VALLEJO, Calif. - As the cold, wet weather sets in, some are noticing mice and rats are overrunning communities such as Vallejo and Benicia.
Contra Costa Vector Control has the very latest hard numbers to prove it.
"Year-to-date 2022 compared to year-to-date, 2023, we actually this year are receiving, at this point, a 37% increase in the number of requests for our public health inspection. Everywhere is seeing mice activity right now as we talk to our colleagues at Vector Control district throughout the Bay Area as well," said Contra Costa County Vector Control Public Information Officer Nola Woods,
Just ask exterminators. "We're receiving about a 10 times the amount of phone calls," said Maria Talacona, who runs Mighty Men Pest Service, which services Solano and surrounding counties. "People have mice running through their kitchens, in their drawers, in their clothes, through their A/C units, getting into the ducting system," said Tacalona.
If you've been invaded, so have others close by. "Everybody, the neighbors. If you've got a rodent problem, 300 to 400 feet away has a rodent problem," said Talacona.
(San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance)
Solutions Pest and Lawn, a Texas-based, national do-it-yourself pest control products supplier says the key way to find evidence of mice or rat presence is in their poop: "Mice droppings are smaller with pointed ends with a smaller tail shaped residue at the end. A mouse will leave behind around 80 droppings, while a rat will leave about 40," said its website.
The invasion is all about those four months of non-stop rain we had at the end of last year and the beginning of this one.
"That created more habitat and more resources and, frankly, more places where rats and mice would have the ability to propagate," said Nola Woods with Contra Costa County Vector Control.
And if you do, do-it-yourself, take note. Never vacuum up droppings because that can throw viruses and bacteria into the air you breathe. Sweep them into a dust pan and thoroughly clean up any residues of rodent feces or urine.
Professional monitoring and extermination costs about $100 to $125 a month, as opposed the many thousands of dollars for repairs.