About 40 percent of all mammal species are rodents, and the most common household rodents include rats and mice.
Common rats include:
Norway Rat – Also referred to as a Wharf, Sewer, Brown, Common, Barn, Water or Gray rats, The Norway rat is found everywhere in the U.S. They are generally grayish-brown in color (although that can vary), and completely black species are common. They eat almost any human food and require water daily to survive. Norway rats usually nest in basements or lower regions of buildings.
Roof Rat – Also referred to as Alex, Black, Fruit, and Ship rats, the Roof rat is generally found in warmer climates, such as along the Pacific Coast, Hawaii, and throughout the Gulf states. Roof rats are brownish-gray in color, and their undersides vary from gray to white. Roof rats eat seeds, fruits, vegetables, grains, and eggs, and water is non-essential, provided their diet is high in moisture. Unlike the Norway rat, they usually nest in upper portions of buildings.
Rat Lifestyle and Eating Habits
Rats are extremely cautious about changes in their territory, and it usually takes several days before they’ll accept a new stimulus as part of their environment. They will usually explore about 100 to 300 feet daily. Because of their cautious natures, they’ll visit fewer food sites than mice; however, they will eat significantly more at each site than mice.
Rats reproduce year-round in stable environments that have adequate food, water, and harborage to support additional animals. About 30 percent of females will be pregnant throughout a given year, provided these conditions are met. Less favorable conditions will limit their reproduction to summer and autumn months. The average lifespan of wild rats is one year.
Rat to Mouse – Also referred to as Common or Domestic House mouse, the House mouse is found everywhere in the U.S. They are generally grayish-brown in color, with light, cream-colored underbellies. Large ears and a semi-naked tail are characteristic of these species. The House mouse is an opportunistic feeder who will eat virtually anything that’s available, but they prefer seeds and nuts when available. They can be found throughout building structures, from below ground-level to upper stories of skyscrapers.
Mouse Lifestyle and Eating Habits:
Mice are extremely curious and will explore their territory daily, including any new stimuli in their environment. However, their range of exploration is rather limited, ranging approximately 10 – 30 feet. They are also colorblind, and can only recognize objects at a maximum of 10 feet away. During their active periods, they will frequent many feeding sites and sample food from each site they visit. Mice have an average lifespan of one year.
The Dangers of Rodents
Although rodents may seem harmless, they can actually be quite dangerous in your home and workplace. Rodents create a great deal of anxiety for occupants of infested buildings and pose threats including:
- The spread of various diseases including salmonellosis, plague leptospirosis, hantavirus and rickettsial pox
- Contamination of food supplies
- The exposure of fleas and other ectoparasites that they carry into buildings
- Structural damage caused by gnawing on building interiors and wiring, potentially causing fires
There are three major signs that signal evidence of rodent infestation. They are:
- Droppings and urine
- Footprints or dusty trails made by rodent tails
- Gnawed or damaged wood in your home
If you’ve noticed one or more of these signs, contact one of our rodent control experts to remedy the problem.
You can help prevent rodent infestations by:
- Removing debris from buildings and grounds
- Cleaning food debris and spillage daily
- Trimming grass and weeds to minimize food sources around the premises
- Fixing leaks and cleaning up standing water to prevent access to water supplies
- Removing any unnecessary items from the floor and moving them away from the walls to make inspection and sanitation easier
Rodent Control :
A rodent control expert studies rodent behavior to access the best tools and techniques for removal. This process entails:
- Inspection of infested property
- Rodent Proofing