Popular Rodents in Miami

Popular Rodents in Miami

Miami Pest Control: Identifying Common Rodents

Whether you find them in your attic, basement, crawlspace, or just near your property, spotting any rodents on your property is never ideal. These pests can cause significant property damage and pose health risks to you and your family. To avoid these sneaky creatures, it’s important for each homeowner to be aware of the different types of common rodents that will invade their Miami homes.

Norway Rat

One of the largest species of rats, Norway rats measure from 13 to 18 inches in body length, are known to have thick fur, and are usually brown in color. These rats prefer to live closer to humans, searching for any food source available. They will eat any food type but usually prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grains. Rats also need a water source to survive since they don’t get moisture needed from their food source and will look for any standing water.

Norway rats will burrow to make their nests underneath buildings, concrete slabs, around ponds, in garbage dumps, and more. In homes, they will typically look to areas that usually go undisturbed, such as crawlspaces or basements. These creatures will cause property damage, such as gnawing through plastic materials or lead pipes. Norway rats will bring fleas and mites into the home.

House Mouse

Only ranging from 5 to 7 inches in length, the house mouse has a fur coloration ranging from light brown to black with a tan or white belly. You can usually tell the difference between a house mouse and a rat by looking at their tails; mice tails are long, rough, and have little to no fur. House mice will eat any food to survive, but they usually like to feed on cereal grains. While rats need water to survive, house mice do not, as they get most of their water from the food they eat.

If these rodents find a food source, they typically stick around that area, establishing a territory 30 to 50 feet from it. House mice are incredible climbers, allowing them to jump and reach isolated or withdrawn areas. If they get inside the home, they can be a threat as they are known to create electrical fires by gnawing on wires.

Roof Rat

Slightly smaller than a Norway rat, the roof rat measures around 13 inches in length, including the tail. These rodents are brown, black, or gray with a scaly, snaked tail which is longer than the head and body. They are excellent climbers and prefer to nest in high places within structures, including higher levels of homes, trees, and buildings. Roof rats prefer to eat fruit, vegetables, and cereal products. Roof rats eat a lot all at once and will return to that place time after time for food.

If you suspect any of these rodents inside your home, consider contacting your local Miami pest control company for a rodent control plan that will help remove, exclude, and prevent them in the future!

 

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Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall

Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall

August is here and as much as we don’t want to think about it, fall is right around the corner. As the days begin to get shorter and temperatures drop, wildlife creatures begin to prepare for the fall and winter seasons. Fall is the time when wildlife search for warm shelter and begin to stock up on food, sometimes leading them right to your home!

Here are some of the most common wildlife critters that can find refuge in your home for winter, along with some ways to prevent them from taking up residence in your home.

Squirrels

Squirrels like to “fatten” up in the fall as they get ready for the colder months. They often seek shelter in attics where they will make their nests and store their food. They are especially hazardous in homes because they have a tendency to chew through wires and wood, creating significant damage to your home.

Some ways to prevent squirrels:

  • Install chimney caps or screens
  • Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight
  • Take down bird feeders in the fall as squirrels love to scavenge these for seed
  • Trim back any limbs or branches that extend within 10 feet of your home

Raccoons

Like squirrels, raccoons also like to “fatten” up for the winter. Raccoons are nocturnal, which means they are more active at night. When the weather gets cooler, this causes raccoons to become more active and creative in their search for food. They will often find food in your trash cans and home and can often enter your house through the roof. They are known to seek shelter in either your attic or crawl space.

You can prevent raccoons by:

  • Keep trash in bins with secure, locking lids
  • Seal any entry points on the exterior of your home
  • Rinse out trash cans once a month to help eliminate odors
  • Install bright exterior lights to deter them from your yard at night

Rodents

Rodents, like mice and rats, will begin to be more active in the fall and you can usually hear them in your walls or attic. They seek shelter in your home because it supplies them with an available food supply throughout the winter.

Prevent rodents this fall by:

  • Storing food in plastic or metal containers with tight lids
  • Sealing up holes inside and outside the home
  • Cleaning up spilled food immediately and washing dishes soon after use
  • Keep compost bins as far away from the house as possible

Bats

Once the temperature dips below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, bats will begin their hibernation. While some species of bats do migrate south once the weather cools off, some will be in search of warm, dark spaces to roost that are hidden from predators. Unfortunately, they will often roost in the attic or chimney of your home.

You can prevent bats by:

  • Installing chimney screens
  • Using window screens and draft guards on doors and windows that go into the attic
  • Sealing any openings in shingles and weatherstripping
  • Making sure insulation isn’t worn down

Wildlife removal can be a difficult task to handle on your own, as there are some regulations for certain species. It is often best left to the professionals. If you suspect you have a wildlife problem, contact your local professional wildlife control company. These professionals will inspect your home to identify the animal problem. They will also provide you with the best plan of action to remove nuisance wildlife and prevent it in the future.

5 Signs You May Need an Exterminator

5 Signs You May Need an Exterminator

Spring marks the beginning of the season for many common household pests. Mice, ants, wasps, roaches, bed bugs, and more increase their activity when the weather warms up. While a pest sneaking into your home here and there is normal, how do you know when it’s time to call in the professionals? Here are 5 signs it may be time to call an exterminator.

The Problem is Intensifying

A random pest sighting here and there in your home is normal. They can sneak in through open doors and windows or through the tiniest gaps and holes in the exterior of your home. They can also hitch a ride on luggage or boxes that are brought in from outside. There is a difference, however, between an occasional sighting and a daily presence. Seeing 2 to 3 ants in your kitchen once isn’t a big deal; seeing a trail of hundreds of ants going from the wall to the pantry is. Seeing one mouse outside in your yard isn’t a big deal; seeing multiple in your home, trapping several, or seeing the presence of droppings is. If the pest problem is escalating, it may be time for an exterminator.

Your Best Efforts Aren’t Working

Once you identify the pest problem, the next step is to try and get rid of them. Many homeowners prefer to try DIY pest control methods first before calling in a pro. If you continue to have a problem with pests despite your best efforts, it may be time to call an exterminator.

Concern for Safety

Pests can pose serious health risks to your family, your pets, and even your home. Termites can cause structural damage that can compromise the integrity of your house. Rodents are known to chew through electrical wires putting you at risk for a fire. Rodent feces contains harmful pathogens that can make your family sick. Cockroaches are known to trigger allergies and asthma. Some homeowners aren’t comfortable using DIY methods or have concerns about using over-the-counter chemicals around their children or pets. For these reasons, it may be time to call an exterminator.

The Problem Requires an Expert

Some pests are nearly impossible to eradicate on your own or require professionals to get rid of them. Bees are protected and must be relocated appropriately. Some bird species are protected, as well, and bird nest removal must be handled professionally. Roaches, termites, and bed bugs can be extremely difficult to eradicate on your own. If you have an issue with any of these pests, it may be time to call an exterminator.

The Signs Are There

When the signs of an infestation become too big to ignore, it may be time to call in a professional. Some common signs of pests in your home include:

  • Unusual noises (scratching, flapping, whining, gnawing), especially at night.
  • Gnaw or scratch marks on wood, wires, or fabric.
  • Feces or urine present in the home.
  • Dead pests.
  • Live pests.
  • Unusual or musty smells.
  • The presence of nests.
  • Pets start behaving oddly, especially at night.

If you have a problem with any kind of pest, contact a professional pest control company for an inspection to help identify what kind of pest you are dealing with, how they are getting in, and how to get rid of them quickly and safely.

 

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Preventing Wildlife in Attics

Preventing Wildlife in Attics

Now that winter is here, it is time to make sure your attic is not harboring wildlife from the cold. The most common pests that find refuge in attics are racoons, squirrels, bats, birds, and mice. These pests can cause severe damage to your home and pose a significant threat to your health.

There are many ways for wildlife creatures to get into your home. The most obvious ways are through vents and construction gaps. These can sometimes be unavoidable, since rodents can squeeze through cracks as small as half an inch wide. Some of the pests can be taken care of with DIY pest control, but some do need professional attention. Bats are a pest that you should not take care of yourself. They can carry rabies and some species are protected.

The damage that can be caused in your attic can be anything from chewed wires to disturbance to your insulation, which can end up being costly for you. There are many ways to implement wildlife control in your attic. Here are a few of our favorites below:

  1. Regularly inspect the exterior of your home to ensure there is no damage to the roof or siding. If you notice any damage or openings, look to seal them immediately. Fixing issues before they escalate is the best way to prevent pests from entering the attic.
  2. Keeping branches trimmed back away from the house will help keep wildlife like squirrels and raccoons from potentially jumping onto your roof. This will not keep them fully away, as they are both good climbers, but it will hinder their options.
  3. Consider investing in some roof vent covers to keep wildlife from accessing your attic. These will help to block entryways on the roof and are built to resist erosion and weather conditions, so they have lasting effects.
  4. If your home has a chimney, getting a chimney cap is a terrific addition. This will help to keep creatures, such as squirrels, from entering through the chimney into your main living space.

If you believe that you have wildlife in your attic, consider calling your local pest control company to help locate entry points, safely remove them, and prevent them from entering your house in the future.

Mouse vs Rat: 5 Differences Explained

Mouse vs Rat: 5 Differences Explained

As members of the rodent family, mice and rats look very similar and are often mistaken for one another. Both are harmful, transmitting serious diseases to humans and pets, contaminating surfaces in our home, and chewing through structures and wires, causing damage and putting you at risk for fires. How do you know if you are dealing with a mouse vs rat? Here are 5 key differences between these two rodents.

Physical Appearance

Mice are noticeably smaller than rats, growing 3 to 4 inches in length. Mice weigh anywhere from 0.5 oz to 3 oz. A mouse’s tail is equal in length to its body and is thin, long, and covered in hair. Mice have small heads and large ears with pointy, triangular snots and smooth fur. Mice can be white, gray, or brown in color. Rats, on the other hand, are much larger, measuring 9″ to 11″ in length and weighing anywhere from 12 oz to 1.5 lbs. A rat’s tail can be 7″ to 9″ in length and is long, thick, scaly, and hairless. Rats have small ears and large heads with blunt snouts. They have coarse fur that can be dark brown or multicolored.

Droppings

Mice have smaller droppings, about 1/4″ in length. Mice droppings are black with pointed ends and resemble a grain of rice. Mice can leave up to 100 droppings at a time. Rat droppings are larger with an elongated oval shape. These droppings are about 3/4″ long, black in color, and resemble a banana. Rats can leave up to 50 droppings at a time. Rodent droppings of both species are known to carry diseases that can be harmful to humans.

Diet

While both species are omnivores, their diets tend to vary. Mice commonly eat fruit, seeds, and plants. In your home they may nibble on bread crumbs or other cereals and grains. Their palates are not as wide as rats. Mice can also survive on 3 mL of water per day. Rats, on the other hand, will eat almost anything, even scavenging through your garbage for fruit, eggs, meat, and other leftovers. They will also eat plants and seeds. Rats need anywhere from 15 to 60 mL of water per day.

Habitat

While both rats and mice will come into your home, they tend to frequent different areas once inside. Mice can be found in garages, under trees, under decks, and in walls and other voids that are too small for other rodents to get into. The species of rat you are dealing with determines where they prefer to live. Norway rats can be found in sewers, inside walls, and in cellars. They prefer lower levels of your home to reside in. Roof rats prefer higher environments, often being found in cabinets and attics.

Behavior

Mice are nocturnal animals. They are timid but social within their own populations. They are very territorial and more curious than rats, making them easier to trap. They are skillful climbers and can access areas rats can’t because of their small size. Rats are also nocturnal but are more cautious and fearful of new things than mice are, making them more difficult to trap. Rats are also skillful climbers. Both rats and mice will gnaw through structures and wiring in your home, causing damage and putting you at risk for fire. Mice have weaker teeth and can’t chew through glass or metal to get to food. Rats have much stronger jaws and have been known to chew through wood, glass, sheet metal, aluminum, and even cinder blocks.

Regardless of which pest you are dealing with, proper identification and treatment is essential to eliminating them. Contact your local pest control company who can determine which type of pest you have and set you up with the appropriate rodent control plan to eliminate them.

 

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