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Rodents are characterized by their pair of continuously growing front incisors found on both their top and bottom jaw. This habit would be fine if rodents lived completely outside, but the unfortunate truth is that over time rodents have come to somewhat rely on people for food, water, and shelter. This means that rodents are commonly found living on our properties and in our homes, chewing on structural elements, personal items, and helping themselves to our food. The most common rodents found invading our homes include the house mouse, field mouse, roof rat, and Norway rat.
House mice love to make themselves at home inside of our houses and other structures. They have a small, slender body, long tail, large ears and small dark beady eyes. Their tail and ears are both covered in a layer of soft velvety fur; their tail is longer in length than their body. The house mouse’s fur varies in color from grayish-brown to dark gray or black in color and they have a lighter colored belly that is usually tan or whitish in color.
The field mouse or “deer mouse” as it is most commonly referred to, is slightly larger in size than the common house mouse. Deer mice are bi-colored, the top of their body is usually a pale gray to deep reddish-brown and their belly is white. The tail is covered in short hairs and is also bi-colored- dark on top and light on the bottom; they have large ears and black eyes.
The roof rat is often identified by their slim, long body which allows them to easily climb trees and occupy the attics and upper floors of homes and other buildings. Roof rats are typically brown or black in color with some gray hairs mixed in; their underbelly is lighter in color than the rest of their body. Roof rats have a pointed nose, large ears, and large dark colored eyes.
The Norway rat is larger in size than the roof rat and they have a thicker heavier body. Their untidy fur is brown and peppered with black hairs; the fur on their underbelly is lighter in color. Norway rats also have a blunt nose, protruding small black eyes, small ears, and a bi-colored tail. These rats are typically found invading the basements and lower levels of buildings.
Yes, rodents are considered to be dangerous to both people and property. Rodents have the potential to cause a lot of structural damage to the homes that they are invading. Rodents need to continuously chew in order to prevent their front incisors from overgrowing, inside of a home rodents chew on and damage pipes, wires, insulation, flooring, and drywall. In addition to causing structural damages, their chewing can lead to fires and moisture issues. Personal items that they can damage with their continuous chewing include books, clothing, shoes, pictures, and furniture. But, unfortunately, rodents do more than just cause damage to property, they carry serious diseases and bacteria that they can transmit to people. Diseases that rodents can spread include Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), salmonellosis, dysentery, hantavirus, and leptospirosis. Also, their urine and feces can trigger dangerous allergic reactions in some people.
Rodents are attracted to properties that allow them to easily forage for food and water sources and that offer them safer shelter. Properties that have garden areas, pet food, unsecured garbage, clogged gutters, woodpiles, and compost piles can attract rodents. Once on your property rodents will use their balancing, climbing, jumping, squeezing, and gnawing abilities to gain access to your home. Once inside rodents create nesting areas near food sources; mice can be found nesting behind appliances, in wall voids, attics, and basements, and underneath of floors. Rodents have the potential to enter into and live inside of Virginia homes any time of the year, but can become very problematic in the late fall- this is when they actively start looking for shelter to overwinter inside of.
It can be difficult to tell an adult mouse from a young rat, a roof rat from a Norway rat, or a house mouse from a field mouse, but knowing the exact species of rodent that has invaded your home is important so that the correct treatment measures can be implemented and the rodent infestation can be completely eliminated. At RichPro Pest Management, Inc. our rodent control professionals can provide the accurate identification and treatment services needed to completely eliminate a rodent infestation from your Virginia home and property. Our professionals understand rodents and how to get rid of them, protecting your family and property from their potential dangers and damages. To learn more about controlling and eliminating rodents through our Home Defender™ pest control services, please fill out the form below or give us a call today!
At RichPro Pest Management, Inc. our pros suggest the following interior and exterior prevention tips to help keep rodents off of your property, out of your home, and away from your family. Outside of your home, it is very helpful to make sure that trash cans are being stored up off of the ground, away from the exterior of your home, and that they are equipped with locking lids. To give rodents fewer places to hide around your property it is a good idea to remove piles of organic debris that have built up, to trim back overgrown bushes and trees away from the exterior of your home, and place any woodpiles up off of the ground and away from your home. Garden areas and compost piles should also be placed a good distance away from the outside of your home. To keep rodents out of your home it is very important to seal gaps found in the foundation, repair holes found along the roofline, install door sweeps, and make sure that all chimneys have tight-fitting caps on them. Inside of your home prevent problems with rodents by storing all food either inside of the refrigerator or in glass or plastic air-tight containers. Store pet food in air-tight containers, routinely vacuum your home’s floors, wash dishes daily, remove trash from your home daily, and keep storage areas free of clutter.
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