216TheNet | Radio Show Transcription
We are sitting here today with Teaford Holland with Mice Hunters, https://micehunters.com. And he has a lot of tips and solutions for fixing (rodent) problems (in your home) that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, which are mice, bats and rats. Welcome to the Neighborhood Pulse right here at 216TheNet. Wherever you are in life, you always remember the neighborhood.
This is the show that talks all about real estate. Hear it from the industry professional host Kevin Callback from the Realty Executive Cornerstones and Eddie Martinez, make the point of any Martinez we’ll be back at you from MSP to learn all about the neighborhood pulse. Today, in the neighborhood, we’ve got Mice Hunters’ Teaford Holland. Welcome aboard, brother.
So we’re going to talk about this all the time, which is great. You know, we talk about all things real estate here, and what more can be more important than keeping your home safe, clean and enjoyable. All right. Oh, that’s why you buy a house so you can enjoy it and not be afraid of being in that stuff.
So Mice Hunters probably stands for something, right?
Mice Hunters… What really sets us apart is just giving a permanent (rodent proofing) solution and also offering like (rodent) clean-out services and just different things like that. So if you want to keep the house clean or if you had an issue in the past that you want to tackle, you know, we can help you out doing that, too as well.
But the main thing is, is that a lot of the companies that are out there, they’re just, you know, giving you baits and traps as options. And it’s really just a control technique where we really specialize in sealing the exterior of homes. So all the imperfections of the construction on the outside of the house, if they’re sealed up properly, won’t allow for that mouse to go from the outside to the inside.
So how about window wells? Window wells.
Typically. Window wells are fairly good unless you have rot around the topsides and things of that nature. Many times customers will have animals that fall into the window, and die in the window. Well, and you just kind of get to go in there, pick them up, or we tell people, you know, if you don’t want to pay us to come out, see, you take a two by four, put it in there and let the critter run back out of the window well.
Stick or whatever you got readily available. That’s right. So we had a pretty little house and we went out to take a look at… and we’re in the basement. We’re looking at the drop ceiling (pulled it down). I was like, “what the heck? We might have some mice!”
I asked, how bad is it? Do you see many? Have you ever seen any (mice)? So we take down one of these tiles and mouse droppings and stuff (mouse feces) come down. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, you got a problem? And that’s when you learned how not to do it with your mouth open. That’s right. Yeah. I never knew.
That with your mouth open. Make sure.
You have a hat on too as well. So it kind of protects your eyes, your nose and mouth.
I know. That’s right. It doesn’t taste like chocolate chips, you know, sprinkles. Those are they.
Never want to eat sprinkles.
So, when somebody has an infestation of mice and critters like that, where do you start? First off, how do they find it? They go to the website?
You can go on our website. You can find us at MiceHunters.com. Okay. You can give us a call in the office. 847-499-1008. Also, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s more than one hunter, hunters. Hunters, plural. Give them a call at 847-499-1008. So, yeah, where do they start?
I was going to say the first thing is to start by giving us a call, and figure out where we’re at scheduling. We can also give you somewhat of general pricing because we’re going to be a little different than some of the other companies that are out there that are giving you control methods, signing up on quarterly package plans and things like that.
Our job is to kind of free you of that and to give you a permanent solution. So that way you don’t have to see us every quarter, right? That just means it’s not that people aren’t great and we don’t love people. We do just if you don’t have to see us, that just means we kind of did our job the right way.
Absolutely. So the problem is, you know, so I did ask them if they ever had any. But take a look at this. And they said, yeah, we had an exterminator over and he did like a grenade launcher of some of these packs with green blocks and threw through a few of those up there, but didn’t really seem to solve it at all.
And then he’s coming back quarterly, getting paid every quarter and this and that. And the problem never went away.
So it was just like anything at the end of the day, if you don’t shut the doors on the outside of the house, you have a welcome mat out there, everything’s kind of welcoming them inside.
Came on back inside of the house. So, we’re going to shut all those doors. It’s not to say that you don’t need a baiting process, because you do. That’s really the first step is to eliminate the mice that you have traveling inside of the home. But the next step is to seal the house. So this way, no new mice can physically get back in.
And then you can either go as far as cleaning out above the top of those ceiling tiles. Replacing those ceiling tiles. We went as far as pulling down drywall for customers where we pulled down the ceiling. And it’s just like you said, it kind of rains, droppings, insulation and all the stuff that we typically don’t go into the basement and kind of a nobody really goes up and moves or ceiling tile unless they have an issue at the end of the day.
Right, right. And they see all the feces and the mice droppings. And so we can go in, we can vacuum all over the top of all those ceiling tiles and things like that. We can clean them up and we can also replace the insulation. If they have tunneled through your insulation, droppings, pee just all kinds of fun stuff.
So true or false, every home in the Midwest has mice?
I wouldn’t say true, but I wouldn’t say false either. And the reason why I say that is that statistically if you look it up, it’s probably 80% of Illinois has either had a (rodent) problem or currently has a (rodent) problem or will have a mouse problem in the future. There’s a wide variety of rodents, too, as well.
You have the issue of rats. Then you have squirrels that still fall under that rodent category. Raccoons? Right. Right. Well, those are animals, but we don’t get into animals. We don’t do animals any longer. We just really specialize in mice, rats and bats. At the end of the day, the other animals… it’s just we’re overwhelmed with what we have right now.
You got to deal with those because they’re protected, right? They are.
So you can’t just go in and destroy the animals you actually have to put in a bat excluder. Well, it’s a one-way divider called a bat excluder. It’s going to allow for the bat to fly out but not fly back in. And then you have to seal up the entire roof line.
So it’s like sealing up for mice, but you’re doing it on the top side of the roof. So all those dime-sized holes that mice get into, bats can get into as well.
I didn’t know they were getting in like that. And then I’m like, Oh, as.
A bat, you mainly get what they consider is, a little brown bat, a mouse with wings.
Yeah, I know, I know, I know. So T, let me ask a question. When you were a little kid, you were like, “when I grow up, I want to be a mice guy. I want to do something like that. How do you get into something like that?”
You know, it’s tough because I grew up and my mom’s boyfriend was in construction. So there were many times that I was out there and I was just a small kid. And I thought that I’d probably do construction at some particular point in time. So I the basics of how houses were built.
So that gave me the knowledge to be able to fix houses. Somebody gave me a job in the animal business down in Florida. We were originally from Tampa, so it was really cool because I was in my twenties and I was chasing poisonous snakes, alligators etc…
You know, you. Right.
And then in 2008, the economy really took a tank down in Florida. So we had to pick a major city. This is a major city that we chose to come to. There are many companies out there offering the control method, but we want to fix the problems (not just control them).
And as long as, you know, the construction and how houses are built, you can usually typically eliminate and fix.
I completely understand the control method because it’s the routine payment you’re paying. I recorded it paying, paying, paying…
Revenue at the end of the day.
So it’s really good business and essentially you’re trying to put yourself out of business in one sense. Yeah, obviously there are so many problems out there.
Yeah, 100% so. Well, you know, a lot of the time we do also find customers that are kind of looking for general, meaning that if you have mice in the house and then you have ants and you have mosquitoes and things like that. So a lot of those customers will they’re just used to using that pest control company and they’re not really specializing in one particular thing.
Right. They’re kind of like all over the place. Sure. So you have a guy that’s trying to trap a raccoon and then spray for mosquitoes at his next job site. And then he knocks out wasps
from the eaves of a house. So he’s like all over the place.
How long have you been in this business?
A little over 22 years…
You’re doing a great job. I see some of the reviews out there and you’re just killing it. So we talked a little bit in the green room about, you know, you’re not the same as some of the other people out. There’s what they call, I don’t want to say names that the pest control folks.. and they say big box.
Big box companies and they say, oh, it’s 150 bucks we’ll come in. We’ll solve your problem for this quarter. Right. And maybe it does or doesn’t. What are your typical fees for a service like this?
Well, it differs from house to house. And the reason why it differs from house to house is that every house is constructed differently. So, just the products that we put up on your house are going to change as well. So, if you have siding to foundation issues, what type of siding is it?
Hardwood.. is it aluminum? Is it vinyl? The list kind of continues to go on and on. I can keep going, but it just really depends on the construction there again. And then what our ultimate goal is, is to seal your home, but keep the aesthetics of the outside of the house look the same too.
Nobody wants you to have mice in your home.
And I can’t tell you how many times I go to people’s houses and I have to pull out foam from everywhere, whether it be in the siding or in the air conditioner line. We all know this. And if you had an issue with rodents, I’m sure you’ve tried it. Yeah, foam will last for a couple of years.
The people in my old house are probably finding some of that!
We custom-tailor everything to everybody’s house too, as well. So we’re not purchasing things off of Amazon and sticking them on your house. So that’s a big thing too. We actually bend to fit your home.
What about my pets? What about my pets? When you are doing this, are my pets at home safe?
There is a safe way to do things and there is a non-safe way of doing things. No one in our company would put anything in your home that we would put in our own houses. I have kids as small as six and as old as 22. I have two dogs as well.
So I’m going to take all that into consideration and make sure that we safely put the products inside of your house, meaning tamper-resistant boxes, things like that, above the top of the basement, on the actual walls in the basement and things like that. You can still put products inside of homes. You may see them travel in certain specific areas.
That’s not to say that that’s the only area that they’re traveling in. You can put the baits and things like that in safe places and still eliminate the animals that you have moving and traveling. But there again, as I said, guys, it’s really all about sealing up the outside of the house. It’s whether you want to live with mice forever or if you want to shut all the doors on the outside and block them from getting inside of your home.
Right. And that’s the key.
That is the key. And we do give you a one-year warranty with our service, too, as well. So it’s not only that we’re going to come out, we’re going to fix the problem, but we’re not going to say six months down the road, if you had an issue, we’re going to come back and we’re going to take care of you as well.
That is unique! So a lot of these places don’t give you a guarantee. I had a lawn service, give me a guarantee on my lawn and it’s the worst it’s ever been.
I’m like, Dang, it’s been added. Did you offer that warranty? Right. So now not only after first you’re, you’re unique and, and you’ll give a multi-year warranty.
So what we do is… I know everybody wants a guarantee to last forever. It just doesn’t work that way. When you’re here in the Midwest, your house is put through brutal conditions, meaning that you get hot, you get cold, you get wet. The list kind of goes on and on. So, the wood that I fix this year might not look the same way three years from now.
So what we do for you is just that we give you the option to renew at the end of every single year, typical houses run about $295 to renew. And what that does is extend your guarantee for an additional 12 months. So meaning, if you had an issue, we’ll say 22 months down the road, we come back out.
If we have to put bait back into your house, we do that. If you have a deck on the back of the house because we pull up debts on a day-to-day basis and we have to go underneath the deck again.
Well, that’s exactly what we do.
When we seal up your home, we want to make sure that it is permanent and the guys that go out there and seal your houses up, we don’t subcontract anybody out. We’re family owned and operated. The guys that work on your house, work on all of our houses.
I’ve met your guys and they’re amazing. They’re good, they’re polite. They’re not going to trash your house and they’re not late. This is labor-intensive. Sometimes you know where you’re digging and you’re ripping up decks. And really, I mean, you’re going for full service here… look at that handsome fellow there. They can always reach you at?
It’s Micehunters.com. Take a look at it, you can find many of the services that we offer there. You can even find our Rodent Insider which shows and goes into some of the videos of houses that we have serviced in the past.
How much you pay these mice to stand there and pose?
Just a couple of pieces of cheese. All right, so you got a house. What am I looking for other than chewed potato chip bags or something like that? What am I looking for to see if I have a rodent problem? If you haven’t baked a cake and you have chocolate sprinkles on your counter.
Yes. You. Oh, man.
That’s Zach’s famous saying in one of our videos, “you’ve got mice!” So the best way for me to explain it is that it’s all the unfinished areas in the house. These are where the animals really want to be. Obviously, you really notice something when they become prevalent in your kitchen areas, you find droppings, things chewed into.
But if you go into any of the unfinished areas and you look up at your insulation and you start to see quarter-sized holes through your insulation, same thing with your attic insulation. But most of our customers never go into their attics. We’re probably the first people in ten years who have been inside their attic. But those are all telltale signs.
You find quarter-sized holes through the insulation. You’ll find droppings typically around the perimeter walls of unfinished areas, sump pumps and different things of that nature. Look down.. those are not chocolate sprinkles. If they’re the size of a grain of rice and they’re elongated and they’re dark in color.
I had a problem last year, sorry I didn’t call you, but we recognized… they’re so cute. They run around the outside chipmunk. Oh, those things look so cute, but man, I’m not liking them. Do you deal with them?
We can help you out to a certain extent. We’re not an animal-trapping company. Many times they’ll trap them in cages and then take them away. Now, if you have them digging underneath, like an air conditioner pad or a stoop of sorts or going underneath. As long as you have a basic solid foundation under a shed or something like that.
A lot of times what we do to be able to block those animals from going underneath there, that typically what happens is that they’re going to move the gravel and then now things are going to start to shift. So now you’re going to start to get cracks in your sidewalk and things of that nature. So what we do is we dig down 12 to 16 inches and we install a mesh barrier and we attach it with concrete screws or if it’s wood, like a deck or something along those lines.
So we use proper products, chipmunks, and half-inch mesh. Mice, you have to use a quarter-inch mesh because they’ll chew through the half-inch mesh. So, every animal’s different.
How do you learn this stuff? Why do you know that stuff? That’s great, mouse 101, right?
You’re going to say many, many, many years of doing it and trial and error. Right. So, you know, you go out there, you put the wrong step up and they chew through it. You’re like.
Oh, man, I had to go back out here and do this for free. Okay, let’s do this again. So I have to pay the guys to go back out again.
Then that’s it. And you know, that’s it. And that warranty is so important because things do change over time. So things move. It’s kind of like your waistline, right? The pants don’t fit anymore. Yeah, they gave me a guarantee I was going to say 20 years ago and now…
That’s not true. I love that. I’m wondering how I can get a hat… I don’t see any swag.
On, you know? Yeah, we don’t actually have swag because most of our customers don’t want you rolling up in a big mouse truck.
Right. So I can’t tell you how many times we get phone calls in, like what type of truck are you coming in? Is it kind of like mouse ears and tail hanging out of the back? Well, yeah, absolutely. We just don’t have our vehicles with logos on them.
Come with a bullhorn. Okay. We’re going to get rid of the mice over there at the Jones’ house and keep the kids inside.
And at the end of the day, it’s that, you know, when you see those big name companies, they’re sitting out front..
Everybody knows that there’s something going on there. A long time ago, I had a customer sit down and they were like, you know, we’re really so glad that you’ve come up and it’s just a normal truck, at the end of the day, and it doesn’t happen.
We’ve been all over.
So we kind of ran with it and we’ve been running with it ever since. So all of our vehicles just look like typical everyday construction trucks, a couple of ladders on top of them and things like that.
But, I do need one of your hats.
Okay. Make that happen. I don’t know how big your head is. I was going to say.
I may have to order one. Maybe a large or extra large?
One of our guys, he’s our manager, Jason, he’s like six foot six, seven?
That’s a big dude. And he wears the large extra large stuff, so he usually gets those pretty quick. But yeah, But you have to wear ours right here (on the show).
Next year will be our ten-year anniversary in business. And we have customers from ten years ago that still do not have issues with mice.
That is awesome. That is awesome. Well, and here’s another big, probably, misconception. Now, again, at least in Northern Illinois, in this area, we’re starting to see a lot more new construction. Right? We’re like, oh, my, my house is brand new. And your house was just built in a field right where the mice ran through.
You just went in and plowed this cornfield or soil down and put houses here. Gee, I wonder what lives in those.
Right. And by the way, this thing was built all through the winter and they threw the insulation up, but no doors. Guess where the mice go when looking for something warm?
Well, it’s just like anything you go in, you destroy a habitat. You had to figure.
Out how to live, where they’re going to survive, so they’ll figure it out. Yeah. And you may think it’s tight, right? Because it’s brand new..
Yeah. Unfortunately, it’s not to take away from anybody that does any type of construction, at the end of the day, I don’t replace roofs, so I don’t claim to know enough about replacing roofs, but there is just a lot of things that are missed in construction gaps with just the standard things that go onto houses… that they’re pre-made with the gaps.
Yeah. And thank goodness they are right.
That’s right. Well, you know, because, I’m just thinking of some of the buildings around here where (the builders) they’re working on the subfloors and whatnot when, when there was snow, there’s some ice, there’s some freezing that’s going on. And yeah, it may be tight then, but, come June it may not be so tight anymore.
Absolutely. And it’s a brand new house. It’s not just it’s not bad construction, it’s just the truth of the matter.
That’s true hundred percent. As I said, when it comes from the manufacturer and how it is that it’s installed on houses, it’s not that they’re doing anything wrong. They’re not doing anything.
Old lumber dries out.
There are just gaps in those areas.
And they do quality work. We sell many of the new homes in the area here and across the country. It’s the same as you said, things expand, they contract and that’s why you know a builder is going to give you that 12 months to come back and say, “Hey, we have a problem.”
What did we miss? What did you notice? They’re going to put in new pipes and are going to take care of those for you. So it’s great to have resources like yours that homeowners can count on, too. We are sitting here today with Teaford Holland with Mice Hunters, MICEHUNTERS.COM.
And he has a lot of tips and solutions for fixing mice and rodent problems that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. Mice, bats and rats, are the three categories. Now out there on the interweb… or good
at MICEHUNTERS.COM. So it’s Mice hunters, more than one hunter… you’ve got the Chicagoland area. What area do you cover?
So mainly we cover from just north of Chicago to Lake Bluff. So what happens is you’ll typically, you’ll, you’ll call the office 90% of the time, get me on the telephone. I’m usually always the guy that answers. I will set up a time to come out, take a look at the house for you, and then kind of go over things and figure out what the best route is.
And, you know, everybody’s needs are different. So we there, again, custom fit things where your other big box companies are, hey, this is what we have. You can choose this or not. We will work with people, because you have some people that you know, they don’t want traps. They don’t want baits inside your house. That’s perfectly fine.
You know, we can still come out. We can still seal the house. At the end of the day, you may have somebody stuck inside that you’ll have to get rid of and you’ll have to rely on that. Either glue boards that trap or humane trap.
You may smell it (dead mouse) inside the walls.
But, as I said, at the end of the day, it’s fixing the problem.
We should start a cat rental business. They actually have those if you want, you
can get a feral cat down in the city of Chicago because rats are so bad. Wow. And usually, it doesn’t really work that well. I spoke with a couple of customers right now. It’s really hard to keep out… well, it’s when you open the cage up and even though you put food back, it’s a feral cat, right? It’s kind of gone, but it works sometimes.
But you know if you feed the cat, he/she might not be hungry enough to eat.. or that rat doesn’t have salt pepper on it, and doesn’t taste like Friskies.
How do you know? I don’t know. And imagine the Chicago rats. Hey, thanks for dropping this cat right ahead of goodies. I was hungry.
Chicago rats… We were working on a house and the rat was big enough that he got caught in a raccoon trap. So we pulled him out of a customer’s basement. He was big enough to fit (in the trap) and large enough where he couldn’t get out of the raccoon cage and the raccoon cage has pretty good size openings in there.
So this show’s listened to across the United States and actually across the globe with Japan Singapore, Ted Jackson regularly. Okay. For somebody who doesn’t have a source like yours, what tips can you give someone that has mice and doesn’t have anybody to deal with it, where do we get started?
How do we what can we do by ourselves without having a service like yours?
The best thing to do is to get familiar with the exterior of your home. There are so many people out there that don’t take that extra five, 10 minutes to walk around their house. There may be an air conditioner line where an AC guy came in and replaced the line. And, you know, it was 5:00 somewhere.
Right? And it was Friday.
He had to get out of there and he forgot to use a caulking agent or silicone agent to fill that hole up. Those are the easy things that you can find as a homeowner and fix those areas. Not to say that you can’t find our products, but a lot of the easier products that you can find, you can go on Amazon and it’s a product called Excluder that you can shove in between the siding and the foundation.
You just have to attach it with something, whether it be a caulking agency or something along those lines. We don’t particularly use that product because there again, we custom cut it to your home. But these are good steps that you can use, but, at the end of the day, get a rodent treatment inside of the house. Whether you use snap traps or use a baiting process, make sure you do it safely.
I mean, use common sense at the end of the day. And the reason why I say this is… I got a pretty good story for you guys… I initially got here, like I said, in like 2008, and the company that I was working for at the time, we did a lot of work on the South Side. We were in a neighborhood… and I call it scum lord…
He had a three flat that had three different families living in it. And the rats were so bad that they were actually going into the cribs where the babies were sleeping and they were actually chewing the nipples off of the bottles. And the guy never did anything to help people.
Oh, yeah. And this is like my first year here, and I’m like, welcome to Chicago.
It’s alright. And that was not the norm, but…
It was very shocking because when you’re in our type of business, much of it’s detecting what is going on. So you’re like a detective when you go in there, it’s like you’re trying to figure out where it is that they’re coming into and then basically solving it and putting together a plan to fix those problems at the end of the day.
So they have absolutely found a way from the outside to get inside of your house. I got a lot of customers call me and say, “Hey, I’ve never had mice and I’ve been in this house for 30 years. And now I got my mice.” Well, because something is different, something is open, something has changed. So if you don’t fix that, because all animals run off scent trails, like a dog on a walk…
Why does he want to pee on the same bush that every dog pees on?
He can smell that other dogs have been there, right? So the same thing with mice. Mice are going to have a very acute sense of smell, rats, whatever the case may be and smell that other animals have been there. So, they’re going to exploit those areas and then also take into consideration that in the winter months, your house tells on you so, meaning that when you heat your home, heat comes out of your house and all the imperfections.
Those guys are walking around the outside… ten degrees outside and 80 or 60, 70 degrees inside. I’m on my back inside…
So, finish the sentence If you can for me, if you have one mouse in the house, you have how many mice in the house.
Why? We are called mice. Hunters versus mouse hunters. Usually. Typically, you never just have one. They’re social animals. You have to take into consideration a female mouse has anywhere between two and seven pups and she is having babies every 32 days. What! She lives to be about a year and a half to two years old. They don’t live to be very old, but they make babies or I would say reproduce. The little baby mouse that’s just born in 38 days, she’s ready to start having babies as well.
Just that’s crazy. A month. Yes, that’s crazy. So that’s crazy. Wow. And it’s a lot of babies and problems, right. So here’s another question that someone asked me before the show. Nowadays you’ll see garage doors where sometimes that concrete settles so the door doesn’t come all the way down.
How do you guys handle that?
We tell you to close the garage door. We can help you kind of keep them out of the garage, but you have a working part. And with that garage door, when you watch it go down, it has to move back and forth.
So you have rubber stripping that goes around the three sides of your garage, the top, the left and the right. So that has to push out and then kind of come back in and kind of settle back down. So there are products out there that take the bottom stripping and they’ll put a meshing inside of it, like a stainless steel meshing.
I want to say it’s called rodent exclude or something, right off the top of my head without taking a look at it. You can typically find it on Home Depot’s website. And I can tell you if you’re having issues with the inside of the garage area, but it’s just garages… When we seal your house, we’re keeping them from the interior.
I can’t promise to keep them out of the interior. I have worked with customers. It seems like it’s always Chicago. I know it, but the rats got into a very high-end car and did about $20,000 worth of damage, chewing up the wiring harnesses, got into the car and attacked the wiring. Why do they go after the wiring harnesses?
It’s tough to say but what I found out is that one of my neighbors is a cable guy and I found out through him that actually the wires that they’re putting up, they started to use a soy product to go over the top of the wires. So I don’t know if it’s the smell of the bare wires, and that’s the reason why they’re eating it.
But a lot of those newer wires and things like that, they’re using a soy-based product.
So that’s shocking. Oh, yeah, right. Shocking. So, to answer
your questions. Really tough to keep them out of the garage. Yes, you can do a couple of things, but if you have kids.
I’d love to go out there at 8:00 at night and see the garage door closed, however, I go there and I’m like, “why is the garage door open right now?” And if you’re having problems with mice, rats, bats, and you’re not in our area, you know, obviously, if you’re around here, get a hold of Teaford Holland at the Mice Hunters. You can get all of them at 847-499-1008.
But look for qualified professionals in your area that can help you in your area, if not, call Teaford and see if you can start a chain.
And make sure they’re licensed at the end of the day. Right. And you’re not just dealing with somebody that decided to start up a pest control company out of their backyard.
Yeah, right. There are too many, too many stories right now. Oh my gosh, it’s crazy. That’s right. And if you like your house, so do rodents.
They’re like, “we’ve been here 20 years before you were here. You guys moved into our space?.”
That’s right. Of course.
Check them out at MICEHUNTES.COM