Issues With DIY Rodent Control In Long Island

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Nobody likes to find rodents in their home, and for Long Island residents, there are three main types of rodents you’ve got to look out for: house mice, Norway rats, and roof rats.

rat in basement

  • Roof rats: With a name that comes from their excellent climbing abilities, roof rats have dark coats, limber builds, and tails as long as their bodies.

  • Norway rats: Norway rats, also known as brown rats, can’t climb as well as roof rats can and tend to be larger with shorter tails.

  • House mice: You can distinguish house mice from rats by their smaller, rounder bodies, shorter snouts, and larger ears.

Unfortunately, house mice, roof rats, and brown rats can all spread dangerous diseases and bacteria when they infest your home – including hantavirus, tularemia, and salmonellosis. In many cases, rodents can also cause a lot of property damage by chewing through electrical wiring, wooden siding, or other structural materials in your home.

From roof rats to house mice, having rodents in your Long Island home is always bad news – but can you get rid of rodents on your own? Here’s what Long Island homeowners should know about why rodents are so tricky to get rid of once they get in, the issues with DIY rodent control, and what to do if you’re currently dealing with a rodent infestation.

Are Rats And Mice Easy To Get Rid Of?

When they first discover a rodent problem in their house, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to assume they’re dealing with both rats and mice, but this is rarely the case. Rats eat mice, so if any of those critters occupy the same space, rats will hunt down the mice as a food source. Not to mention, the odor that rats emit is enough to scare most mice away. Even if both rodents start in the same place, it’s unlikely to stay that way for long. 

Unfortunately, neither type is easy to eliminate. Both mice and rats are prolific, able to slip through even the tiniest holes, and can chew through various materials including vinyl, plastic, and even wood. Most mice only need a crack the size of a pen to crawl through, while rats can squeeze through a hole that’s the size of a quarter. This makes it extremely difficult for homeowners to keep these rodents from slipping through cracks and crevices in their home’s foundation or chewing the edges of an existing imperfection until it’s big enough for them to crawl through.

The Problems With DIY Rodent Control

Many homeowners may assume they can solve rodent problems on their own—but most DIY solutions are rarely effective and may even be dangerous for pets or family, such as: 

Peppermint Oil 

It’s a common misconception that the strong stench of peppermint oil can deter rodents from entering your home, especially if it’s sprayed in areas where there’s likely to be rodent activity.  Although rodents do have sensitive noses, not even the potent odor of peppermint oil is enough to keep them away. In some cases, rats and mice may try avoiding areas of your home with peppermint oil and finding new ways to access your house. 


Mothballs have a compound called naphthalene, which can deter certain types of insects – like moths. Some homeowners assume that putting mothballs around locations where they suspect rodent activity will deter these pests, but this just isn’t the case.  Regular mothballs don’t contain enough naphthalene to deter rodents, and the amount needed to keep rodents away would become dangerous for other pets or even human family members too. 

Ultrasonic Rodent Repellers

Ultrasonic rodent repellers emit high-pitched frequencies that can cause discomfort to rodents. While this solution may temporarily deter rodents from entering, it’s not a long-term solution. As clever as most rats and mice are, these pests will usually find (or chew) their way into a new entrance into your home. 

How To Deal With Rats And Mice On Long Island

Although DIY rodent control treatments may seem promising, most of these solutions only end up wasting your time and money or only lead to temporary results. To permanently rid your home of rodents, you’ll need help from a professional.

If you think you’ve got rodents scurrying around your home or already know you’ve got a problem, there’s no reason to let these dangerous pests overstay their welcome. Contact the professionals at Parkway Pest Services today for more information about our rodent control programs for Long Island and how we can help. 


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