Facts about Rodents You Must Know
Rodents are one of the most common winter pests of all time. Just like most insects, they cannot survive the cold. Which is why they need to look for a safe shelter where they can outlive the low temperature. Rodents can bring so much damage to our house. They can bore holes into our homes. They can destroy appliances and electrical wirings. They can even destroy our personal belongings. Did you know that 25% of all house fires are caused by gnawed insulators brought by rodents inside the house? This is the reason why they need to be prevented if not eliminated from our humble abode. To do that, here are some facts about rodents you must know.
Overview of Rodents
Rodents are mammals that include the following animals: squirrels, dormice, mice, rats, gerbils, kangaroo rats, gophers, porcupines, pocket mice, and many others. There are 2000 species of rodents recorded in the whole world, making them one of the most diverse creatures in the mammal group. Most of them live in residential habitats and are only absent in Antarctica, New Zealand, and other oceanic islands.
Rodents are known for their unique teeth which are built for extreme chewing and gnawing. Their species have one pair of incisors in each jaw – one for the upper jaw and the lower jaw. They also have a large gap in their teeth, also known as diastema which is located between their incisors and their molars.
The incisors of rodents grow continuously. They sustain it through their constant gnawing and grinding. Rodents need to maintain their sharp teeth and their ideal length. This explains their need to spend most of their day chewing and grinding.
They eat almost anything – from fruits to leaves, seeds, smaller insects, food crumbs, food packaging, cardboard, and many more. Anything that has cellulose in it, including tree barks and furniture, they will most likely target. The process of breaking down cellulose in their body is possible with the help of a unique structure called the caecum. This is a pouch-like membrane in their digestive tract that traps bacteria capable of breaking down the food’s tough material into its digestible form.
Entomologists divide the species of rodents into several taxonomic groups:
- The Hystricognath Rodents. This group has approximately 300 species of rodents. This includes the gundis, the old-world porcupines, dassie rats, cane rats, and many more. These types of rodents are unique in such a way that they have a unique arrangement of their jaw muscles.
- Mouse-like rodents. In this group, there are over 1,400 species recorded. This includes the dormice, harvest mice, muskrats, gerbils, lemmings, voles, rats, hamsters, and many more. Unlike most rodents, these species are highly nocturnal. They are considered the shadow of mankind. Because as we sleep, they come out and pilfer whatever they can to live and fend for their families.
- Scaly-Tailed Squirrels and Springhares. So far, there are nine recorded species from this group. This includes the Pel’s flying squirrels, long-eared flying mouse, and the Cameroon scaly-tail. The characteristic that makes them distinct from other species is their unique membranes that can stretch between their front and hind legs that gives them the capability to glide.
- Squirrel-like rodents. Lastly, this group has over 273 species recorded. This includes the beavers, mountain beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, and others. Just like the Hystricognath Rodents, they have jaw muscles that make them unique. However, their body structure resembles more of a squirrel and not a mouse.
Facts about Rodents You Must Know
- Some mice and rats can get really big! If their teeth continuously grow, expect that their bodies grow along with it. But this depends on various situations like their environment and their food source. It also depends on their nutrition and habitat. So, to make sure they do not grow very big, make it your duty to starve them by not leaving any food for them to eat. As much as possible, clean as you go. Fix your mess and avoid and clutter. Rodents love seeing messy places. It makes it easier for them to hide, brood, and recuperate. To prevent any infestation, make it a habit to fix things up after every activity. Doing simple chores work like sweeping, vacuuming, washing the dishes and your clothes regularly, and taking out the trash.
- Did you know that a rat’s teeth can gnaw on very hard objects such as lead sheeting and cinder boxes? It is nor surprises that they can bore holes in your home. This activity to them is a mere piece of cake. It is so easy for them to enter houses because of their ability to chew their way through. So, if you hear incessant chewing and gnawing at night, you better take precaution immediately. Or else, rodents might cause a full-on infestation in no time.
- According to IDC, rats alone can spread 35 diseases to human beings. Imagine how many more diseases rodents can bring if more of their species infest your home! The diseases include amoebiasis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and hantavirus. All of which is very lethal to humans especially when not given proper attention and treatment. These can all be acquired by accidentally ingesting a part of their urine, droppings, and saliva. It can even come from their scratch and bites.
Imagine having children and pets inside the house. What do you think would happen if your home suddenly got infested by mice and rats? What if your children accidentally put their hand in their mouths after holding a toy which has been in contact with their urine or droppings? You can never be too sure. Which is why it is essential to use prevention methods for rodents.
- Rodents can reproduce quickly. Did you know that a female mouse can have up to 15 to 20 litters in just one year? And it can get pregnant again within 24 hours after giving birth. In a litter, there can be 15 to 20 rodents. Imagine how fast they can infest your home when you let one female rodent slip from your traps.
- These creatures are very flexible and acrobatic. They can squeeze through tiny holes as small as 13 millimeters or half an inch in diameter. This facilitates awareness to responsible homeowners to always check the house for any potential entryways of rats and mice. Do not take small holes for granted. Seal it as much as possible or else you might not only be facing a rat or mice infestation. You might face cockroach and bee infestations as well.
- Rodents are very intelligent creatures. They rank in the group of dolphins and chimpanzees which are known to be highly-intellectual animals. To get rid of them or to prevent them from infesting your home, you need to be more cunning than they are. Set traps that are not obvious at all. This might come as a shock but rodents have a way of speaking with each other. If one of their comrades die out of poison, they would know. Chances are, they will get acquainted with the substance so whenever they smell it from their food, they will no longer eat it.
- Just like cockroaches, rodents can hold their breath underwater. Did you experience trying to flush down a mouse or a rat down the toilet or the drain? You might think that you already killed it by drowning the rodent. In fact, you only sent it home and it might still come back.
- Rodents do not vomit. This makes poison more effective in killing them. We have discussed how traps are sometimes impractical for these intelligent creatures. So, if you are going to use poison, make sure they do not smell it in their food.
- This might come as a shock but rodents like to keep themselves clean too. It might be a surprise since they live in sewers and drainage pipes. But it is true. Just like the cat, rodents try their best to keep themselves tidy and clean. Most often, they focus on their tails because it serves as their cooling system.
- Lastly, did you know that rats have poor eyesight? They usually use their ears, nose, and feet to sense things on their path. Strangely enough, even with poor eyesight, they can easily map out a place and never get lost. They always find their way especially if it means fending for themselves or their kin. You can take this to your advantage. If you want to lay traps, do it in places where they are comfortable. Catch them where it is least expected. You can do this by laying traps along with their common hideouts. They almost never suspect a thing. But remember to move it once in a while to prevent them from getting suspicious.
Look for the Best Pest Control
Having a full-on rodent infestation is very dangerous to your home and your family. Which is why it is important to ask for help from your local pest exterminator in Troutman. There is no other company that can provide high-quality extermination than Lake Norman Pest Control. This company has been founded by Sam and Fran Newman in the 1900s. Throughout the years they have proven themselves worthy of the trust and loyalty their clients have for them.
If you want an excellent, competent, and safe method for pest control, all you need to do is contact Lake Norman Pest Control. Get rid of your rodent problems immediately. Save yourself the trouble of a damaged home.