The Issues Associated With DIY Rodent Control In Sacramento

If you live in Sacramento, there are different rodents you’ve got to watch out for, including: 

House mice: With smaller, round bodies, house mice may look harmless, but they can spread dangerous diseases like hantavirus and salmonella.

Roof rats: Known for their excellent climbing abilities, roof rats, or black rats, are agile, limber, and not afraid to climb onto your rooftops.

Norway rats: Also known as brown rats, Norway rats are stocky, brown rats that grow larger than roof rats and can spread plenty of dangerous diseases to your family.

Not only are all these rodents capable of spreading diseases and bacteria in your home, but they can also cause a significant amount of property damage. Here’s what Sacramento homeowners should understand about why they may have a rodent problem, why DIY solutions often fail to get rid of mice and rats, and what to do if you’ve got a current rodent issue. 

norway rat on a paper towel

Why Do You Have Rodents And Are They Easy To Eliminate?

Most of the time, rodents like rats and mice want the same three things when they enter your home: warm shelter, food, and water. 

While some homeowners may assume that rodents like mice and rats go hand-in-hand, it's extremely uncommon to find both types of rodents in your home. Most of the time, there's only one rodent species in a rodent infestation. 

The reason is that mice and rats interact with each other. Not only do rats like to eat house mice, but rats also emit an odor that warns mice to stay away – so, even if you have a mix of both rodents in your home, it's unlikely to stay that way for long. 

Unfortunately, neither is good news or easy to eliminate whether you've got rats or mice. Both rats and mice have long, strong teeth and mouths that make it easy for them to chew through most materials, including things like vinyl, plastic, or even wood. These pests can slip through the tiniest holes and cracks in your home's exterior or chew the edges of a hole until it's big enough for them to slip through. 

Can Homeowners Get Rid Of Rodents On Their Own?

When they first spot rats or mice in their home, many homeowners want to solve the problem themselves. Unfortunately, DIY rodent treatments or home remedies aren’t as effective as they may promise to be – and here’s why. 


You may hear mothballs advertised as a popular remedy for getting rid of rodents. Homeowners will place mothballs in areas where there’s higher rodent activity, like around cracks and crevices in your basement or attic. 

Many people believe mothballs work because they contain naphthalene, making it impossible for blood cells to carry oxygen. Mothballs may have enough of this compound to deter or repel moths, but there’s not enough inside of them to get rid of rodents. 

The number of mothballs you’d need to repel rodents would put a dangerous amount of naphthalene in the air for humans and pets too. 

Peppermint Oil

You can soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around areas where rodents may enter your home. Some people believe the potent aroma of peppermint oil will deter rodents due to their sensitive noses – but peppermint oil has little to no effect on mice and rats. 

Ultrasonic Rodent Repellers

Ultrasonic rodent repellers, which you can purchase from most local DIY stores, are supposed to emit sound waves that repel rodents. Although this solution may seem to keep rats and mice away temporarily, it’s usually not effective over time. Not only can furniture and other personal belongings interfere with the sound waves, but most rodents are intelligent enough to avoid areas of your home with repellers. 

The Safest Way To Deal With Rodent Problems

Along with being ineffective, some DIY rodent control solutions can be dangerous – like overusing mothballs around your home. Given how dangerous these pests can be for you and your family, the most effective (and safest) way to get rid of them is with help from a professional pest control company like Neighborly Pest Management. 

Our experienced specialists understand that no job is complete until they have eliminated the rats or mice in your home. If you think you've got a rodent problem in your Sacramento home, you shouldn't wait for these pests to start causing trouble – contact us at Neighborly Pest Management today for more information about how we can help.