Did you know that there are more rodent species in the world than any other kind of mammal? There are around 4,000 different mammalian species and around 1,500 of these are some kind of rodent. Thankfully, there are only a few rodents in Westchester County that homeowners really have to worry about, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t a serious problem.
Mice and rats are the two most common rodents in the area, and they can cause a long list of concerns once they invade a home. While they are both destructive and dangerous pests that have many similarities, it’s very rare to have an infestation of both at the same time.
If you aren’t sure how to tell mice and rats apart, this brief guide can help you identify rodent pests.
- Mice: The common house mouse is the species of mouse that is most likely to come inside of a building. They are 2-4 inches long with brownish-grey bodies and cream-colored underbellies. You can tell them apart from rats because they have longer tails and bigger ears in proportion to their bodies.
- Rats: There are two main rat species in the area: the Norway rat and the roof rat. They are both bigger than mice when full-grown, and they have scaly tails and smaller ears. The Norway rat is brown-grey while roof rats are dark brown to black.
The Destruction Rodents Cause
When you think of destructive pests, you might imagine termites and nothing else, but mice and rats can also cause a great deal of home and property damage. These small rodents need to constantly gnaw, so they will chew on anything from clothing to plastic to wood.
Rodents will often damage individual items, but they can also damage internal structures in your home such as electrical wires and plumbing. This destruction can lead to safety concerns, and often costs thousands of dollars to repair.
Because rodents are able to reproduce quickly and hide in so many out-of-reach areas, it can be difficult to see the extent of the chaos they are inflicting on your home. Often, this damage can go unnoticed for months or even longer.
The Health Risks Of Rodents
While property damage is a big and frustrating concern, the health risks of a rodent infestation are even more upsetting. Both mice and rats are filled with pathogens, and they can make you and your family sick. While not all rodent infestations lead to illness, the risk is always there.
Here are the main health problems associated with mice and rats:
- These rodents spread dozens of diseases such as salmonella, hantavirus, and rat-scratch fever.
- Along with spreading diseases themselves, rodents can also carry parasites that transmit other illnesses. For example, they often have fleas which can spread the bubonic plague or ticks carrying Lyme disease.
- Rodent fur, droppings, and urine can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
- Over time, their feces can lead to respiratory problems if it builds up in walls.
- Mice and rats often contaminate food.
What’s The Best Way To Handle A Rodent Problem?
Handling a rodent infestation is no walk in the park, and they aren’t pests that you should take lightly. At the first sign of a rodent infestation, contact the experts at Parkway Pest Services. These dangerous and destructive pests can cause many concerns for you and your family, and they are also quite difficult to remove without professional pest control help. Don’t let mice and rats put your loved ones' health at risk. Let our team of experts provide ongoing prevention assistance and total rodent control you can rely on.
Discover more about our rodent control options, or request a free quote, by giving us a call today!