Rodents

What are rodents?

Rodents are characterized as mammals that have no canine teeth and strong front incisors that never stop growing. These pests must constantly chew or gnaw on things in order to wear down their ever-growing teeth. About 40% of all mammals are rodents. They are the largest order of mammals and include rats, mice, squirrels, and other rodent relatives. There are around 1,500 separate species of rodents found around the world such as mice, rats, squirrels, and other rodent relatives.

a brown rat crawling on a sink in a bathroom in spring texas

Are rodents dangerous?

When rodents remain outdoors where they belong, they don’t cause much of an issue for Texas property owners. However, when they venture indoors to search for food, shelter, or water, they become a major problem. Mice, rats, and squirrels are the most common property-invading pests, each of which is a danger to your health and property. Rodents are known for causing severe damage to furniture, piping, structural beams, and wires by chewing, which has led to house fires and short circuiting in extreme cases.

Rodents are also known for spreading many harmful diseases such as hantavirus, salmonella, tularemia, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. These diseases are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or food sources. Rodents may even become aggressive when threatened or cornered, which could result in painful bites or scratches.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

There are several reasons why rodents invade Spring, Texas homes. However, the most common reason for rodent infestations is easily accessible food sources. If rodents find a steady food source on your property, they will have no reason to leave. Rodents will also invade homes and businesses that have easy entry points. Cracks in your foundation, gaps around doorways, uncovered vents, holes made for utilities, and dislodged shingling are all potential ways that rodents could get into your property. Aside from professional rodent control, the best way to deter mice, rats, and squirrels from your property is by removing the factors that attract them in the first place.

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents prefer to stay away from areas with high human activity, which is why you probably won’t see a mouse running across your living room floor in the middle of the day. Instead, mice and rats will hide in secluded areas during the day, and scout for food during the night. Squirrels, on the other hand, typically invade for shelter and will use your property as a safe place to rest and raise their young. Rodents are often found in attics, wall voids, crawlspaces, basements, and any other area that provides them with a place to hide, though most of these rodents are not considered residential or commercial pests. They can be found on every continent, except Antarctica.

  • Mice can be found in many outdoor locations including crop fields, garden areas, open fields, shrubs and bushes, wood or rock piles, wooded areas, and yards. Mice are common home invaders, taking full advantage of our temperature-controlled homes and food sources. Inside, mice usually choose to nest behind large appliances, in attics, in basements and crawlspaces, underneath cabinets.

  • Rats will create their nests up off of the ground or at ground level, depending on their species. Common nesting spots include attics, bushes, shrubs, and trees. They will also place their nests under foundations and woodpiles, in fields or gardens, or at the edges of rivers or ponds. Rats also nest in basements and crawlspaces.

  • Squirrels live in rural, urban, and suburban areas, and nest in a variety of places including bushes, shrubs, trees, underground, under foundations, and under woodpiles. Squirrels, like other species of rodents, often find their way into homes and nest inside attics, chimneys, and behind wall voids.

When are rodents most active?

Mice, rats, and squirrels are active year-round and do not hibernate. Rodents collect and store food away to feed on during periods of inactivity or when food sources aren’t as plentiful. In Texas, mice and rats often move indoors when the weather outside becomes too hot or cold for them to live comfortably. Both mice and rats are nocturnal and spend their days out from sight of people; at night, they emerge from their hiding spots to forage for food and water. Squirrels are diurnal and are most active during the day.

Interesting facts about rodents

You may be under the impression that rodents are straightforward pests, but they are actually very unique critters. Here are three interesting facts about rodents:

1. Mice are prolific breeders. A single female can have up to 13 litters in a single year. One of the biggest reasons mice are so difficult to keep out of homes is because they can squeeze their bodies through a space only the diameter of a dime. Mice are extremely agile and can climb, jump, run, and swim. Mice are prey for a lot of predators and have a short lifespan; in the wild, mice only live for about five months.

2. Rats have teeth that are extremely strong, giving them the ability to be very destructive by chewing through non-food objects made of aluminum, glass, lead, and plastic brick. A common sign of a rat infestation is finding grease marks on the walls from their fur. Rats have poor eyesight so they tend to travel the same path each day, running their body and whiskers along walls as they go.

3. Squirrels are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods including acorns, fruits, insects, leaves, roots, vegetables, and even bird eggs. Squirrels belong to the Sciuridae family and are related to chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs. Young squirrels live with their mothers for a period of 2-3 months.

How do I get rid of rodents?

Once rodents have infested your property, it’s unwise to try and remove them without professional help. The pest control professionals here at Kingston Pest Control are experienced in dealing with all sorts of pest problems. Avoid the threat of rodents spreading diseases in and damaging your eastern Texas property when you partner with our skilled pest technicians. A few of the rodent control options we provide include rodent exclusion, removal, and sanitation services to eliminate odors any and feces left behind.

No matter how many prevention tips you follow to deter rodents from invading your residential or commercial property, it’s important to remember that the best way to prevent rodents is to invest in a professional rodent control plan. For help with your mouse, rat, or squirrel infestation, reach out to Kingston Pest Control today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

If rodents have no reason to invade your property, then they probably won’t. However, if your eastern Texas home or business provides accessible food sources, easy entry points, and plenty of areas to hide, your property risks becoming infested. To deter rodents from invading, consider the following rodent prevention tips:

  • Trim shrubs, bushes, and thick foliage away from your property.

  • Store pet food in airtight containers and pick up any uneaten pet food in between feedings.

  • Keep your garbage cans sealed to avoid providing rodents with an easy meal.

  • Repair damaged roofing to help keep rodents like roof rats and squirrels out of your home or business.

  • Repair or replace any ripped or torn window and door screens.

  • Inspect the exterior of your home or business and seal all possible entry points with caulk or steel wool.

  • Clean up all food and drink spills as soon as they occur to avoid attracting rodent to your property.

  • Remove clutter from the interior and exterior of your home or business to reduce potential hiding spots and harborage sites.

 

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