Rodents are one of the most common pests in the United States, making their way into nearly 21 million homes in the United States each winter. Over one-third of Americans have had a rodent infestation in their home, according to a National Pest Management Association (NPMA) survey. Various rodents often infiltrate homes in the fall and winter in search of food and shelter when the weather cools, however they can still be a nuisance throughout the year. The majority of homeowners polled reported mouse sightings in the kitchen, as well as, to a lesser extent, the basement and living room.
A rat or mouse infestation in a home or business can be hazardous to both health and property. Salmonella and other pathogens are known to be transferred by a variety of common rodents. They can also cause allergic reactions and asthma episodes or carry parasites that cause disease, such as ticks, fleas, and lice. Rodents have been known to cause drywall and wood damage, as well as chew through electrical lines, increasing the risk of electrical fires.
To keep both people and property safe, adequate rodent prevention techniques and awareness are required. Rats can fit through quarter-sized gaps, whereas mice can fit through holes as small as a quarter-inch wide. Females reproduce swiftly once inside. A single female mouse, for example, can have up to 12 young every three weeks, allowing infestations to spread swiftly. Listed below are some rodents commonly found as home invaders in the US.
Deer mice can be found all over the United States. They prefer to nest in rural environments, such as old fence posts, tree hollows, and log heaps. Deer mice are rarely a nuisance in homes, although they can stray inside during the winter months in search of refuge and food. During the off season, they will frequently take up home in sheds, barns, or cabins. Deer mice are the most prevalent carrier of hantavirus, a group of viruses that can cause kidney, blood, or lung problems in people and can be fatal. The virus is typically spread by inhaling dust particles contaminated with the urine, feces, or saliva of infected deer mice.
Tip for Prevention: Keep pet food and bird seed in secure containers and areas of the home. Keep these items out of garages and storage sheds, where they are more accessible and appealing to deer mice.
Region: House mice are the most common rodent species and can be found throughout the United States. They often nest in dark, hidden spaces within structures. They can jump up to a foot in height and are good climbers, allowing them to reach secluded or withdrawn locations. House mice can cause extensive property damage by gnawing through materials such as drywall and insulation. They have also been known to start electrical fires by nibbling on cables inside dwellings. House mice can also be a severe health risk, polluting stored food and spreading infections like Salmonella. House mice hide among household clutter because they prefer dark and secluded spaces. As a result, it’s critical to keep storage facilities clean and well-organized, and to keep boxes off the floor. Keeping food in sealed, rodent-proof containers will also assist ensure that you do not attract any invaders. House mice can squeeze through gaps as small as a penny.
Norway rats are widespread and can be found throughout the United States. They are predominantly nocturnal and frequently tunnel into garbage piles or behind concrete slabs. When external food sources become low in the fall, this species will generally infiltrate homes and nest in basements, crawlspaces, and other undisturbed dwellings. Norway rats can cause significant property damage by nibbling through a variety of items, including plastic and lead pipes. They are also disease vectors, carrying the plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, and cowpox virus. They can also transmit fleas and mites into the home. Keep a watch out for indicators of an infestation, including as droppings, gnaw marks, spoiled food, and grease rub marks. An infestation can spread quickly so discovering and dealing with potential intruders as soon as possible is critical. Norway rats can squeeze through holes as small as half an inch, or the size of a quarter.
Roof rats, which are thought to be of Southeast Asian origin, are now widespread and a problem pest in the state of Missouri. These rats live in colonies and prefer to nest in the highest levels of structures or trees. Roof rats and the fleas they carry have historically been linked to the bubonic plague. Although cases are uncommon, roof rats can transmit diseases such as typhus, jaundice, and trichinosis. Roof rats are also known as ‘black rats’ or ‘ship rats’ because of their dark color and exceptional swimming skills.
Prevention Tip: If you have fruit trees on your property, wipe up any fallen fruit as soon as possible because it can attract roof rats. Also, make certain that rubbish is stored in firmly closed containers.
If you suspect or uncover a rodent infestation, seek assistance from a registered pest control professional. Rodents are recognized for reproducing swiftly and posing a number of major dangers. Elimination is not a ‘do it yourself’ project.