A recent survey of 274,000 people showed that rodents are Americans’ biggest pest concern for health and home issues. As part of the National Pest Management Association’s Rodent Awareness Week, we’re sharing what you need to know about rodents, which species are most common, and which rodent control measures are most effective.
The dangers of rodents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rats and mice can carry or spread a number of dangerous diseases. Just some of the diseases rodents can directly transmit include hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis, plague, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis. Rodents can also indirectly transit other diseases when ticks, fleas or other parasites they carry become infected; these diseases include Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, several types of typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and West Nile virus. Even simple contact with the saliva, urine or feces of rodents can spread disease. This is why it’s so important to take rodent control measures at the first sign that rats or mice are present in your home.
Rodents also pose a threat to your property. Rats and mice have to gnaw to keep their rapidly growing teeth in check, and they’ll chew most anything, including the wiring in your home or even in your car.
Common rodent species
Knowing how to identify the rodent species you may have in your home can help you be better equipped to prevent them. These are the most common types of rodents:
House mouse: These mice thrive throughout the country, and like to nest in dark, out-of-the-way spots inside structures. They are generally dusty gray with light-colored bellies. House mice are known to spread diseases such as salmonella and contaminate stored food.
Deer mouse: These mice are also common across the U.S., often nesting in log piles and tree hollows in rural areas. They are brown with white underbellies. Deer mice are considered to be the most common carrier of hantavirus, which is transmitted by inhaling dust particles that are contaminated with saliva, feces or urine of infected deer mice.
Roof rat: Roof rats have earned their name by preferring to nest in colonies in trees or the upper parts of structures. These rats can spread typhus, jaundice, trichinosis and other diseases. Originating in Asia, roof rats are now found in the southern U.S. and in coastal states. They have smooth brown fur that’s usually intermixed with spots of black.
Norway rat: Another type of rodent that’s found throughout the country, Norway rats are typically nocturnal and prefer to nest under concrete slabs or in garbage piles. These rats can cause serious property damage by gnawing through everything from plastic to lead pipes. They can carry mites and fleas into a home, and carry plague, jaundice, cowpox virus, salmonella, and other diseases.
Steps you can take to prevent rodent problems.
The National Pest Management Association recommends these steps to take to help keep rodents from getting into your home:
- Repair damaged screens
- Screen chimney openings and vents
- Store food in airtight containers
- Dispose of garbage frequently
- Keep crawl spaces and attics ventilated and dry
- Repair weather stripping and mortar around windows
- Repair leaks and pipe clogs to eliminate moisture
- Inspect bags, boxes and packaging before bringing it inside
- Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your house
- Call a licensed pest control professional if you suspect a rodent infestation
Rodent control is more powerful than ever.
Rodents are infamous for quickly increasing their numbers and establishing an infestation problem in a very short period of time. The good news is that advancements in technology are making rodent control more effective than it’s ever been.
At Turner, we provide comprehensive rat and mouse control services to exterminate the rodents you have now and help prevent reinfestation. We are also one of just four pest control companies in the country to offer Anticimex SMART, an environmentally, pesticide-free intelligent rodent control system.
Anticimex SMART is already available to customers who need commercial rodent control, providing around-the-clock digital monitoring and reporting, and we’re pleased to announce that SMART residential products will be available in January 2020. This revolutionary system detects rodents early to keep problems from growing, and uses non-toxic traps and sensors that make it as safe as it is effective.
Rodent problems? Call us now!
If you’ve seen signs of the presence of rodents in or around your home, don’t wait to get a free quote on our customized rodent treatment plans or call us at 904-355-5300 to learn more.