Rodents can cause destruction, disease, and danger.
Mice and rats have the dubious distinction of being the only pests that can be more destructive to Bensalem homes and businesses than subterranean termites. With their sharp teeth and propensity for chewing on everything, rodents are a pernicious pest.
The most common rodents include the deer mouse, white footed mouse, house mouse, Norway rat and roof rat. When these species make their way into human habitations, destruction ensues. Rodents exacerbate small holes in building exteriors, chew through electrical wires, contaminate food and spread filth with utter disregard.
Rodent infestations are difficult to treat, especially with DIY methods. Moreover, because poisons or baits are required, these treatments can be dangerous if they are used incorrectly. These reasons make imperative the intervention of a professional pest management company.
Mammals of the Rodentia order share a characteristic of a pair of continuously growing incisors on both the lower and upper jaws. This feature accounts for the animals' constant gnawing.
The deer mouse has beady eyes and a round body that is covered with gray or reddish-brown fur. Adults of the species may grow to be 8.75" long.
The tiny house mouse may reach a size of 3.75". While their bellies have white fur, the fur on their backs may be anything from light brown to black.
White-footed mice are almost as long as deer mice, and they also may have reddish-brown fur on their backs. However, their bellies and feet are obviously white.
At a possible 16" long, the roof rat is among the largest rodents in this region. Its body is covered in shaggy brown or gray fur, although scales will be seen on their ears and tails.
Some Norway rats grow to almost the same length as the roof rat. However, their bodies are sleeker and are covered in smooth brown or gray fur. The ears and tails are scaly rather than furry.
Woodrats are smaller, typically growing to a maximum size of 8". Their bodies, including their tails and ears, are covered in hair instead of scales like other local rats.
Just as they can adapt to virtually any environment, rodents are able to survive on almost anything edible. Nuts, seeds and grains are favorites, and these are what is consumed in the wild. Nonetheless, it is not unusual to see these omnivorous mammals feeding on insects, animal carcasses, fruit, vegetables and plants.
Kitchens represent a feast for enterprising rodents. Added to their list of usual favorites are foods such as pasta, a variety of grains, baked goods, peanut butter and pet food.
Rodents are able to live in virtually all environments. When adequate food supplies are available, rodents are capable of producing many litters per year.
While rodents excel at survival, they do not always find optimum conditions in the outdoors. They may nest in an underground burrow, particularly in warmer seasons. When the weather turns cold, some rodents will look to human habitations.
Rodents like their burrows to be dark, warm and dry. The burrow provides protection from the elements and a place where extra food may be stored and young are raised
Rodents look for these conditions when they nest in buildings. This means that nests are likely to be found in proximity to kitchens. Drawers, cupboards, closets and pantries all are likely spots for nests. Occasionally, nests have been found beneath major appliances, in wall voids or beneath floors. Attics, basements, garages and sheds also are likely nesting sites.
Rats and mice gather hair, fur, shredded paper or fabric, insulation and other soft materials to build their nests. When the nest becomes dirty, the rodent family removes to a new location, perhaps not far from the existing nest.
PROBLEMS WITH RODENTS
Because their top and bottom incisors grow without ceasing, rodents are compulsive in their gnawing behavior. When they find a small hole or crack in a building's exterior, they will chew on it to make it larger, thereby gaining entrance. Once inside, the chewing behavior only accelerates. Rodents may gnaw on insulation, siding, sheetrock, roof tiles, flooring, plastic plumbing pipes, furniture, clothing, linens and more.
All of this gnawing can cause significant property damage. In addition to the loss of irreplaceable family heirlooms is the damage to electrical wiring, major appliances and plumbing systems. This damage can cause leaks, fires or the failure of the appliance, all of which can be costly to repair.
Additionally, rodents contaminate all of the food stored in the kitchen and pantry. By leaving behind their waste products and spreading germs and bacteria, rodents may make hundreds of dollars' worth of food inedible.
Rodents tend to be more active at night when people are sleeping. However, if the local rodent population is particularly large, they also may be active during the daylight hours in an effort to find adequate food.
While rodents tend to shy away from encounters with people, they may become aggressive when they feel threatened. Bites and scratches may result from such incidents, and these must receive immediate medical treatment.
Moreover, it is worth noting that rodent populations exponentially explode when adequate food and shelter are present. This means that there is not a moment to lose in seeking treatment by an exterminator.
Rodents are linked to a wide variety of health issues. As rodents deposit droppings indoors, people may experience increased allergy symptoms. Food-borne illnesses like salmonella from eating contaminated food also may rise. Wherever rodents are, they may spread the Hantavirus, which can develop into a fatal illness.
Other diseases that are connected to rodent infestations include Lyme disease, tularemia and the plague.
SIGNS OF A RODENT INFESTATION
Indications of a rodent infestation include the following:
• Dogs and cats exhibiting unusual behavior • Tiny piles of feces • Building interiors smell like urine • Gnaw marks on surfaces both indoors and out • Finding rodent nests in dark, little-used corners
Effective tips to avoid prevent rodent issues include the following:
• Regularly clean kitchens • Wipe up spills and crumbs • Store food in glass or metal containers with lids • Use tight lids on garbage cans • Cover up or seal small holes and cracks in building exteriors
Determining the difference between a mouse and a rat is a homeowner’s main dilemma where extermination is concerned. That is because species identification can play a crucial role in successfully eliminating a rodent problem.
Additionally, the impulse to simply set a couple of mouse traps is common when mice are seen by property owners. Unfortunately, this course of action is not effective in the event of an infestation. Traps alone may be able to eliminate a few individuals, but large numbers of mice typically require the services of a rodent control professional.
A licensed rodent exterminator has a variety of techniques to end the infestation. This will include methods of excluding rodents from re-entering the building as well as traps and chemical control. With all of these precautions, it is possible to return a home or office to a safe and hygienic state.
If you suspect a rodent control issue, call the professional team of licensed exterminators at SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC today. We can determine if you have a mouse or rat problem in your Bensalem home or office, and then proceed to implementing the best, most effective treatments.