Mice Advice to Keep Your Virginia Home or Business in Check

Mice Advice in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

Mice may be seen as cute little animals to some, but they’re nothing short of distressing when they show up as unwanted pests. As shelter seekers who enter Virginia buildings in large numbers, they also bring a number of concerns with them – most notably, the potential for disease and destruction. As strong runners, climbers, jumpers, and even swimmers, they’re experts at getting indoors and finding nesting spots. Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing this malicious rodent. To keep your home or business healthy, follow our expert advice for keeping mice and rats away from your home or business.

Rats vs. Mice in Virginia Homes

If you’ve spotted the sign of rodents, you may be wondering what type of rodent you’re dealing with! You may think you have mice, but it’s best to investigate more closely to make sure you don’t have their close relative in the rat instead. The two rodents may share many of the same characteristics, but mice are quite different in a few notable ways – making them especially difficult to stop. Here’s how to tell the difference:

  • Mice are smaller: Mice typically weigh half an ounce or so (the weight of a slice of bread), while rats often weigh more than 10 ounces. This makes them agile, helping them slip through small openings – some the size of a dime. With their fast speeds, they’re able to roam unnoticed. Baby rats are comparable in size to mice, but mice can be identified by their larger eyes and ears.
  • Mice are more curious: Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it often works wonders for mice. They’re quick to explore new environments –scouting out food and shelter in the process. A study even found that mice need curiosity as much as they need food. On the other hand, rats are more cautious, making them less likely to stumble in at all.
  • Mice prefer carbs: Mice are big fans of household staples like cereals and grains. Rats consume carb-based foods as well, but they also crave meat – something that’s harder to come by out in the open. Sometimes, mice are even preyed on by rats. You may think this simply reduces your mouse problem, but you’ll end up with a rat problem as well.

Most Common Mouse Species in Virginia

House mice vs deer mice in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

If you have a mouse in your home, more often than not it’s going to be a house mouse. They’re the most likely species to be found in urban and suburban areas – in our region, Richmond and greater Washington, D.C. Deer mice are also a threat, but more so in the rural countryside. No matter what type of mouse you’re dealing with, it’s important to get the help of a professional pest control expert when it comes to getting rid of them.

Signs of House Mice Indoors

To escape extreme weather and outdoor predators, mice won’t hesitate to take full advantage of your comfortable indoor conditions. This then brings their risks into your home or business. Mice are stingy little creatures, and the easier it is for them to infest, the harder things will be for you in return. Their presence isn’t always obvious; be attentive, and look for the following signs:

  • Droppings and urine pillars
  • Footprints (usually around 1/4 of an inch in length)
  • Nests made of household items like paper
  • Structural damage (holes in walls, ceilings, or window screens)
  • Damaged food containers or nibbled-on food

Mouse Prevention Tips

How to prevent mice in Virginia - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's


While proactive measures may help eliminate the mice that are currently around, they’ll keep coming back if you don’t take the proper preventative measures. This means removing the incentive that your home or business provides in the first place (food and shelter) and keeping them from getting in at all. Here’s how to keep mice outside:

1. Cut Off Access to Food

As mentioned earlier, mice love carbs; but they’ll eat just about anything – sweets, dog food, and even garbage. The problem isn’t simply that they aren’t picky eaters. Rather, it’s that we give them instant access to food, without which they wouldn’t survive. Seal containers (including your trash can), wipe up spills and don’t leave food sitting out.

2. Minimize Nesting Areas

Mice also rely on nesting areas to support indoor infestations. Because they prefer dark, secluded spots, basements, and attics are prime real estate – they usually provide plenty of clutter (papers, cardboard boxes, etc.) to construct nests. Mice don’t typically nest further than 25 feet from food sources, meaning wall voids and cabinets may also be at risk. Clean and declutter potential habitats to prevent mice from settling down.

3. Shut Them Out

In addition to removing sources of food and shelter, sealing off entry points is an effective way to keep mice away. Fill any holes they’re capable of fitting through and invest in chimney and vent covers. Doors and windows are our connection with the outdoor world, and they’re often mice’s connection with the indoors as well. Keep them shut and properly sealed, adding weather stripping along doors and replacing any window screens that are broken.

Professional Mouse Control

If you have an ongoing mouse problem, it’ll take more than a few traps to save the day. At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, our expert technicians provide smart, thorough care, as we understand just how problematic this pest can be. Covering homes and businesses across Virginia and offering year-round protection, we take a targeted approach to eliminate mice in full. Contact us to today to learn how our rodent exterminators can keep you safe from mice.

Differences Between Mice & Rats

Mouse and rat identification in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sAs two of the most common pest rodents, rats and mice can cause Virginia homeowners a lot of problems. They may have similar features and habits, but there are also many differences between mice and rats as well. All rodents are joined by one shared trait in particular: their incisor teeth that never stop growing. Because rodent infestations can be destructive and downright dangerous for you and your family, it’s important to know what pest you are dealing with. The team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s is here to share all you need to know about identifying rats and mice.

Similarities Between Rats and Mice

Rodents are most known for their shared habit of gnawing and chewing on just about anything. This is due to the fact that they have incisor teeth that grow constantly. Rats and mice alike can exhibit similar behaviors inside your property if they have infested your home. Rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of potentially dangerous diseases. They also can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. Lastly, they can cause significant damage to your home. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring, which can create a fire hazard in your property.

How do Mice and Rats Differ?

We all know rats are bigger than mice, but that’s not their only difference. Some of the traits to identify rats and mice include:

  • Mice
    • Most mice are only 2–4 inches long.
    • Mice typically have larger ears and tails compared to their body size.
    • The droppings mice leave behind have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
    • Mice are omnivores but mostly feed on seeds, grains, and fruits.
    • They are more prolific: Mice produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.

Difference between rats and mice in Springfield VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

  • Rats
    • While they differ between species, rats typically have larger bodies that are about 6–9 inches .
    • Rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
    • Their droppings are much bigger than those of mice at 10–20 mm long.
    • Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
    • Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat meats, grains, seeds, and much more.

Have a Rat or Mouse Infestation?

If you suspect there are rodents in your home or business, it’s important to enlist the help of a professional rodent exterminator such as Ehrlich. We can easily identify the rodent species you are dealing with before executing a plan to control the infestation. To learn more, give us a call today!

The Rise of Rodents During the Pandemic

Rodents are infesting homes in Springfield VA during the pandemic - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

If you’ve been noticing more rodents in or near your home, you’re not the only one. Since the start of the pandemic, the CDC has suggested that rodents are more active and aggressive than ever. This is mostly in due part to the restaurant closures—the lack of food sources for rats and mice has caused them to be more desperate. And now with the weather changing, they will be drawn inside your own home not only to escape dropping temperatures outside but to look for food. This Rodent Awareness Week, the team at Ehrlich is here to help clear the air about rodents during the pandemic and to provide tips on preventing them. Read on to learn more!

Are Rodents Connected to COVID-19?

There has been a lot of information spread about how rodents are connected to the coronavirus. The good news is that there is no current evidence or research to show that rodents are transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans. When it comes to rodents during the pandemic, the main things to worry about is that they are getting more aggressive in nature, can carry other diseases, and could cause damage to your property.

Restaurant closures have caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice become more bold in their hunt for resources. This directly correlates to a bigger risk of infestations and rodent-spread issues. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more.

5 Tips to Prevent Rodents This Year

The last thing you have time to worry about this year with everything else going on is a rodent problem. To avoid the discovery of rats in your home, there are a few things you can do to keep them out:

  1. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  2. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  3. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  4. Store food properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  5. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Rodent Infestations During the Pandemic

No Rodent Awareness Week feels quite as important as this year’s with the surge of infestations we are experiencing. Our rodent exterminators are dedicated to protecting you from these pests not just this week but all year long. For more information, contact our team today.

Are Rodent Infestations Dangerous?

One of the many dangers of rodents is their habit of chewing through wires. The rodent exterminators at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's can help protect your Arlington VA home!Unlike some types of pests, rodents are much more than simply a nuisance. The truth of the matter is that the presence of rats or mice in your home or business can be dangerous. Not only are they gross—rodents spread diseases and cause property damage. The contamination they cause can turn your property into a health hazard, making it important to seek help from a professional rodent exterminator as soon as you notice them in your property. Keep reading to learn about the true dangers of rodents in Alexandria and Arlington VA.

Diseases Spread by Mice and Rats

Across the nation and all around the world, there are a number of serious illnesses and health risks tied back to the presence of rodents. These pathogens can be spread directly or indirectly. Mice-borne diseases are spread directly to humans through contact with droppings, saliva, and bites. They are transmitted indirectly through ticks, fleas, and mites.

Three of the most dangerous diseases spread by mice and rats include:

  1. Hantavirus
    1. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases or when it is not treated, it can lead to shortness of breath and kidney failure.
  2. Salmonella
    1. When rats and mice walk over surfaces, they are tracking dirt and bacteria across other food surfaces. Salmonella, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and worse.
  3. Rat-bite fever
    1. Also known as Streptobacillus, rat-bite fever is usually caused by a bite or scratch from an infected rat. It is also caught by handling infected animals and ingesting food or drink contaminated with the rat’s faeces or urine.

Property Damage from Rodent Infestations

As if the health risks associated with rodent infestations weren’t bad enough, these pests are also capable of destroying your property! Rats have a set of incisors that continue to grow, encouraging them to chew on things constantly. When electrical wires are chewed through and expose cables, the wires can short circuit and cause a fire hazard. Their nesting can be messy, and rats are even known to cut through extremely tough materials including wood and steel. When you have a rodent problem, the very structure of your home can be at risk!

Protection Against the Dangers of Rodents

It goes without saying that rodents can be much more than a nuisance in your home. With the many dangers of rodents in mind, it’s crucial to get a professional exterminator as soon as you notice a problem. At Formerly Connor’s an Ehrlich Company, our rodent exterminators know how to keep rats and mice out of your property year-round.

Common Mistakes When Setting a Mousetrap

Mousetrap in Alexandria VA home - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's provides tips on setting a mousetrap properlyIf you’ve ever dealt with a mouse problem inside your home or business, you know how frustrating they can be. In addition to being downright gross, mice spread filth and disease everywhere they go—not to mention the foul odors and droppings. If you’ve spotted a mouse or two in your home, it’s important to take action quickly. Mice reproduce at an alarming rate. Traps are a classic way to tackle rodent infestations, but many people make mistakes when setting mousetraps. Read on to learn expert tips from the mice exterminators at Ehrlich Pest Control.

Mousetraps That Work the Best

Picking the best mousetrap can be overwhelming, with electronic, catch-and-release, and glue traps all in stores. Most mousetraps have benefits and disadvantages. Perhaps the most common and popular type of mousetrap is the spring-loaded mousetrap. This classic design has been used for centuries to catch mice. When set up properly, mousetraps can be very effective!

Spring-loaded mousetraps are placed in areas of suspected rodent activity with bait. When the spring mechanism is triggered, the metal bar will snap and effectively catch the mouse.

Setting a Mousetrap Properly

There are many common mistakes made when setting a mousetrap. We’ve outlined the top ones to avoid below:

  1. Not wearing gloves. If mice can smell human scent on the traps, they will avoid them at all cost. Always wear gloves when setting traps!
  2. Not using the right bait, or using too much bait. Contrary to popular belief, not all mice like cheese. When setting a trap, only use a small amount of bait to encourage the mice to reach into the stand and trigger the mechanism.
  3. Starting with loaded traps. It may seem counter-intuitive but start with unloaded, baited traps. This will lure mice into a false sense of security in the traps.
  4. Not using multiple traps from the get-go. Always set more than one trap, placed two or three feet apart each. You will have a better chance at catching as many mice as possible at once.
  5. Not setting mousetraps strategically. Always set mousetraps along walls and behind furniture, or wherever you suspect activity.
  6. Not checking traps regularly. It’s important to keep an eye on your traps. Check to make sure the traps are loaded correctly with bait, as some mice will grab bait without setting off the trap.

What to Do When Mousetraps Don’t Work

Mousetraps have worked for decades, but that doesn’t mean they will always work to get rid of mice completely. With serious rodent infestations, it’s always smart to consult a professional mice exterminator. At Ehrlich Pest Control, we have the years of experience needed to implement the best rodent control methods. To learn more about properly setting a mousetrap or to set up an inspection, give our team a call today!

6 Pests to Look Out For in 2020

Pests to Look Out For in 2020 in your Alexandria VA or Leesburg VA home - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to pests this year, Ehrlich Pest Control is looking into its crystal ball to help homeowners proactively defend their homes against pest infestation.

Ehrlich Pest Control used our field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine the following six pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering some quick tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in the new year.


Mice populations have increased over the past several years and this may be attributed to warmer than usual winters. With warmer weather predicted again for the winter of 2020, mice activity may boom, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for two things: food and shelter.

Homeowner Tips:  Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger – or about the width of a pencil. To prevent an infestation, rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing. 

The Spotted Lanternfly

An invasive pest that can cause significant damage to trees and plants, the spotted lanternfly was first introduced to Pennsylvania in 2014 from Asia. Regrettably, this insect is still spreading and has been found in counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. By the end of the year, the spotted lanternfly will be more abundant in these areas and may even spread to neighboring states. 

Homeowner Tips: Anyone can help to deter the spread of this pest. If you sight a spotted lanternfly, crush it. If you find eggs on trees, scrape them off to destroy the eggs. Above all, report the sighting to your state Department of Agriculture. 

Stinging Pests

Changing climates cause dramatic effects in the pest world, and with mild winters, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets are able to overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade homes, structures, and manmade or natural voids. When temperatures rise in spring, stinging insects will surface from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Yellowjackets and hornets can overwinter, so they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Be on the lookout for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity. 


With the rise of popular outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, and years of warmer than usual winters, humans and their pets are likely to encounter ticks this year. The Lone Star tick, the deer tick or black-legged tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special interest. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets may also be at risk for some of these diseases. 

Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also recommended to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. During and after outdoor activity, check for ticks on yourself and any family members, including your pets.


Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather, and their populations increased in 2019.  If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, we could experience another boom inactivity by late spring and early summer.  Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter. 

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To protect yourself and your family, dispose of standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors. 


Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year.  According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon. 

Homeowner Tips:  To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Since termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.

The experts at Ehrlich Pest Control agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.

Winter Rats & Mice Prevention

Winter window in Alexandria or Richmond VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's provides rodent control checklist to prevent infestations. It’s the middle of winter, and you may think you’re safe from pest infestations. Unfortunately, pest problems are a fact of life in Virginia throughout the entire year. In fact, rodent infestations are more common this time of year than any other time of year. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has stated that 21 million homes in the U.S. are invaded by rodents each winter! As temperatures drop, rats and mice will look to make their way indoors for warmth and shelter. To avoid an infestation, it’s crucial to seal your home from rodents! Keep reading for top rats and mice prevention tips from the experts at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s.

Do Rodents Hibernate in the Winter?

While some animals—certain rodents included—hibernate during the colder months, rats and mice stay active throughout the winter. Unfortunately, the winter is the time when most rodent infestations occur as rats and mice enter homes to escape the cold outdoors. Indoors, rodents can cause a lot of destruction with their nesting and gnawing habits. Even worse, their droppings are known to carry bacteria and pathogens that have been linked to dangerous diseases. Because rodent infestations are so common in the winter, it’s essential to protect your home from them.

Rats & Mice Prevention Checklist

Rodent Control Checklist for your Alexandria and Leesburg VA home this winter - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

There are eight spots in particular around your property that are vulnerable to rodent intrusions. By routinely checking the following areas, you can locate where rats and mice may attempt to make their way indoors:

  • Roof: Replace and repair shingles or any other roof damage
  • Vents: Cover all vents securely
  • Screens: Fix or replace any damaged window, door, or porch screens
  • Vegetation: Keep a tidy yard and cut tree limbs back away from your home
  • Gutters: Clean debris from gutters and downspouts
  • Outside: Securely seal trash cans and keep a clean yard
  • Garage: Make sure your garage closes flush to the ground
  • Foundation: Seal any cracks or crevices larger than a dime

A Rodent-Proof Winter Home

If you need help with rodent prevention in your Virginia home this winter, the rodent exterminators at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s can help. We specialize in preventing pest problems before they begin, making us your local leaders in rodent control and removal. To learn more about keeping rats and mice out of your home during the winter and all year-long, contact us today!