What kind of rodents are most common in Virginia?
Rodents are found living across the world except for Antarctica and adapt very well to living in different climates and different environments both indoors and outdoors. Rodents are characterized by having a pair of continuously growing front incisors in their top and bottom jaws; to prevent these incisors from overgrowing rodents continuously chew on objects. Rodent that are most commonly found invading homes and businesses in our area are the house mouse, deer mouse, Norway rat, and roof rat.
The very common house mouse can be identified by their small, slender body, long tail, large ears and small dark beady eyes. Their body is typically a bit shorter in length than their tail. Their long tail and ears are both covered in a layer of soft velvety fur. Their fur can vary in color from grayish-brown to dark gray or black in color; they have a lighter colored underbelly that is usually tan or whitish in color.
The deer mouse has large ears which are covered in fur, black eyes, a slender build and legs that allow them to run very quickly. Adults are brownish-red or grayish-brown in color and have a lighter whitish colored underbelly and feet. Their tail is bi-colored-darker on top and lighter colored on the underside; it is covered in fine hair.
The adult Norway rat has a long “heavy” body. Their unkempt looking fur is brown in color and is peppered with black hairs; the fur on their underbelly is typically lighter in color. Norway rats have a blunt nose, protruding small black eyes, small ears, and a bi-colored tail. Norway rats are not agile and therefore are mostly found invading basements and the first floors of homes and businesses.
Roof rats are dark brown or black in color with some gray hairs mixed in; their underbelly is typically lighter in color. The roof rat has a long, thin body with a delicate build; they are very agile and easily climb trees and gain access to the rooves of homes; hence their name. Roof rats have a pointed nose, large ears and large dark colored eyes. Roof rats are usually smaller in size than the stouter Norway rat.
Are rodents dangerous?
Yes, rodents are considered to be dangerous when living with or near people. Rodents carry and transmit a wide variety of diseases that can make people very ill, a few of the many diseases that they carry include: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), salmonellosis, dysentery, Hantavirus, and leptospirosis. When living inside of homes and business rodents will create a trail of urine and feces wherever they travel and we mean wherever, on the floor, over counters, in cabinets, in drawers, and through closets. Their urine and feces not only are chock full of diseases and bacteria but have the potential to trigger serious allergic reactions in some people. Also, rodents carry on their bodies other parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites, these parasites have the potential to spread even more potential diseases and bacteria to people.
How are rodents destructive?
Rodents are so destructive to property and belongings found in both homes and businesses because of their need to constantly gnaw on objects to keep their front incisors from overgrowing. Inside of both homes and businesses they have the potential to cause fires and water damage by chewing through wires, pipes, and other structural elements. In addition, they will chew through and damage floors, walls, drywall, and insulation.
Inside of homes rodents can cause damage to personal property like furniture, clothing, shoes, pictures, books, boxes, blankets and more. Rodents are especially problematic in commercial environments because they can damage inventory, scare away customers, and cause thousands of dollars of damages to machinery and equipment. Home or business, it doesn’t matter, rodents should not be living in either.
What's the difference between mice and rats?
Some of the main differences between mice and rats include:
- Compared to their body size, mice have larger ears and longer tails than rats.
- Mouse droppings are shaped similar to a piece of rice, while rat droppings are larger in size and have more rounded ends.
- Rat’s heads are blunt and “heavy” appearing, while mice have a more triangular, pointed shaped head. In relation to the size of their body the rat’s head is larger than the mouse’s head.
- The mouse’s fur is soft appearing and usually looks well-maintained; the rat’s fur is coarse appearing and unkempt looking.
It is important to note that despite some obvious differences between mice and rats, a young rat and a large mouse can look very similar. To know for sure which species of rodent has invaded your home or business it is always best to contact a rodent control professional to identify the type of rodent that is chewing its way through your Virginia property.
What attracts rodents?
Rodents are attracted to homes and businesses which will provide them with access to the things that they need to survive- food, water and shelter.
Unsecured garbage, garden areas, compost piles, fruit trees, bird feeders, outdoor eating areas, open containers of pet food, and open containers of animal feed can all easily attract rodents to your residential or commercial property.
Once on your property open windows, unsecured vents, open delivery doors, open garage doors, gaps in the foundation, unsecured chimneys, and damaged roofs can all allow rodent to find their way into a home or commercial facility to live safely within its walls.
Rodent infestations are typically associated with the fall season because that is when they are looking for warm shelter to overwinter in, but the truth of the matter is that rodents can become a problem inside of any unprotected home or business anytime of the year.
How do I get rid of rodents?
In order to completely eliminate rodents from your home or business, the species of rodent invading needs to be accurately identified so that an effective treatment plan specific to that species can be created. Rodents can look very similar to the untrained eye so seeking professional help is the best way to ensure that the species of rodent is correctly identified.
Seeking professional help will also ensure that all the nesting areas and rodents living in your property are discovered and that the correct treatment is completed.
To get to the root of your property’s rodent infestation and take care of it quickly and completely, contact the rodent control professionals found at All Pest Control. Our professionals will complete an inspection, accurately identify the infestation, customize a treatment plan specific to your property, and even implement exclusion measures like eliminating holes with mesh wire to keep rodents out. To learn about our rodent control solutions for either residential or commercial properties, contact us today at All Pest Control!
Does All Pest Control have any rodent prevention tips?
Preventing rodents from finding their way onto your property and into your home or business can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do both inside and outside to help deter these dangerous and damaging pests.
Indoor Rodent Prevention Tips:
- Store food (including pet food) inside of the refrigerator or in air-tight containers.
- Quickly clean-up crumbs and spills in kitchen and pantry areas.
- Routinely vacuum your entire home and wash dishes on a daily basis.
- Remove garbage from your home or business on a daily basis.
- Keep storage areas neat, clutter-free, and organized.
Outdoor Rodent Prevention Tips:
- Make sure that outdoor trash receptacles are stored away from the outside of your home or business and make sure that they have tight fitting or locking lids on them.
- Trim back trees, bushes, and shrubs away from the outside of your home or business.
- Make sure that any damage to your home or business’s roof or roof line are repaired.
- Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation and exterior walls; place door sweeps underneath of all exterior doors.
- Fix any leaky outdoor pipes, fixtures, or clogged gutters that could supply rodents with a source of water.
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