ABOUT RODENTS



Rodents are among the most numerous and dangerous pests in Warminster. Representing a threat to both structural integrity and human health, it is imperative that property owners take steps to address a rodent infestation with all possible speed.

People are frequently surprised when they learn about how rodents gain access to building interiors. Many rodents are able to squeeze through remarkably small openings, which means that it is essential to seal up even the smallest of holes and cracks in building exteriors to keep rodents outdoors where they belong. Species such as the deer mouse, house mouse, white-footed mouse, Norway rat and roof rat are behind most of the rodent infestations in Warminster. When they make their way inside, the only option to return the building to a clean and hygienic state is through the efforts of a professional exterminator.

APPEARANCE



Four-footed, warm-blooded mammals, rodents frequently are characterized by their large ears and pointy noses. Their bodies typically are covered with fur. It is not always easy for the untrained eye to distinguish between the different species.

The deer mouse usually grows to between 12 and 28 centimeters long, including their tail. Covered in a grayish-brown fur that resembles the hair on a deer, the deer mouse has a belly that is a lighter color. Members of this species also may be called field mice.

House mice tend to be a bit smaller than deer mice. Most will only grow to be approximately 20 centimeters in length. Their fur color can vary widely among individuals. Black, gray and brown are common. Like deer mice, their bellies are a lighter color. The hair on the house mouse's tail and ears is notably sparser than the hair on their bodies.

Adult white-footed mice are similar in size to house mice. The fur on the backs of the bodies may be brown or gray, and many individuals have hair that is tinged with red. The entire underside of the white-footed mouse is white, giving this rodent its common name.

Bulky Norway rats may grow to be 40 centimeters in length. Their fur is distinctively shaggy and is either brown or gray. Scales are obvious on the ears and tail.

Roof rats look longer and sleeker than Norway rats, though they are actually close to the same size. Darker fur usually helps to differentiate the roof rat, but they also have scaly ears and tails like the Norway rat.

DIET



Rodents virtually always prefer foods like nuts, seeds and grains. However, one of the reasons that they are such a successful species is that they are capable of surviving on a range of foods. Many will eat tree bark, insects, meat and a variety of plants.

Human foods are always attractive to rodents. They will seek out nuts, cereal, pasta and bread. Peanut butter and sweet items like cookies, cakes and jellies also are consumed. Baking ingredients like flour, cornmeal and sugars similarly are vulnerable.

HABITATS



In the outdoor world, rodents may inhabit numerous environments. They prefer to be close to sources of food and water. Accordingly, they may make a nest close to a garden or agricultural field. Of course, many rodents live in pastures, fields and forests that are not particularly close to human habitations. An abandoned bird nest, underground burrow or a fallen log may provide a perfect spot for a nest. The nest itself may be constructed from hair, fur, plant fibers and other soft, warm materials that they rodent collects.

Overall, rodents prefer nests that are dark and secluded. This protects them from predators. When they move into human homes and offices, they look for these characteristics. This is why rodent nests are found in the back of cupboards and drawers or in pantries. Some nests are concealed beneath or behind kitchen appliances while others are located in upholstered furniture. Attics, basements, crawl spaces and wall voids all are likely nesting sites as well.

PROBLEMS WITH RODENTS



Rodents are an unusual species in that their teeth continuously grow. This makes constant chewing essential to survival. Accordingly, the common rodents in Warminster are prodigious gnawers. They will use their teeth to explore everything from food packaging to plumbing pipes. Indiscriminate gnawing by rodents has weakened the structural integrity of many buildings, caused holes in sheetrock and leaks in roofs. Additionally, rodents will chew right through electrical wires, causing unexplained outages and, in extreme cases, fires. Rodents may even be responsible for plumbing leaks.

In their quest to build a nest, rodents will shred or chew a wide variety of materials. This could include clothing, draperies, rugs and upholstered furniture. Similarly, rodents may shred and remove insulation for nest building.|

BEHAVIOR



Rodents tend to be mainly nocturnal as the darkness lets them roam with less fear of becoming prey. Still, it is not all that unusual to see rodents in the daylight, especially when an infestation is particularly large. The animals may be motivated to hunt for supplies during the day because of increased demand.

Regardless of when they roam, rodents generally are cautious about venturing out into the open. They prefer to move about under cover, so they are rarely seen in the middle of a room or hallway. Instead, they are more likely to stay close to the wall or even travel from place to place behind walls.

HEALTH ISSUES



Few pests can match the fearsome reputation that rodents have for causing threats to human health. Rodents spread illnesses directly through bites and scratches in addition to exposure to their waste products. They also may indirectly spread sickness through the fleas and other pests that may live on them.

Some illnesses associated with rodents, like food poisoning, may pass quickly, but others can require weeks or months of treatment and recuperation. To avoid the risk of exposure, it is advisable to eliminate the infestation promptly.

SIGNS OF A RODENT INFESTATION



Indications of a rodent problem include the following:

• Food packages showing signs of gnawing
• Shredded fabrics and upholstery
• Rustling and squeaking sounds behind walls and above ceilings
• Rodent droppings found inside buildings

PREVENTION TIPS



To help prevent rodent issues, take the following precautions:

• Eliminate cracks and holes in building exteriors
• Keep garbage cans clean
• Use only garbage cans with tight lids
• Store food in metal or glass containers
• Remove clutter from indoor and outdoor areas
• Repair holes in window and door screens
• Put away pet food outside of meal times

RODENT CONTROL



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.

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 Yardley home or office, and then proceed to implementing the best, most effective treatments.

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