Common Types of Rodents Invading Homes
Rodents are a widespread pest that can be found in almost every area of the United States. Did you realize that every winter, almost 21 million houses in the United States fall prey to these pests? In fact, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) found that 31% of U.S. households have dealt with rodents at some point. Although rodent infestations are most common in the cooler months of fall and winter, they can occur at any time of the year. In the homes that were examined, the kitchen, followed by the basement and the living room, was the most common place where all types of rodents were spotted.
Health and property are both at risk when rodents like rats and mice find their way into a building. In addition to transmitting Salmonella and other pathogens, a number of common rodent species are known to transfer disease. Plus, they can set off asthma and allergy problems. Ticks, fleas, and lice are just a few of the parasites they could bring with them. Rodents can eat through drywall, wood, and wires, causing structural damage and electrical fires.
Safeguarding human health and property requires widespread education and implementation of effective methods for preventing the presence of rodents. Mice can fit through holes only a tenth of an inch in diameter, while rats can pass through openings only a quarter of an inch in diameter. Once females are inside, they can start reproducing rapidly. Infestations can spread rapidly, as one female mouse can produce up to 12 offspring every three weeks.
Read on to learn about the types of rodents and prevention measures.
Common Types of Rodents
Region: The United States is home to numerous populations of deer mice.
Habitat: It’s common for deer mice to make their homes in tree hollows, old fence posts, or even log heaps out in the country. Deer mice rarely pose issues in human settlements, but they may seek shelter and food indoors in winter. During the winter, they frequently settle inside out-of-the-way cabins, barns, or sheds.
Threats: The hantaviruses, a group of rodent-borne viruses that can cause severe illness in humans’ kidneys, blood, or respiratory systems, are most commonly seen in deer mice. Particles of dust tainted with the urine, feces, or saliva of infected deer mice are the primary vector for virus transmission.
Prevention Tip: Keep pet food and bird seed in locked containers or closets. Garages and outbuildings are not the best places to store such valuables because deer mice have easy access to them.
Unique Fact: Typically, a deer mouse’s tail will be a mixture of brown and white.
Region: House mice, by far the most prevalent kind of mouse in the country, may be found practically anywhere in the US.
Habitat: Mice commonly seen in homes prefer to nest in concealed, dark spaces. They can easily scale walls and make vertical leaps of up to a foot, allowing them to access otherwise inaccessible locations.
Threats: Mice in the home may wreak havoc on a building by gnawing their way through walls and insulation. To add insult to injury, they can cause house fires by chewing on electrical wiring. Mice in the home can contaminate food and spread Salmonella, posing a health danger.
Prevention Tip: House mice like to scurry around in the dark and take refuge in piles of rubbish. Therefore, you should store boxes off the floor and keep the storage area clean and organized. To further reduce the likelihood of inviting unwanted guests, use containers that rodents cannot open to store food.
Unique Fact: A house mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. They are also colorblind, although their increased senses more than make up for this drawback.
Region: The Norway rat is a common pest found all over the United States, just like many other rodent species.
Habitat: Norway rats are nocturnal and prefer to spend their time underground or in waste piles. Fall is prime time for this species to invade homes in search of food, and once inside, they will often nest in dark, undisturbed places like basements and crawlspaces.
Threats: Norway rats are notorious for wreaking havoc on homes and businesses by chewing their way through wires, plastic, and even lead pipes. They spread diseases such as the bubonic plague, cholera, rat-bite fever, and cowpox. Fleas and mites are just two of the pests that this species might introduce into the house.
Prevention Tip: Pay particular attention to potential indicators of an infestation, such as feces, chew marks, food item damage, and grease rubbings. Since an infestation can spread quickly, it is crucial to look for and eliminate any possible invaders as soon as possible.
Unique Fact: Rats from Norway can squeeze through openings as narrow as a half an inch.
Region: Southeast Asia is where roof rats are believed to have first appeared, but today they can be found in the southern two–thirds of the United States.
Habitat: Colonies of roof rats will often occupy the highest points of buildings or trees.
Threats: In the past, the bubonic plague was thought to have been spread by roof rats and their fleas. Roof rats can transmit diseases such as typhus, jaundice, and trichinosis, though this is quite uncommon.
Prevention Tip: Remove any fallen fruit from trees on your property as soon as possible to prevent an influx of roof rats. Furthermore, make sure the trash cans have lids on them.
Unique Fact: The roof rat’s dark coloring and exceptional swimming skills have earned it several names, including “black rat” and “ship rat.”
If you discover or suspect a rodent infestation, you should seek the assistance of a qualified pest control specialist. Getting rid of rodents is not a “do it yourself” activity because of how quickly they breed and the dangers they can cause. Look into our rat and mouse pest guides to find out further more about these critters.