Have you had the experience of staring at a math problem to figure out the answer? You jot down strings of numbers while attempting to work out a solution. Finally, after wading through mental gymnastics, you find the answer. Few things compare to those moments when you figure out the explanation for a puzzle or a problem.
No matter the problem, the optimist in us believes there is a solution, and the same is true for rodents. When you wake up to scratching in the walls or are scared silly by a rat darting out from behind a cabinet, you know you have a problem and need to find a solution fast. The answer to a rodent problem begins with the Westchester County pest control team from Parkway Pest Services. For over 80 years, our third-generation family-owned company has served the Westchester community and surrounding areas with high-quality pest control. Our highly-trained pest control technicians are certified by the Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency of New York. We take rodent control seriously because the health and safety of your family are at stake.
When you have found a solution to a problem, there is a sense of satisfaction from the amount of work and effort you invested. Although Parkway Pest Services will bring the experience, tools, and knowledge needed to remove rodents from your house, we want to offer you a chance to join us by providing some answers about rodents. Please continue to read our brief article to learn more about rodent removal and what you can do to be a continuing part of the solution after we have eradicated the rodents from your home.
Types Of Rodents Common To The Area
Before we list the types of rodents in the Westchester area, we need to have a working definition of rodents. A rodent is a mammal with four legs, two eyes, two ears, a tail, and fur. Of course, that description could describe a pet, so it doesn't seem too helpful, so let's expand it. The primary distinction for a rodent is its pair of upper and lower constantly growing incisor teeth. Gophers, voles, and moles use these large teeth to grind through roots and dirt to create underground tunnels and nesting areas. Beavers use their incisor teeth to cut down small trees to build their lodges in ponds and marshes. Of course, most of us have probably witnessed a squirrel or two chewing through acorns and other nuts with their teeth.
The rodents mentioned would also be considered wildlife, but rats and mice are commensal rodents. Commensal means to "share a table," and rats and mice have no problem sharing a house with humans. Although there are many types of rats and mice, these are common in the Westchester area:
Let's start with the more adorable ones first, the mice.
Although they do not look like deer, their fur has the same coloration; thus, they are called deer mice. These deceptively cute but dangerous creatures have a 5 to 8-inch brown body with white feet and underbelly. The best way to distinguish deer mice from others is their bi-colored half-brown half-white long tails. When deer mice enter Westchester homes, they find shelter in storage boxes, wall voids, and spaces in the basement or attic.
House mice invade homes more than deer mice. Hailing from Central Asia, these mice breed rapidly and are adaptable. They have a dusty grey to brown coat with a creamy belly. Not including their hairless tail, house mice are only 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches long, which means they are smaller than deer mice. (add 2 3/4 to 4 inches for the tail.) Inside homes, house mice gravitate to dark corners and warm areas behind appliances.
Roof rats live in the attic and upper parts of a home. These long, thin rodents have brown fur with black hair interspersed throughout. They may have a grey, white, or black underbelly. The total length of a roof rat's body is 16 inches, including the long, thin scaly tail.
While roof rats invade the upper parts of a house, Norway rats are content to stay on the lower levels. Originally believed to have come to America from Norwegian ships, these colorblind animals have coarse brown fur with black hairs, much like roof rats. Although their body, including the tail, is the same length as a roof rat's, it is heavier and round, not slender. When Norway rats enter a Westchester house and find food and shelter, they seek shelter in the basement or under piles of debris in undisturbed areas.
Although different types of rodents infest Westchester County homes, they are no match for Parkway Pest Services. Decades of rodent removal experience, training, and knowledge give us the tools to eliminate your rodent problem.
Rodents Spread Disease And Damage Property
Rodents in New York State threaten family members and pets in homes by spreading disease. Rodents eat anything and forage anywhere, including sewers, drains, compost piles, and open garbage containers, where they think they can find food. Unfortunately, these areas contain rotting animal and plant matter and human waste (sewers) and are a factory for bacteria and viruses.
Rodents have oily fur, which causes dirt, grime, and disease-causing organisms to stick to their coat and feet. As rats and mice move through a home, the pathogens transfer from their body onto walls, objects, and countertops. Illness may result if a person or pet consumes food polluted by bacteria and viruses. Leptospirosis, tularemia, and salmonellosis are bacterial infections spread by deer mice; house mice spread many of the same diseases, plus salmonellosis. Hantavirus, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) are viral infections that mice may transmit to household members. Likewise, rats spread many of the same bacterial and viral infections, plus rat-bite fever, jaundice, cowpox virus, and trichinosis.
Another way rodents spread these diseases is through urine, feces, and saliva. Rats and mice create pathways to food and water sources. As they travel the trails, they urinate, not only to relieve themselves but also to help guide other nest members. Like all living creatures, what goes into the body must come out after the nutrients are absorbed. Thus, rodents defecate and produce feces the size of an olive pit (rats) to the size of a rice grain (mice). As previously noted, rodents chew constantly and spread potentially infected saliva over food packaging and storage materials. Consumption of foods or using utensils polluted by infected urine, saliva, and feces is another way diseases spread to household members.
Because rodents must constantly chew to keep their ever-growing incisor teeth trimmed, they destroy furniture, storage containers, and packaging. Rats create two to three-inch holes in walls and floors for easier access to their nest and nutritional sources. Rodents like to reside in wall voids and bask in the warmth of appliance motors; these areas often have electrical wires or circuit boards, which provide fodder for chewing. As the rodents expose wires by removing the protective coating and breaking circuits on circuit boards; outages, sparks, and even fires may result.
Protect your family and home from diseases, furniture damage, and potential fire, and use Parkway Pest Services for rodent control in Westchester County.
Five Effective Rodent Exclusion Tips
What is exclusion? The word "exclusion" means to be shut out of something. Perhaps you've had the experience of being excluded from something, and you know it is not a pleasant feeling. While we don't want to experience exclusion from something, we certainly want to exclude rodents from our Westchester County homes. Here are five ways to keep rodents out of your Westchester County home:
Seal gaps between incoming pipes and wires with steel wool
Cover the attic and crawl space vents with 1/4 inch wire mesh
Close cracks along the roofline
Trim tree branches and shrubbery away from the home
Install door sweeps on exterior doors
Rodents enter homes from the yard and can enter homes through openings the size of a dime. When you contact Parkway Pest Services to get rid of rodents, our certified pest control technicians will provide additional ways to exclude rodents upon inspection of your property.
The Key To Total Rodent Control For Westchester County Properties
Parkway Pest Services is your solution to stop a rodent infestation. When you contact us, we will learn about your situation and concerns before dispatching a qualified pest control technician to inspect your Westchester County property. We will investigate the interior and exterior for attractants, entry points, and signs of an infestation. We will create a strategic plan using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solutions to resolve your rodent problem. This green-certified approach eliminates the current infestation and prevents a future rodent invasion by addressing entry points and attractants.
Unlike most pest control companies, we have our own Board-Certified Entomologist who oversees our rodent pest control programs to ensure we adhere to all safety and regulatory guidelines to keep your family safe through the rodent removal process. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Westchester County and get a free quote.