The holidays are here and bringing good cheer! We’re seeing festive lights, hearing Christmas carols, and doing more shopping. Something else we should be doing more of this holiday season is protecting our home from rodents! Now is the time that these damaging creatures will be entering people’s homes as they search for a warm place to dwell for the winter. But rodents are the last thing you want joining holiday feasts.
Mice and rats will be attracted to your home for the food and shelter it can provide. Therefore, it’s important to keep all food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator. Fixing pipes and faucets that leak will help make your home less attractive to pests as well since this would provide them with a source of water. With rodents, if there’s a way in, they’ll gladly use it. Inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks or holes they may be using as entrances. Inspect the attic, cellar, etc. Droppings may appear in your cabinets and pantry, as well as in storage boxes and clothing drawers. Be careful when bringing the holiday decorations down from the attic. Mice or rats could be utilizing these boxes and could be brought down as well!
At Spencer Pest Services, a few of the common rodents we see infesting people’s homes include mice, Norway rats, and roof rats.
Mice are smaller than rats, reaching between 5.5 to 7 inches in length including their tail. They have pointed noses and gray, brown, or black fur with a lighter-colored belly. Mice produce more droppings than rats. As is the case with all rodents, constant chewing is required for mice to keep their incisors at a certain length. Their front teeth continuously grow. Pipes, wires, insulation, drywall, personal items, and more can be affected by this chewing. This can cause fire hazards, electrical problems, water damage, and other costly repairs. Their urine and feces can saturate and contaminate areas of your home, furniture, personal belongings, and your food supplies. They can also introduce other pests such as fleas, ticks, and mites.
Norway rats are a larger breed of rat, reaching approximately 7-9.5 inches (without their tail). Their tail adds another 6-8 inches to their length! These rats are a medium-brown with black specs and they have a bicolored tail. They have black, beady eyes and a blunt nose. Unlike mice, rat tails are hairless, and their droppings are larger and darker in color. Rats will also cause grease marks along your walls from rubbing against them as they travel from room to room. Norway rats can be destructive to your property and cause costly damage. They can also carry and spread diseases in their urine, feces, and saliva. These diseases include trichinosis and salmonellosis.
Roof rats differ from Norway rats by being a dark brown to black color. They’re slightly smaller in size, but their tail is longer. They’re likely to be found in attics and in trees, whereas Norway rats are more commonly found in basements and crawl spaces. Roof rats are great swimmers and climbers. They can also carry and transmit diseases, cause damage and hazards, and introduce other pests into the home.
These pests are very persistent. Removing them can be frustrating. If you’re noticing rat droppings or gnaw marks in any area of your home, you should contact a professional pest control agency. Now is the time to protect your home. If rodents get away with staying all winter, you could be dealing with their offspring in the spring on top of a lot of unwanted damage. At Spencer Pest Services, we offer professional rodent and wildlife control. We have developed special expertise in ridding homes of rodents with our five-step control system. Call Spencer Pest Services today to find out more!