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!
Common South Florida Rodents: How to Prevent
We don’t often see temperatures below freezing in Cape Coral, but we do experience colder months. While it’s a nice break from the humid weather, unfortunately, it can bring unwanted pests into our homes. Rodents are looking for a warm place to inhabit and search for a food source. If these pests get inside, they can cause significant damage, such as chewed wires, damaged insulation, and risk of disease. Check out our list of common rodents in your area and how you can prevent them from entering your home.
The house mouse prefers dark, secluded areas in your home, such as the crawl space, basement, or attic. These creatures can adapt very quickly to human environments, often hiding in household clutter and inside the walls of homes. Since they are skilled climbers and are able to jump a foot high, they will often reach isolated areas inside your home.
One of the largest rodent species, Norway rats are nocturnal creatures, searching for food sources in garbage cans at night. You can often spot these creatures burrowing in areas that go undisturbed for a long time, such as crawlspaces and basements. Once inside, these creatures are known to gnaw on furniture, walls, plastic, lead pipes, and wires.
Due to their padded feet, roof rats can easily climb up our homes, infesting our attics, eaves, and roof lines. Living in colonies, they will typically stay together in a familiar area instead of exploring new ones. If an area is providing both food and shelter, these rats will stay close or inhabit the area.
Preventing Rodents in Cape Coral
Rodents can adapt to almost any situation, making it more difficult to get rid of them. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to help deter these creatures away from your home.
To keep rodents out this winter, utilize these rodent prevention tips:
- Empty your garbage regularly, utilizing a tight lid or lock
- Utilize screens on vents, chimneys, windows, and doors
- Keep your home decluttered and clean, wiping up any spills or crumbs immediately
- Avoid leaving your pet food outside overnight
- Keep piles of wood elevated off the ground and placed at least 20 feet away from your home
- Check for sources of moisture throughout your home and eliminate them as soon as possible
- Reach out to your local professional South Florida pest control company to help remove and prevent them in the future
Whether they’re in your basement, attic, crawl space, or even your living space, discovering rodents is never ideal. They carry diseases that can be harmful to you and your family and also cause damage to your home. It’s important to be aware of the signs and types of rodents that can be found in or near your home.
Types of Rodents
- Norway Rat: One of the largest species of rats, they can measure from 13 to 18 inches in body length. They rely heavily on human impact and will search for any food source possible. Norway rats are known to chew through plastic materials or even lead pipes, causing considerable damage to your home.
- House Mouse: These mice are on the tinier side, measuring up to 7 inches and varying in color. These critters will eat anything to survive and get most of their water intake from the food they eat. Being incredible climbers, they can become a threat once inside your home by gnawing on electrical wires.
- Roof Rat: These rats are slightly smaller than a Norway rat but can still measure up to 13 inches in length, including the tail. Roof rats are excellent climbers and prefer to nest in high places, including attics.
Rodents are never an exciting creature to discover in your home, but how do you know if you have rodents? Here are some signs that rodents could be in your home already:
- Discovering droppings in areas such as basements, attics, or crawlspaces.
- Finding nests in your home means it has become a haven for these critters.
- If you hear scratching, tapping, or squeaking coming from the walls or the attic.
- If you begin to notice property damage, including gnaw marks or chewed wires.
If you suspect any of these rodents inside your home, consider contacting your local pest control company for a rodent control plan that will help remove, exclude, and prevent them in the future!
Rats are one of the most destructive household pests, chewing through wires, walls, and insulation and contaminating your home with their feces and urine. They also carry some pretty serious diseases, putting both you and your family at risk. These risk factors make identification and rodent control an important part of your household pest control plan.
Rats are mostly nocturnal pests and it is rare for them to come out during the day. Their activity typically begins around dusk. Because rats commonly inhabit areas near humans, it is safer for them to come out after dark when there is less chance of them being caught. They will make an appearance during the daytime if they feel safe enough to do so and especially if food supplies are scarce.
If they aren’t coming around during the day, where are they hiding? Rats prefer to hide in places that are tucked out of the way and that aren’t often disturbed. Outdoors they will hide under piles of debris, under trash piles, in dumpsters and trash cans, in trees, and in sewers. They can also be found under bushes and shrubs, in woodpiles, and in gutters. Inside, rats can be found hiding out in holes, cracks, and crevices; climbing up through drains in bathrooms and kitchens; behind cabinets; behind and under appliances; in air ducts and ventilation systems; in piles of clutter; in storage containers; in hollow walls; and in crawlspaces, attics, garages, and basements.
Seeing a rat during the day can be an indication of a larger rodent infestation. Seeing one rat may not be cause for alarm; seeing more than one or seeing one in conjunction with other signs of rodents can be cause for concern. Some common signs of a rodent infestation include rat droppings, especially in one specific area; chew marks or chewed through wires, food packages, and other household surfaces; nesting material like fabric and paper; and a musty smell.
If you suspect you have a problem with rats or any other rodents, contact your local pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and an ongoing treatment and prevention plan to keep your home pest free.
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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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