Rodents are among the most common and most dangerous pests to have in your homes and businesses. Over the hundreds of years people and rodents have lived in close proximity, rodents have become accustomed to human food and shelter.
One thing that has not changed about this ages-old relationship is the potential for disease these squatters bring. There are two common species of rodents invading homes and businesses in Westchester County. It's important to know their habits, how to identify an infestation, and the dangers they bring.
Identifying Two Common Rodents
It may seem like all mice and rats are essentially the same, but different species carry different dangers. The two most common local rodents are the roof rat and the house mouse.
Roof rats have soft brown fur with black mixed in and gray, white, or black bellies. Their long scaly tails add to their total length of up to 16 inches. Roof rats tend to shelter in the upper parts of buildings, gnawing wood and leaving greasy rub marks. They often drag insulation and other materials to make their nests.
Roof rats can fit through holes as small as a nickel and will contaminate and steal stored food. They are known to transmit bubonic plague, typhus via fleas, jaundice, rat-bite fever, and can cause food poisoning.
The next, smaller rodent house guest will decimate your cereal storage and is a renowned chewer. House mice are dusty gray with cream-colored bellies. They can grow up to almost four inches in length with an equal length tail. House mice prefer to live in dark, secluded areas where they build nests with paper, cotton, insulation, and fabrics. They generally eat cereal, seeds, and grains, but will eat pretty much any human food.
Smaller than rats, house mice can fit through holes as small as a dime but like their rodent cousins, they can spread numerous illnesses such as salmonella and rat-bite fever. They also worsen allergies and bring disease-carrying fleas and ticks into the home.
These two pests are dangerous contenders on their own, but occasionally squirrels will also find their way into homes and cause damage to wires, siding, and insulation as well. Protecting your home from pests as a whole will go a long way to keeping your family and home safe from intruders.
How To Prevent Rodent Infestations
Rodents infiltrate households and businesses for the same reason any creature does: shelter, food, and water. Dealing with these tempting offerings is the first step to keeping these pests outside.
Seal any holes, cracks, and crevices around the outside of the home with silicon-based caulk.
Cut tree limbs back from the roof, trim your lawn, and keep bushes maintained and ideally away from the exterior walls.
Keep woodpiles and other potential hiding places away from the home.
Keep food sealed in chew-proof containers. Glass or metal is best.
Outdoor trash should be covered and stored away from the home. Indoor trash should be covered and regularly taken out.
Get rid of any sources for standing water. Fix leaking pipes and landscaping issues.
Declutter regularly, reducing the number of hiding spots and nesting materials.
Vacuum regularly, sweep and sanitize floors and surfaces, and don’t let dishes pile up.
By reducing potential entry points and attracting factors you can do a lot to minimize the risk of a rodent infestation.
The Best Prevention Is Parkway Pest Services
Rodents are some of our oldest foes for good reason. They’re intelligent, hard to find, and challenging to get rid of on your own. At 30 to 40 offspring a year, one harmless mouse sighting is likely to be a much larger problem than you know. Enlist the help of Parkway Pest Services to determine threats, prevent future issues, and eliminate pests. With over 85 years of experience, we know how to keep your home and family safe. Call today to get started with pest control in Westchester County.