Rodent Identification & Prevention
What are rodents?
Rodents are a type of mammal that live on every continent except Antarctica. Rodents are all characterized by their pair of continuously growing front incisors. Like many other pests we deal with regularly, rodents have learned to adapt to living near people – due in part to the sources of food, water, and shelter our properties provide to them.
Two of the most common species of rodents in our area are listed below:
- House mouse
House mice are light brown to gray with light, cream-colored underbellies. They have pointed noses, and tails that are about the same length or a bit longer than their bodies and covered in a light layer of fur. As their name suggests, they are one of the most common rodents to invade homes and other structures.
- Norway rat
Norway rats have bodies covered in shaggy, brown or gray-colored fur with lighter underbellies. They have blunt noses and long, scaly tails that are hairless. Norway rats aren’t particularly agile, and they usually enter buildings at the ground level.
Are rodents dangerous?
You should never ignore rodents when they are inside a structure, as they spread human pathogens, bacteria, and parasites that can potentially make people ill. Not only do rodents spread significant diseases, but they also cause a lot of damage to property. They constantly chew on objects they come across, such as electrical wires, plumbing pipes, insulation, drywall, flooring, furniture, and other personal belongings, to keep their teeth from overgrowing. These habits may also lead to short circuits, fires, and water damage.
Why do I have a rodent problem?
Rodents are common pests in urban, rural, and suburban areas. They live in wooded areas, parks, lakes, streams, fields, yards, and along riverbanks. Rodents are opportunistic pests that take advantage of any food and shelter they discover; they often find their way inside while foraging for food or to escape harsh weather.
Where will I find rodents?
Rodents, depending on their species, live in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations. House mice nest in tall grass, dense vegetation, under fallen trees, and woodpiles. Indoors, they nest in dark, secluded areas like behind wall voids, the backs of cupboards, in attics, and behind large appliances. Outside, Norway rats nest in fields, farmlands, riverbanks, trash piles, and under woodpiles. Inside, they nest in crawlspaces.
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