Rodents (Mice)

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rat in kitchen

A rodent is a typically small mammal with large front teeth for gnawing. Rats, mice, squirrels, beavers and hamsters are all examples of rodents. Because people generally consider rodents to be pests, they often lump raccoons and rabbits into the rodent order. That either of those animals is a rodent is a misconception, however. They belong to the lesser known order Lagomorpha.

The primary reason rodents can be such pests is the damage they can do to your home. Their powerfully adapted teeth can easily go through wood. To what degree rodents can destroy your home depends on the species and the quantity of the rodent infestation.

But structural damage isn’t the only problem rodents pose. They tend to carry disease. This is especially dangerous in agricultural communities because rodents contaminate food sources with which they come into contact. Seeing as the grains grown by farmers are a prime choice of food for rats and mice, disease can spread rapidly if the rodents aren’t controlled. If you have found evidence that rodents have gotten into your food supply, it could all be contaminated and probably should be disposed of.

Rodents can be a particularly great nuisance in the winter. Because they don’t hibernate, rodents must find warmth when it gets cold and someone’s home would be ideal. Rodents reproduce at a fast pace and in large quantities so early detection of an infestation is vital.

There are several clues you should look for as evidence of an infestation. Look for droppings especially around your food storage areas and warm, snug places like dresser drawers. Torn fabric and paper is often evidence of nesting. Holes in the structure of your home that appear to have been chewed obviously indicates an infestation, as does a generally putrid smell, the source of which may be difficult to locate.

In order to exterminate a rodent infestation please call professionals but there are some simple prevention methods you can execute yourself. Seal all holes to your homes, specifically any leading into the basement. Do not leave out any scraps of food inside or outside. Cover all garbage cans inside and outside. Piles of mulch that sit in your yard for too long could become a temporary home for rodents.

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