Rodents, such as rats and mice, are common household pests that can cause many problems, from property damage to health issues. In the southern United States, there are several types of rats and mice that are commonly found near homes. Let’s go over the most common types of rats and mice and how to prevent them from invading your home.
Roof rats are also known as black rats and are commonly found in urban and suburban areas. They are about 7-10 inches in length and have pointed snouts, large ears, and long, thin tails. They are excellent climbers and can often be found in attics and trees.
Norway rats are also known as brown rats and are larger than roof rats, measuring 10-12 inches in length. They have blunt snouts, small ears, and short, thick tails. They are burrowers and are often found in basements and crawl spaces.
House mice are small rodents that are about 3-4 inches in length. They have pointed snouts, large ears, and long, thin tails. They are excellent climbers and can often be found in attics and walls.
Deer mice are small rodents that are about 3-4 inches in length. They are brown or gray in color and have large eyes and ears. They are often found in rural areas and can carry hantavirus, a potentially fatal disease.
How to prevent rodents:
- Seal any cracks or openings in your home’s exterior
- Keep your home clean and free of clutter
- Store food in sealed containers
- Keep basement and crawl space clean and free of debris
- Keep trees trimmed away from your home
If you believe you have a rodent infestation, give your local wildlife control company a call to provide a customized plan of action!
Rodents such as mice and rats are one of the most common household pests. While they are definitely nuisance pests, they can also cause property damage to your home, as well as transmit serious diseases to you and your family.
The first step in rodent control is to determine that you have an infestation. Common signs of rodents include droppings near food sources; shredded paper, fabric, and other nesting materials; chewed food packages; holes chewed through walls and floors; and stale smells from hidden areas of your home.
Rodents are attracted to unsealed food containers, pet food and water that’s left out, open bowls of fruit and vegetables, leaky faucets and pipes, open trash cans, and compost containers among other things. They enter your home in search of these things. They get in through holes from the exterior of the home, holes around sink and appliance pipes, cracked foundations, unscreened vents, and holes around windows and doors.
The first step in rodent control for your home is prevention. If you can keep these pests from infesting your home in the first place, you won’t have to get rid of them later. Common rodent control methods you can utilize in your house include:
- Sealing entry points with metal mesh.
- Removing those food and water sources they are attracted to.
- Keeping your house clean.
- Avoiding the use of ivy or other vines in landscaping (rodents use these to climb onto your home).
- Keeping compost piles away from the home.
- Keeping grass mowed short.
- Keeping a buffer of at least 2 feet between landscaping and buildings.
- Avoiding the use of birdfeeders.
- Keeping outdoor grills clean.
- Keeping firewood elevated and stored away from the home.
- Using trashcans with lids.
- Sealing food in containers.
- Rinsing food and drink containers before throwing them away.
- Keeping trashcans clean.
- Avoiding leaving pet food and water out overnight.
- Keeping stovetops and countertops clean.
- Keeping your home free of clutter from paper, fabric, and other materials used for nesting.
- Repairing leaky pipes.
- Keeping attics and crawlspaces dry.
- Promoting natural predators (owls, hawks, snakes) around your home.
If you have a problem with rodents or other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
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