Rodents are warm-blooded mammals that, like humans, can be found throughout the world. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing and check teeth, which are adapted for chewing. Rodents chew on anything available to them and cause great damage in and around homes.
Rodents tend to be rapid breeders. Some species breed year-round. Although certain mice are known for short life spans due to predation, populations are maintained through constant reproduction. Because most rodents possess soft cartilage, they are capable of squeezing through spaces that appear to be much too small for them. All such holes should be stuffed with steel wool and sealed with spackle or cement to prevent entry and re-entry of rodents.
Rats and mice are both extremely destructive within agricultural communities. A number of species feed on seeds and grains. The feces and urine of some rodents may contaminate surfaces with which they come into contact.
Rodent droppings should be handled with utmost care. Particularly after they have dried, feces can be reservoirs of a variety of dangerous diseases and viruses. These dry droppings break apart upon contact and release airborne particles that may enter your nasal passages, causing infection.
Do not handle droppings in your home without first taking preventive measures. Tightly fitted facemasks and rubber gloves are highly advisable. Avoid sweeping or vacuuming the location, as this may lead to further release and dispersal of virus particles. Sterilization of affected areas with spray disinfectant is recommended.
The droppings, saliva and urine of certain rodent species are known to transmit Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Disturbance of the droppings causes the virus to go airborne in a process known as aerosolization. Deer mice are the most common transmitters of HPS.
Although transmission is rare, HPS can prove deadly if left untreated. Symptoms include tachycardia and tachypnoea. Cardiovascular shock may occur in severe cases. Rodent control is still considered the most effective prevention of HPS. Contact your local pest control professional to discuss extermination options.
Contact a local pest control professional at the first sign of a rodent infestation. Rodents are not only a hazard to human health, but can compromise the integrity of an infested structure through continuous gnawing. Furthermore, rodents breed continuously and populations grow rapidly. The most efficient rodent extermination methods are those administered by trained professionals.
Rodent infestations in or surrounding a home can prove extremely destructive. Different species are known for different nesting and feeding behaviors, but infestations cause damage to gardens, yards as well as to the home and the contents.
Baits may be used to lure rats into traps. However, rats are highly suspicious of anything new that comes into their established foraging paths. Glue and classic snap traps are available for purchase, but rats are capable of escaping from glue traps and mice often jump over them. Classic snap traps tend to make unsightly messes and must be reset after each use. Although poisons are commercially available, they are toxic to humans and pets so care must be exercised with their use.
Rodents multiple swiftly and infestations may be extremely difficult to exterminate. It is advised that anyone experiencing a rodent infestation contact their local pest control professional for an inspection and consultation.
Rodents: Facts, Identification & Control
Rodents’ instincts make them difficult to control, and they present a serious menace to your home. If you’re in need of rodent control services, here’s what you should know about these pests:
- Disease: Rats can harbor and transmit a number of serious diseases. They can also introduce disease-carrying parasites such as fleas, lice and ticks into your home.
- Access: They invade your home seeking food, water and warmth. Without mouse control intervention, one pair of mice may produce 200 offspring in four months.
- Contamination: Each mouse can contaminate much more food than it eats.
Breeding onset is at about 50 days of age in both females and males, although females may have their first estrus at 25–40 days. Mice are polyestrous and breed year round.
The average gestation period is 20 days. The average litter size is 10–12 during optimum production, but is highly strain-dependent. As a general rule, inbred mice tend to have longer gestation periods and smaller litters than outbred and hybrid mice. The young are called pups and weigh 0.5–1.5 g (0.018–0.053 oz) at birth, are hairless, and have closed eyelids and ears. Pups are weaned at 3 weeks of age; Female resumes cycling 2–5 days post-weaning.