Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats in the Office

March 17, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Rodents need water and food to thrive, and if these essentials are available in your office building, it’s only natural for mice and rats to make themselves at home for as long as possible. 

Why are rats and mice coming into my office?

Rats and mice come into office buildings looking for the three things they need to survive—food, shelter, and warmth. People often eat or snack at their desks, leaving crumbs behind that these critters will scout out and feed on after workers go home. And if there’s a coffee break room or a kitchen, those are certainly attractive spots for rodents to infest, thanks to the food and water nearby. Seldom used storage areas? Boxes of printer paper? These are perfect places for rodents to nest and breed.

rodent on desk looking at floor

How do rats and mice get in the office? 

Rats and mice can enter your office via water pipes or electrical cables that connect to other office suites in the building. They can also find their way in through gaps or holes in the building exterior, through loading docks, or even when employees enter or exit the building.

Mice squeeze through tiny holes or openings just a little larger than ¼” wide, which is about the width of a pencil. If a mouse’s head can fit through a tiny hole, it can squeeze the rest of its body through. Mice can also chew their way around an opening to make it easier for them to fit through. 

Rats are bigger than mice and have bodies that are long and flexible. These rodents can enter offices through an opening about ½” or larger in diameter. They can also swim, allowing them to enter structures through sewers connected to toilets or through broken drain pipes. 

How do I prevent rats and mice from entering the office?

It’s important to know how to get rid of rats and mice in the office, but equally as important is preventing rodents from getting inside in the first place. Here are a few preventative measures you can take to help keep harmful rodents from gaining entry to your offices:

  • Keep all areas clean, with no food, dirty utensils, or tableware left for rodents to find.
  • Take out the trash at the end of the day, even if the bags aren’t full. 
  • Ask office workers to eat in the break room instead of at their desks, because even the smallest crumbs can attract rodents.
  • If employees want to keep snacks in desk drawers, they should be stored in air-tight containers to seal off food odors.
  • Perform routine building inspections to check for openings that rodents can use for entry. Any cracks or gaps in the building need to be sealed.
  • Look for leaks or breaks in pipes and drains that rats could enter through.
  • Utilize the assistance of a professional rodent management company to keep rodent infestations from taking hold.

Are rodents harmful to humans?

Rats and mice are harmful to humans because they can spread dangerous diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis. This can happen through direct contact with a rodent or by eating food contaminated by rodent droppings, urine, or saliva. 

Signs of a rodent infestation in your office

The most obvious sign of a rodent problem in your office is if someone sees a mouse or rat lying dead or scurrying across the floor. Where there’s one rodent, many more are usually hiding somewhere in the building. 

Some common signs of rodent infestation include:

  • Rodent droppings, which are typically small and dark and usually found in areas with food, like the breakroom. 
  • Gnaw marks on cables, wiring, or boxes are telltale signs of a possible rodent infestation.
  • Sounds of running from overhead or inside walls indicate rodents nesting in dropped ceilings, walls, or duct systems.
  • Food that’s been disturbed, chewed, or missing entirely could indicate rodent activity.

How to get rid of rats and mice in the office 

Getting rid of mice and rats in the office doesn’t happen overnight. The environment must be kept very clean, and all rodent entry points need to be sealed, including spots where rats and mice enter buildings from the outside or from neighboring offices.

Contracting with a commercial pest control service to help keep rodent infestations from taking hold is an essential part of managing these dangerous critter invasions. 

exterminator doing pest control in a office

How long does it take to get rid of rats and mice?

With assistance from Hawx professionals, a rodent infestation can be controlled within three to seven days, with regularly scheduled follow-up visits and preventative treatments to ensure a reinfestation doesn’t occur.

Premium pest control services  

Hawx provides commercial pest control services for office buildings. We provide our customers with technicians who are highly trained in integrated pest management techniques, from inspections for rodent activity to implementing customized treatment plans based on your situation — because you and your employees deserve to work in comfort without feeling anxious about rodents infesting the workspace and spreading disease.

Our teams are focused on providing you with the highest quality measures, products, and technologies to keep your office safe from present and future rodent infestations.

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