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What Is The Difference Between Rats and Mice?

BY Candace Estanique

You see a rodent dash across your kitchen floor; two ears, furry, a tail, but what is it? Is it a mouse or a rat? Although similar in looks there are several factors that differentiate the mouse from the rat from physical appearance down to habits and behaviors. Below you will see how you can distinguish a mouse from a rat.

Physical appearance:
– Large ears
– Long thin tails covered in hair
– Covered with short hair and lighter colored bellies
– Range in size from 3-10 CM
– Weight range 12-45G

Habits and Behaviors:
– Consume about 3G of food and 3ML of water daily
– Can have up to 7-8 litters annually, with 4-16 babies per litter
– Typically nests in burrows

Physical appearance:
– Small ears
– Thick hairless tail; usually long and scaly
– Can range in color from gray to black to brown
– Range in size from 16-40CM
– Weight range 150-300G

Habits and Behaviors:
– Consume about 15-30 G of food and 15-62ML of water daily
– Can have up to 3-6 litters annually, with 5-10 babies per litter
– Roof Rats like their nests high up / Norway Rats like their nest low laying

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BY Candace Estanique

As you know rodents can carry many harmful diseases. One of the most severe diseases humans can contract from Rats is Leptospirosis; an infection that could potentially be fatal. If you contract Leptospirosis you can have any of the following symptoms: headache, fever, muscle pain, bleeding, lungs, meningitis, kidney failure, or even death.

They can contaminate any surface they walk on, spreading the bacteria they are harboring onto kitchen counter tops, pantries, food storage areas,utensils, and food if left open. The disease may also be contracted through a Rat bite, if the Rat feels threatened or feels the need to defend its territory it will react.

If you suspect Rats in your home it is important to take the necessary precautions – all surfaces should be washed and disinfected. You should also wash any food preparation utensils or dishware prior to use to avoid contamination. If you suspect your food has been tampered with it is best to throw it out than risk potentially contracting a disease. Your health is an important part of your life, don’t wait to call in a Pest Professional to remove any rodents in your home.

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BY Candace Estanique

Mice and Hantavirus We all know that rodents are dirty animals, carrying harmful diseases to humans. One disease is the Hantavirus which can be spread from mice to humans. Hantavirus can cause serious problems in our health, from respiratory issues to hemorrhagic fever, to death in some cases.


Humans can contract Hantavirus through mice droppings, urine, or saliva. It is also possible to breathe in the contaminants and become infected that way as well: when fresh rodent waste, nesting material, or contaminated dust is stirred, tiny droplets containing the virus gets into the air in which we breathe.


Although rare, it is also possible to contract the virus by a rodent bite. Even if you suspect you may have rodents, it is important to take the necessary precautions when cleaning up your home. Be sure to wear a face mask to avoid breathing in contaminated air. Always wear gloves when handling material soiled by rodents. Be sure to wash your hands and any other exposed body parts with warm water and soap.


It may also be best that you contact a professional to help take care of the problem for you, as they have protective equipment and gear necessary for those conditions. Don’t take your health or safety for granted, let the professionals ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your home.

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Need help with the increasing population of mice in your home?

BY Candace Estanique


Think  you  may  have  only  a  few  mice?  Six  mice  can  easily  turn  into  over  60  mice  in  a  few months!

Let’s  look  at  the  quick  math.

One  female  mouse  can  produce 5  to  10  litters  each  year,  with  each  litter  consisting  of  3  to  14 babies.  Let’s  say  a  female  has  7  litters  in  one  year.  If  each  litter  averages  8  babies,  that’s  a grand  total  of  56  new  mice  in  your  home!  Mice  can  also  breed  at  a  young  age;  at  approximately  30-days  old  they  are  ready  to  breed.  Their  gestation  periods  last  only  about  20  days. A  few  days  after  giving  birth,  they  are  ready  to  breed  again.  These  little  guys  will  keep  busy  throughout  the  year  with  the  food,  water,  and  shelter  in  your  home.  Mice  don’t  have  seasonal  breeding  habits  as  they  can  reproduce  all  year  long.  The  shelter  of  your  home  protects  them from  predators  like  owls,  hawks,  and  foxes.

How  to  keep  ’em  out:

  • Vents
  • Gaps in  the  foundation  or  building  materials
  • Utility lines
  • Door frames

These  are  all  possible  points  of  entry  to  your  humble  abode. Have  your  home  checked  out  for any  potential  entry  points  and  have  them  sealed  up.  Prevention  is  key  to  keeping  mice  and  other  rodents  out. PCI  Pest  Control  finds  the  source,  fixes  it,  and  deals  with  the  infestation.  We  then  do  a  thorough sweep,  eliminating  the  current  mice  inside.  This  is  followed by  prevention,  which  offers  year-round  protection  and  monitoring.  Prevention  is  the  best  way  to  avoid  any  mice problems  from returning.  Call us today  to  help  keep  the  mice  at  bay!



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How to hire a Pest Control Company?

BY Candace Estanique

So, you’ve decided to hire a pest control company – whether it’s for a current infestation or for preventative services to avoid pest problems in the future. Hopefully it’s the latter of the two. Pest Control  company shopping can be intimidating and foreign to some, you want to be sure you make the right choice that will have lasting results.

First off, word of mouth is a powerful tool – seek recommendations from neighbors, friends, or family about pest control services they have used and who they would recommend. Is the company qualified? You want to make sure they have the required licenses, registration, certificates, and insurances to be in business.

Are they experienced? Do your homework, see how long they’ve been an established company in business, particularly see how much experience they have in handling pest problems such as your own.

Do they offer value to you? The company should be able to offer an estimate for services in writing, and should provide a guarantee for their work with specific terms. Don’t hesitate to ask for the nitty gritty details!

Be proactive and ask them to explain their treatment methods, their proposal for pest prevention, down to what type of equipment/product/devices are used. Ultimately you should be comfortable with the decision you make. In the end, results should be lasting and the customer, always satisfied!

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Quarterly Service Program: Are you ready to protect one of your biggest investments?

BY Candace Estanique

Your home is one of your most important investments. Making sure you have a preventative pest program in place is key to keeping your home protected and sound. PCI Pest Control offers a Quarterly Service Program which offers year-round protection against the Pacific Northwest’s Big Five:

  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Bees (yellow jackets, wasps, hornets–not honey bees)
  • Rats and Mice

We come out 4 times a year, once each season to treat the exterior of your home with an effective product to prevent pest activity. At these visits, we also check and refill bait stations we leave on the exterior of your home to monitor rodent activity. Having us at your home throughout the year also helps us to be able to monitor the structure of your home; being able to notice any new potential entry point for rodents keeping you constantly protected and aware of your home’s structural stability. We will also treat the interior of your home if needed as well, and do call backs in between services free of charge to correct any issue.Concerned you haven’t been seeing any pests while on our services?

Well that means its working!


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Exclusion Work – What does that mean and why is it important?

BY Candace Estanique

What is the difference between exclusion work and repair work?

Exclusion work is any type of repair that is made to exclude a pest from getting in. Exclusion is important as it is a preventative measure. Ensuring your house is nicely sealed up is key to assuring your home is rodent proof. Exclusion work is as simple as checking cracks and crevices near window and door jams, on the sides and bottom of your doors, as well as seals on any other openings (I.e. garage roll up door, doggy door etc.) to exclude these potential entry points from outdoor insects it’s as simple as caulking over these small openings.

Exclusion for rodents is also extremely important. Making sure your foundation vent screens are nice and secured, your bird blocks are nicely kept and sealed up from potential entry, as well as any openings around electrical conduits in your walls (piping or wiring from outside the home to inside the home) these are all potential ways rodents can gain way to inside your home. If you need a second opinion, or just want that peace of mind assurance, call PCI Pest Control – we will determine all your potential entry points, and can even exclude them for you to keep you pest protected!

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Integrated Pest Management – what’s all the hype with IPM?

BY webmaster

What is IPM?

IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management; it is a common-sense pest management strategy, focusing on long-lasting results while all the while having minimal impact on our environment and loved ones. PCI Pest Control is proud to say that we utilize IPM with every encounter we have in the field. We utilize the following steps to ensure we are taking the utmost care of our customer – providing lasting satisfactory results, and keeping their health, safety, and well-being in mind:

1.Inspection and identification: We always make sure we thoroughly inspect the current pest situation at our customer’s property. Proper identification of the known pest is key to knowing the necessary treatment needed.

2.Prevention: We offer many different options of prevention. To stay ahead of the curve, we have preventative recurring services which keep pests at bay. When dealing with a current infestation we also give recommendations to prevent the issue from reoccurring, such as exclusion work to repair a potential entry point for a rodent into the home, or caulking cracks and crevices which could give way into your home for insects.

3.Monitor: We monitor pest situations to be able to determine what’s the most appropriate action to take. From setting traps/placing bait stations to get rid of a current infestation of rodents and/or monitor the activity, to placing glue boards for insect monitoring in a controlled area such as a customer’s garage.

4.Action: After a thorough inspection to identify the target pest, putting in place all the preventative measures, and monitoring the situation to be able to find the best appropriate treatment method, we then take action with a treatment (spray for insect infestation) or trapping program (set traps for rodent infestation)

5.Evaluate: It is our duty to ensure your results are satisfactory. We provide expectations customers should have with our treatments and we also follow up with one-time services to see if their problem was resolved. We also periodically check in with our recurring customers to ensure they are happy year-round!

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Odorous House Ants: Who are they, and why does it seem like I’m making my problem worse?

BY Candace Estanique

Odorous House Ants also known as Sugar Ants are a native species to our country and found throughout the United States. Why the foul name? When squished, they give off an odor of that of rotten coconuts. Back or brown in color, these tiny little guys (1/16-1/18-in) often are found indoors, typically in wall voids, cracks/crevices, and famously under sinks. “Honey there are ants all over the kitchen and bathroom!” Sound familiar? They feed on anything such as dead insects, honeydew (their favorite), seeds, and notoriously sweets left behind by us. When getting rid of these pests’ professionals will either use a non-repellent or a baiting method (or a combination of both).

You may have noticed when using a residual or repellent DIY spray it only makes matters worse – well that’s because it causes stress on the ant colonies which cause them to split and create sub-colonies; ultimately making your issue widespread among your home. That cycle is called “budding”; multiplying the amount of ant colonies, in-turn multiplying your ant issues. When you see these ants active around your home they are more than likely travelling to and from their food source and their nesting site – make note of these locations as this is where you’ll want to place your bait. If all else fails, call in the professionals! PCI Pest Control has a 6-month warrantied treatment that will take care of your problem. [For at home tips, see our previous blog for “What Ants Don’t Want You To Know About Why They Love Your Kitchen!”]

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What ants don’t want you to know about why they LOVE your kitchen 

BY Candace Estanique

“Well, that counter top sure looks nice and clear, maybe it doesn’t need a wipe down.” 

“Well, Fido can take care of those few crumbs the baby dropped, he always licks up food to save me from sweeping!” 

This is why the ants LOVE your kitchen. They’re attracted to food scents or molecular sized pieces of foods. To the naked eye, your kitchen counter tops and floors may seem empty. But, to an ant hoard, it’s their next buffet! On top of that, ants have incredibly small bodies. At only 1/8”, they can squeeze into the tiniest crack of your home. 


Here are some helpful tips to keep the kitchen-loving ant out of your life: 

  • Store food in sealed containers – anything left out in the open is an attractant
  • Try to exclude ants by caulking and sealing any openings into your home
  • Your dog is not an efficient form of cleaning; even if he licks up leftovers. Always go over the spill-spot with a broom or mop.
  • Be sure to clean any surfaces that could harbor tiny crumbs. This includes dishes, countertops, and microwaves. Rinse off the sponge afterward to wash away food remnants
  • For a natural approach, wipe down your kitchen surfaces with vinegar or lemon juice. This will eliminate the scent trails ants are attracted to.
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"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
Did You Know?
... that PCI Pest Control offers a Military and Senior Discount for customers? Call today to set your appointment & save!
I was told exactly what the problem areas were and how they could be fixed. I loved the time I was given to have things very thoroughly explained to me. I highly recomnend this company!
I greatly appreciated your outstanding customer service from the initial contact person to the employee who checked our attic for bird nests, and screened any possible openings!!!!!
I greatly appreciated your outstanding customer service from the initial contact person to the employee who checked our attic for bird nests, and screened any possible openings!!!!!

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

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