Rodent Identification & Prevention

rodents eating trash

What are rodents?

Rodents are one of the most dangerous and prolific types of pests in the world, and that's no exception here in Michigan. These disease-spreading mammals can make you sick and destroy your house, so you need to avoid them at all costs. 

Rodents are a group of mammals characterized by a pair of constantly growing upper and lower incisors. The rodent order includes squirrels, gophers, and a large number of other small mammals. However, when it comes to negative interactions with rodents in your home, rats and mice are the primary offenders.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are dangerous in two primary areas: your health and your property. Rodents can threaten your health by spreading serious diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, tularemia, and salmonella. Rodents can also expose you to flea and tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, by introducing these parasites onto your property.

Rodents are also destructive little buggers. They have to chew on everything all the time to grind down their incessantly growing teeth. That translates into damage to walls, plumbing, electrical wiring, and many other components of your home. Rodents also love to rip up plush things for nesting materials – so even your furniture and insulation aren't safe.

Where do rodents live?

Rats and mice live wherever is convenient. In the forest, they might live inside hollow trees or in burrows or nests in the ground. However, when they take up residence in your house, they'll live anywhere that's sheltered and out of the way. That may be in your attic or crawl space. It might also be directly inside your walls. Mice and rats love to dig into and nest in soft insulation.

What do rodents eat?

Rats eat pretty much anything they run across, but mice are a bit pickier. They eat things like grains, seeds, cereals, dried fruits, and other similar items. You likely won't find mice snacking on the chicken trimmings or discarded burger meat in your garbage, but rats will take advantage of even these items.

How do I know if I have a rodent problem?

Signs of a rodent problem can be subtle at first, but once the infestation gets going, you'll start to notice certain things like:

  • Rodent droppings
  • Damage such as teeth marks or chewed-through wires
  • Scurrying sounds in walls or ceilings
  • Rodent nests in tucked-away areas
  • Ripped food packaging
  • Urine stains

Rats and mice do not like to come into contact with people, so actually seeing them may not ever happen. If you start seeing live rats and mice running around, you probably have a significant infestation of them.

How can I prevent a rodent infestation?

Preventing rodents begins with making your home less attractive to them:

  • Seal up potential entry points to make your home harder to enter.
  • Keep all indoor and outdoor trash cans covered at all times.
  • Store all foods either in the fridge or in airtight plastic containers.
  • Get rid of things like bird feeders and outdoor pet food bowls.

You might also consider getting a cat, as rodents do not like to live in areas containing their natural predators.

How do I get rid of rodents?

Getting rid of rodents from your home can be tough without help, especially if you already have a rodent infestation. Fortunately, a rodent-free house is just a click or call away! Here at SureShot Pest Control, our local rodent control experts know how to deal with any size infestation, no matter how well-established. Give us a call or visit our contact page to learn about our residential and commercial pest control plans and be on your way to a rodent-free home or business today.

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