LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Our area is seeing an invasion of unwanted house guests...of the four legged kind! Rodents are taking over, moving into neighborhoods and causing damage.
Larry Keplinger who has made a career out of fighting pests, blames the weather. He said small amounts of rain causes the grass to grow, allows rats to build nests, hide from predators and reproduce.
With our temperatures expected to drop over the next few days, he says these pests will do whatever it takes to get inside a home, garage or barn to escape the cold. Pest control companies are seeing a lot of business from the booming rodent population
Kelplinger said in the past they usually get around 1 to 3 phone calls a day with people complaining about rodents in their home, but now they see at least 15 to 20 calls a day. As the weather is warmer like today and colder like it will get this weekend, there is more food and places for these pesky little rodents to nest and hide. He said they usually come out at night but, there have been several complaints of people seeing them in day time and that is uncommon.
Larry Keplinger, owner of Lawton Termite and Pest Control, says once these rodents get inside your home they are hard to get rid of.
"They will start tearing into the walls, looking for places to nest, they will actually get into couches where people are sitting and people wont know they are in there and they will get up in there and nest inside it. They will shred it and build a nest a ball when they get inside", said Keplinger.
If they get inside your car, truck or tractor, you could spend big bucks on repairs.
"We are getting a lot of mechanics telling us right now they are seeing a lot of vehicles come in where the wiring is chewed up and as the weather gets colder they are going to get around those engine blocks in the car for warmth and when they get around those blocks they will get into the wire", said Keplinger.
"Larry says having an inexpensive bate box like this one can keep the pesky little rodents out of your house for good."
"They are secure you are actually putting the bait on a wire peg where it cannot be removed by your pets or if you sat them outside raccoons and other animals. As professionals we have to pay attention about what is going on around us, plus we don't want children finding this stuff. So with it in these boxes, they are safe and can't be removed without a key", said Keplinger.
It's not just rats and mice you have to worry about. Large hoards of voles have been reported around Lawton. A vole is a relative of a mouse, but has a long pointy nose. The experts treat them the same as mice and rats.
"You will notice them in your gardens and in the grass you will see trails you actually can see.They nest in the ground", said Keplinger.
To stop critters from coming into your home, secure the outside of your home first. He said rats can squeeze or chew through any tight space or entrance.
" A lot of the houses there will be holes around here and there are two options a homeowner can do. Stuff steal wool in there but you have to stuff it real tight", said Keplinger.
If you have a smaller problem, and can handle the rodents yourself, you can get different products from warehouse stores.
"You got your catch all's which catches them alive. You revolve back to the bait system with the lethal end. You get into your blocks or your pellets and stuff", said Keplinger.
If you would like to purchase a bait box the cost is 35 dollars and they last 2 to 3 weeks. They have to be interested every week because the rodents can start building a nest inside of them and start more populating.