. If a rodent’s nose fits through the hole, then their entire body can fit through, too. Check the area around pipes, heating/cooling hoses, etc., etc.
  2. Use steel wool and/or caulk to seal up any holes you may find.
  3. Remove any vines hanging down the side of your home, because rodents can use those to climb up to your roof and potentially get inside.
  4. If your doors and windows have gaps, seal them. Not only will this help keep pests out, but it will also keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. #winning
  5. Trouble with rodents? We would be more than delighted to help you. Call us at 615.217.7284 to schedule an appointment.

We’re on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. Introduce yourself, we’d love to meet you.

Cooler Weather Brings Rodents Inside: How to Oust the House Mouse Louse

How to Oust the House Mouse Louse

Cooler breather is bringing pests inside, especially rodents. Check out this blog for quick tips on pest-proofing your home. As cooler weather chills our climate, the temperature isn’t the only brisk thing around. Rodents are beginning to scurry inside warm houses to hunker down for the winter.

With the ability to squeeze through holes the size of a nickel (mice) or a quarter (rats), rogue rodents are quite clever when it comes to finding a way inside your home. Sadly, though, they don’t bring you any lost coins when they enter. But they may cost you some coin if you need to get rid of them.

As we discuss on our website, the dust of a rodent nest can lead to hazardous bacteria. They can also damage your home or business by chewing through siding or wiring, increasing the possibility of a fire.

How to Oust the Mouse or Scat the Rat

Make rodents unwelcome by sealing up any cracks and voids around doors or windows that are larger than the size of a pencil. Also, divert the water from your gutters away from the building.

After rodents have nested inside a structure, it can be difficult to remove them. A professional pest management company is usually needed. Call The Bug Man at 615.217.7284. We’ll identify nesting areas and feeding grounds and then eliminate them. Upon completion of the ousting, your house will be free of the mouse louses.