Rodents

Rodents

Rodents are small mammals with robust bodies, small limbs, and long tails.  They have sharp and continuously growing incisors in each of their upper and lower jaws.  They use these sharp incisors to gnaw food and at times our furniture, clothes, documents, cardboards, and boxes.   Rats and mice are the more common types of rodents.

Rats may be up to a foot in length, while mice can be three to five inches long.  Both types can have gray, brown or black hair. They both have small paws with nails; they have large eyes and whiskers too.  

Social behaviors

Rodents are social creatures, and many of their species live in societies.  Scientists were surprised to find out that they have a complex way of communicating with each other.  Rodents can practice monogamy, polygyny, and even promiscuity when it comes to mating.

While there are many species of rodents, what you commonly see in your homes is the mice.

Common species of mice

The house mice – they like to live in human homes and uses anything it could find inside your house to build their nests.  They use shredded paper, cloth, or cardboard. They are notorious for doing structural damages to homes, as well as transmitting bubonic plague, typhus, and salmonella.

Deer mice– they are the once found in outdoor structures like barns, outdoor toilets, and garages.  Deer mice can transmit the deadly Hantavirus. They are slightly larger than the house mice.  They are light to dark brown with white belly and white feet.

White-footed mice – They are known to enter our houses during the cold season.  Since they live outdoors, they tend to pick up fleas, which in turn causes Lyme disease.  Their fur color can be white to reddish brown with white bellies and feet. They tend to thrive in forested areas.  

These rodents are not just nuisance pests, they are deadly disease carriers too.  If you see signs of infestation, you should take steps to get rid of them.

Control and prevention

Here are some tips on how to prevent mice infestation:

  1. Seal holes inside and outside the home.  Look for small gaps under, inside, and behind kitchen cabinets, around doors and windows, near pipes, under the sinks, around the foundation, and anywhere you think there could be holes they can squeeze into.   The reason being that the mice are so tiny they can squeeze themselves into a hole the size of a nickel.  
  2. Use traps.   Using a snap trap, trap the rodents to reduce their population.  As bait, you can use peanut butter the size of a pea. Place the snap trap beside the wall.  This is the usual trail that mice follow when going around the house.
  3. Eliminate their food and water source.   When your food is out of their reach, mice cannot get to them.  If they cannot find any food, they will not have much reason to go around your house.  Place food in sealed containers. Food in boxes will not cut it, they can easily nibble on the boxes.   This will also prevent the mice from contaminating your food.
  4. Clean up.  Clean up on spilled food and liquids.  Clean cooking areas and grill.
  5. Regularly dispose of your garbage.  Your trash is another source of food for them.

Just follow these tips for a rodent-free, safe and healthy home.  If you have any other questions about your pest problems, just call 336-841-6111.