Rodents can cause destruction, disease, and danger.
Rodents are among the most numerous mammals on the planet. Capable of surviving in almost any climate and terrain, rodents thrive when living in close proximity to humans. This is because manmade structures provide these pests with all of the food, water and shelter they could ever desire.
Philadelphia homes and businesses must deal with an array of rodents, including deer mouse, white footed mouse, house mouse, Norway rat and roof rat. Occasionally, property owners are tempted to deal with the problem themselves when they suspect a rodent infestation. This is nearly always an inadvisable course of action for several reasons.
Many rodents are wary of changes within their environment. Unless a trap is well-laid, rodents will steer clear of it. Accordingly, the infestation is allowed to persist and grow.
Putting out rodent poison similarly is complicated. These chemicals are dangerous to people and pets when incorrectly placed, and rodents may not even find them.
Working with a trained pest management professional ensures that infestations are ended quickly, efficiently and effectively.
Rodents are four-legged, fur-covered mammals that range in size from tiny to large. Most of the rodents in the Philadelphia area are quite small.
Deer mice may grow as long as nearly nine inches including their tails. Their fur is reddish-brown or gray, and their bodies have a round shape.
The house mouse is smaller, measuring less than four inches in total length. Sleek bodies and black or brown fur distinguish them from other species.
Similar in size to the deer mouse, the white-footed mouse usually has gray or reddish-brown fur. On their stomachs and feet, the fur is noticeably white.
Roof rats are large and long at approximately 16 inches. Shaggy brown or gray fur covers their bodies, but their ears and tails are covered in scaly skin.
Norway rats are less bulky though they can measure about the same length including their tails. Their fur color is similar to the roof rat's but it appears much smoother.
Sometimes called packrats, woodrats are covered in dark brown fur. This includes their ears and tails. With their rounded, oversized ears and squirrel-like tail, this species is relatively easy to identify.
Many rodent species are omnivorous. This equips them to survive in an array of climates and environments. Foods that are commonly consumed in the wild include seeds, grains, nuts and fruits. Some species feed on insects or carrion while others may even hunt small mammals, fish and birds.
Their ability to survive on meat and plant sources makes kitchens highly attractive to rodents. In pantries and on counter tops, they seek fruit, vegetables, nuts, bread, pasta, peanut butter, cheese, pet food and more.
Rodents are enormously adaptable, which means that they are suited to life in mountains, forests, deserts, farm fields and human habitations. While some species prefer to burrow underground, others are more at home in hollow trees. Frequently, rodents will gather grasses, feathers, fur, hair and other fibers to line their nests. When the nests become too filthy for use, the rodent abandons it and establishes another.
Rodents may nest in a variety of places within manmade structures. They prefer dark, secluded areas like garages, basements, attics, crawl spaces and wall voids. However, nests have been found in cupboards and drawers or within upholstered furniture.
PROBLEMS WITH RODENTS
Rodents are among the most destructive pests in Philadelphia. Because their incisors grow without stopping throughout their lifespan, rodents must constantly gnaw. This behavior serves an additional useful purpose as rodents can use their teeth to widen openings in building exteriors to gain access.
Rodents are known to chew on siding and roofing tiles as well as sheetrock, flooring materials and plastic plumbing pipes. They may cause short circuits and fires when they chew through electrical wires, and they will destroy insulation, towels, sheets, clothing, books and documents.
Moreover, rodents spread filth wherever they roam. They leave behind feces, saliva and urine in addition to germs and bacteria that they pick up in unsavory places such as sewers and garbage cans. Buildings with an infestation may have been made inherently unclean thanks to the presence of rodents.
Another problem associated with rodent infestations is the possibility of a confrontation between a person and a mouse or rat. When cornered, these animals can be aggressive, potentially delivering bites and scratches that require medical attention.
Most rodents are nocturnal, spending their days in their nests only to emerge at dusk to forage for food. Encounters between people and rodents are most likely to happen between twilight and dawn, though daytime confrontations may occur when infestations are particularly large.
Rodents try to avoid exposing themselves to predators. This means that they travel along established paths, typically close to walls and large furniture. Accordingly, people may find suspicious, greasy rub marks on their walls when an infestation is underway.
Numerous health issues are associated with rodent infestations. In fact, scientists have identified no fewer than 35 diseases that may be transmitted to people through a rodent infestation. It is possible to become sick from inhaling the aerosolized droplets of rodent waste products, eating contaminated food or handling a rodent whether living or dead.
Rodents also may be infested with ticks, fleas and other pests that may make people ill. For instance, Lyme disease frequently results from a rodent infestation.
A dangerous respiratory ailment called Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is connected to rodents, as is the plague and food poisoning. Any unexplained illnesses must be reviewed by a doctor.
SIGNS OF A RODENT INFESTATION
The following signs could indicate a rodent presence:
• Rodent droppings found anywhere indoors • The odor of urine permeating a building • Unusual agitation in pets • Teeth marks on furniture and other items • Sounds of rustling and squeaking behind walls • Nests found in out-of-the-way places
To help prevent an issue with rodents, the following precautions should be exercised:
• Immediately clean up crumbs and spills in the kitchen • Store food in glass or metal containers with lids • Keep garbage cans clean • Remove clutter from building exteriors • Keep landscaping neatly trimmed • Do not let pet food sit out beyond mealtimes
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 Philadelphia home or office, and then proceed to implementing the best, most effective treatments. READ MORE RAT & MOUSE CONTROL