While rodents can be a serious nuisance if discovered in your home, they can also come with serious risks to you and your family’s health and safety. They will get into and eat human food, contaminating it and the surrounding areas with threatening diseases, such as typhus, food poisoning, Hantavirus, and, in severe cases, bubonic plague. They can even cause structural damage to your home by chewing and gnawing on electrical wires or wooden frames. They will also shred insulation in your walls and ceilings. If you have a rodent problem, you should contact a professional exterminator as soon as you can, as they need to be eliminated as soon as possible to prevent any serious damage. In the Pacific Northwest, there are a few types of rodents to worry about. The following guide gives a brief overview of each species.
The house mouse is a common pest that has small, beadlike eyes and ears that are too big for its body. They can be anywhere between five to seven inches, including their tails. Their fur color can range from deep gray to light brown. The scariest part of house mice is how fast they can breed. While their lifespan only lasts about nine months to a year, females can reproduce as many as ten times. The babies are ready to reproduce on their own by two months, therefore treatment is necessary before the reproduction gets out of control. While house mice eat any food available, they prefer grains, so sealing your corn, wheat, and oats is essential. They are frequently found in dark places like, crawlspace areas, storage areas, shoeboxes, and closets.
The Norway rat. Also called a wharf rat, is typically light brown in color, with a white underbelly. Its ears are smaller, and it has a short tail that is scaly in appearance. The Norway rat can grow up to ten to twelve inches long, including the tail. Norway rats are especially attracted to fruits, grains, and exposed meats, but will consume any and all sources of food. They will need a steady source of water as well, so eliminating excessive moisture is important. They create nests from shreds of fabric and paper, and generally prefer the ground floors and basements of buildings they invade. Norway rats have powerful jaws for Gnawing through wood, electrical, or other items making them not only a concern for disease but also structural or property damage.
The roof rat has smooth, glossy fur that is either dark gray or brown. The underbelly can be black or white, depending on the rat. Their tails are very long in proportion to their bodies. Since their tails are so long, they can grow up to sixteen inches in length. While they are the best at seeing, their other senses are heightened. They can reproduce at three months old, and can have four to six litters every year. Their preferred foods include berries, vegetables, pet food, grains, snails, and slugs. However, like most rodents, they will eat any food available. They prefer darkness, including garages and sheds. If they do invade a home, they can be found in ceilings, underneath flooring, and in the walls. You can many times hear them scurrying around, as they are master climbers and can hide in out of the way places. Since they are known to carry diseases, having them eliminated is very important to the health of you and your family.
Contact a Specialist
A rodent problem can quickly get out of hand. The Pest Control experts at Mathis Exterminating can give you a free estimate. Rodent populations can quickly grow out of control so, if you find that you’re in the midst of a rodent infestation do not hesitate to call a professional.