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Don’t Let Mice (and Rats) Play

During warmer months, mice and rats breed nonstop. Rats can birth up to 24 babies per year, and each mouse can birth up to 60 per year! Mice take just three weeks to reach sexual maturity, meaning each new mouse can contribute 60 babies of its own to the environment—and so on, and so on.

In addition to their breeding prowess, rodents must gnaw constantly to keep their teeth sharp and healthy, and they’re not picky about what they chew on. Rats like to gnaw on soft materials accessed while sneaking about—boxes, storage materials, fabric or wiring. Teething is a big reason why rats can be dangerous inside homes.

Rodents also aren’t particularly picky about where they live. They build small, tightly packed clumps of various debris in which they rest and eat. Rats drag paper, insulation, stray fabric and other trash into dry, warm, dark and secluded areas to build their nests.

How you can help reduce the rat population:

  • Be on the lookout for fecal droppings, gnaw marks, paw prints, chewed wires or small holes or crevices in walls. Report any suspected rodent activity to Resident Services at 949-597-4600.
  • Remove clutter, as it provides great hiding spaces and nesting material for rodents. Further, finding evidence of rodents is easier if you don’t have to dig through piles of belongings. Elevate belongings out of rodents’ reach, and replace cardboard boxes with plastic ones.
  • Pick up dropped seeds from bird feeders, or eliminate feeders altogether. Pick up fruit that has fallen from trees, and promptly pick ripe fruit.
  • Clean up common crumb areas, including under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. Regularly sanitize countertops and keep them clear of food. Do not leave glasses of water out overnight. Remove uneaten pet food at night and keep pet bowls clean.
  • Upgrade your food storage to airtight containers to make it harder for rodents to access it or recognize it as a possible food source.

Don’t Move Bait Boxes

The Department of Landscaping Services’ full-time licensed pest-control personnel maintain more than 1,000 bait stations throughout the community. These black, four- or six-sided bait stations/boxes are placed outdoors in locations where they can be most effective—including within trash bin enclosures. Never touch, move or open these boxes, as they must remain in place to be effective. If you have any questions regarding these boxes, please call Resident Services at 949-597-4600.

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