ABOUT RODENTS



Rodents are among the most common pests in Bristol. They pose a threat to the health of people who encounter them in homes and offices. Professional rodent control is the best method of eradicating this pest.

Several rodent species are found in the Bristol area. These include the deer mouse, white footed mouse, house mouse, Norway rat and roof rat. Any of these species may transmit dangerous illnesses to people. Additionally, these pests cause structural damage with their persistent gnawing. With professional rodent control, it is possible to create a pest-free environment.

APPEARANCE



Rodents are furry, four-legged creatures that have long tails and oversized ears. With their small eyes and lengthy whiskers, rodents have a distinctive family resemblance. Nonetheless, it is possible for an expert to differentiate between the species.

Deer mice and house mice share a similarity in size, but the house mouse has a hairless tail while the deer mouse's tail is hairy. House mice may be tan, grey, white or brown. However, deer mice are either gray or brown and have white fur on their bellies. White footed mice look similar to deer mice in terms of coloration, though their tales are less distinctly bicolored with darker fur on top and whiter fur on the bottom.

The shaggy-haired Norway rat has a tail and ears that are covered in scales. They can grow to nearly 16 inches in length, including their tail. While Norway rats tend to be brown or gray, roof rats are black. Also they tend to be slightly smaller than Norway rats.

DIET



Rodents can subsist on a varied diet, which is one of the reasons behind their success. Frequently, rodents are attracted to seeds, nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables. Plant matter in a variety of forms can be part of their diet. In addition, some species are known to eat meat. Rats tend to seek meat more often than mice, but these omnivorous diners rarely forego a meal when they find one. Pet food is a frequent target, as is any food scraps in garbage cans. Even leather items and certain pieces of clothing may be vulnerable to this pest's voracious appetite.

In human pantries, rodents look for nuts, breads, cereals, pastas and nearly anything else that they think smells like food. Fruits and vegetables, along with house plants, may be consumed by rodents.

HABITATS



Depending upon the species, rodents may dwell high up in trees or in underground burrows. They typically prefer nesting sites that are secluded and well hidden from predators. A spot that provides ready access to food and water is desirable.

Inside homes and offices, rodents may nest under or behind major appliances or furniture. They make use of out-of-the-way corners in cupboards and closets. Sometimes, they nest inside walls or soffits. Attics and basements similarly make likely nesting sites.

PROBLEMS WITH RODENTS



With their incessant gnawing, rodents pose a threat to the integrity of any structure that they infest. They exacerbate existing cracks and holes or create new ones to gain access to buildings. Additionally, they chew through plastic pipes to cause plumbing difficulties. Fires may be started when they chew through electrical wires.

The constant search for food causes them to contaminate food items intended for people and pets. They leave behind traces of saliva, as well as deposits of urine and feces, that are dangerous when ingested. Any food that has been exposed to rodents must be disposed of.

BEHAVIOR



Rodents tend not to show aggression to people unless they feel they are being threatened. As nocturnal mammals, they are most active at night. Seeing rodent activity during the day may be the sign of a particularly large infestation. As a species, rodents are known to reproduce rapidly and in large numbers. When conditions are right with food and water readily available, the rodent population can explode. Accordingly, it is vital to act quickly when an infestation is suspected.

HEALTH ISSUES



Perhaps the most serious health threat connected to rodents is Hantavirus, a dangerous pulmonary infection. Other possible illnesses include bubonic plague, typhus and trichinosis. Some people also have contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever, West Nile virus and Lyme disease because of the proximity of rodents.

SIGNS OF A RODENT INFESTATION



The following signs may indicate the presence of rodents:

• Seeing live rodents or finding the bodies of dead rodents
• Paper, cardboard or plastic food packaging that has teeth and claw marks
• Small piles or lines of rodent feces
• Squeaking or rustling noises emerging from behind walls, above ceilings or beneath floors
• Grease marks left on walls and baseboards by rodent fur
• Discovering holes or cracks in foundations, roofs and exterior walls

PREVENTION TIPS



These steps will assist in preventing rodent issues:

• Store food in metal or glass containers only
• Do not allow dirty dishes to sit on sinks or countertops
• Wipe up spills and crumbs immediately
• Block, fill or repair all holes and cracks in baseboards, interior walls and ceilings
• Immediately repair holes in window and door screens
• Keep brush and wood piles away from foundations and exterior walls
• Do not allow trees and other vegetation to contact the exterior of buildings
• Make certain that all trash cans have tight lids
• Eliminate clutter from homes, offices and outbuildings to minimize nesting places

RODENT CONTROL



Rodents represent a serious problem for property owners throughout the Bristol area. They can have an adverse effect on the health of everyone who enters the building, making it imperative to promptly seek the help of a professional exterminator.

Property owners may be tempted to address the problem without assistance, but this is rarely a good idea. The traps and poisons that are available to consumers have limited effectiveness, and may pose a threat to people and pets if they are used incorrectly. Professional pest control technicians are licensed and have undergone intense training. This assures that the proper and most-effective treatment will be taken to eradicate the specific problem. 

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