Common to the Florida area, rodents can cause significant damage to our homes by chewing on wires, destroying insulation, and contaminating our living areas. There are several types of rodents in Florida that homeowners should be aware of to properly prevent them from invading. Check out our list of common rodents and how to prevent them from invading your home.
Types of Rodents in Florida:
- Norway Rats: Norway rats have brown fur and can grow up to 10 inches long! They typically live in burrows and will enter homes through gaps in the foundation or holes in walls.
- Roof Rats: Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats and can be typically found in the upper parts of buildings, such as attics, roofs, and trees. You can tell them apart from other rats as they have longer tails and are gray or black.
- House Mice: House mice are small and can fit through very small openings. You’ll typically find these mice in kitchens and they are often identified by their droppings, which are small and black.
- Squirrels: Cute but not so cuddly, squirrels are known to invade our yards and attics! Once inside, these wildlife creatures can cause significant damage to homes by chewing on wires and insulation.
Preventing Rodents from Invading Homes:
- Seal Entry Points: Check for any gaps or holes in your home’s foundation, walls, and roof, and seal them to prevent rodents from entering.
- Keep Your Home Clean: Keep your home clean and free of food debris. This will make it less attractive to rodents. After each meal, make sure to wipe up any leftover crumbs or spills as soon as possible.
- Store Food Properly: Look to store your food in sealed containers with a tight lid. This will make it more difficult for rodents to access.
- Trim Trees and Shrubs: Trim any trees or shrubs that are close to your home and roofline, as they can provide a pathway for rodents to enter.
- Reduce Moisture: Check for sources of moisture throughout your home, as rodents are attracted to water. Consider utilizing a dehumidifier in your basement and enclosing your crawlspace.
If you suspect that any of these common rodents have invaded your home, it’s best to reach out to your local pest control company for help. These expert professionals will be able to remove, exclude, and prevent them in the future!
One of the most common rodents invading homes is the roof rat, also known as the palm rat, fruit rat, ship rat, and Alexandrian rat. Norway rats, which are stockier than roof rats, can also invade dwellings. If you want to get rid of the rats in your attic, you need to identify the species first. There are several key distinctions between roof rats and Norway rats. Let’s take a look at a few of the distinctions.
Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats (also known as the sewer rat or brown rat) and have longer tails. They can reach a maximum length of 18 inches (including the tail) and a minimum weight of 5 ounces.
Roof rats are commonly black in color, while Norway rats are brown or gray. Compared to Norway rats, roof rats are smaller, thinner, and their fur is smooth. Large, hairless ears and pointed faces are two other distinguishing characteristics of these rodents.
Roof rats, in contrast to other rat species, are adept climbers and construct their nests in elevated locations rather than underground burrows. They build their nests outside in places like trees, shrubs, wood piles, and dense vegetation. Whenever possible, these pests will seek out the warmest part of the house, which is typically the attic or another upper level. There are a number of places in the house where they might set up shop for the winter, including attics, cabinets, ceilings, garages, interior walls, bathrooms, outdoor kitchens, and pool decks.
Unlike many other rat species, roof rats eat a lot of nuts and seeds rather than meat scraps and other high-protein foods. Because of this, nuts and fruits make up the bulk of a their diet, though they are omnivores like all rats. If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat almost anything, including vegetation, pet food, animal feed, vegetables, insects, nuts, seeds, tree bark, and even lizards.
Roof rats require water to survive and will often use the following as a water source: watering holes, leaky pipes, AC lines, pet water bowls, flowerpots, sprinklers, and gutters.
SIGNS OF ROOF RATS
Because they are nocturnal and hunt for food at night, roof rats are not always visible. In order to detect an infestation, however, you must be familiar with the telltale signs of a problem. When located, the appropriate rodent prevention measures can be implemented.
The presence of roof rat feces is a clear indication of an infestation. Roof rat feces are less noticeable in size compared to those of Norway rats. The feces have sharp points and measure about half an inch in length. Other telltale signs of a roof rat infestation include:
- Rattling, squeaking, or other gnawing sounds from the ceiling or walls
- Damage to the eaves and/or roof from gnawing
- You can see them running along tree trunks, power lines, rooftops, patios, and fruit trees.
- Fruit with the pits removed, if you have fruit trees.
- Household electrical wiring is chewed on and damaged.
- Stressed and anxious pets.
- Leaving greasy footprints and smudges on the home’s regular passageways.
- Nests discovered in your home’s insulation.
WHAT HARM DO ROOF RATS CAUSE?
Roof rats can be a real nuisance, and their droppings and urine can be dangerous to your health. Roof rats can get into your home by gnawing holes in the soffit or eaves. As soon as they get inside, they can do a lot of harm by wire-chewing, which can cause electrical problems and fires; nibbling up in the rafters of the loft; gnawing on water lines and causing leaks; and reducing insulation’s effectiveness by trampling on it. They can also contaminate your home with their urine and feces, causing health problems for you and your family.
Prevent roof rats with the following tips:
- Empty garbage regularly and put it in cans with tightly fitting lids.
- Keep your house clean and decluttered.
- Avoid using open compost piles.
- Store food in sealed containers.
- Only leave enough pet food out for one sitting.
- Keep pets, especially cats, around the house.
If you suspect you have a problem with roof rats or any other rodents, contact your local pest control company for a complete evaluation.
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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!
We never expect our homes to fall victim to rodent invaders, but it can happen to anyone! Getting rid of these critters can be difficult, but with the help of a wildlife control company, it can be made possible. Before reaching out to someone for assistance, be sure you’re identifying these rodents correctly. Here are some of the most common rodents found in the South.
Often referred to as field mice, these rodents are typically found in the woodlands and desert areas. They rarely invade residential properties but will sometimes seek shelter in our homes for winter since they don’t hibernate. When indoors, deer mice are typically found in basements or attics. The biggest threat about them is that they can transmit the dangerous hantavirus, so it’s vital to get them taken care of as soon as possible.
Just like the deer mouse, these mice also carry diseases and shouldn’t be kept in your home for long once discovered. The house mouse prefers to move along baseboards and countertops and can be seen eating anything they can find. They will contaminate your food and can transmit diseases like salmonella and even the bubonic plague. They are also known to cause structural damage such as creating tunnels in walls and chewing exposed wires.
These stocky, heavy-bodied rats are larger and more aggressive than the roof rat. They rely heavily on human activity for survival and will eat anything like cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and some fruits. Norway rats are more active at night and can cause considerable damage to homes, gardens, and structures. The main concern is the diseases they are known to spread, which include jaundice, rat bite fever, and salmonella.
Known as a serious pest problem, they are also dependent on humans for survival and will usually infest homes. They have padded feet that make it easier for them to climb, so they are usually found in attics, eaves, and roof lines. Roof rats are known for spreading multiple diseases, including salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat bite fever. They contaminate food when they are foraging, impacting not just humans, but also pets and livestock.
If you think you have a rodent problem, it’s important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Reach out to your local wildlife control company so they can create a customized plan to rid your home of rodents.