Sometimes you will hear someone on a detective TV show say, "Give me the rundown." Usually, it happens when the head honcho comes upon a crime scene and wants a condensed update on the situation because they don't have time to get into all the nitty-gritty details. In other words, the commanding officer wants to know the pertinent facts so they can take the next step.
When you discover rodents are in the house, you are not interested in attending a class where you learn about the intricacies of each rodent. No, you only want to get the information you need to remove the rodents from your house. In the following paragraphs, we will provide the information you need to tackle the rodent issue in your home.
You will learn what you need to know in this article, and the first thing to understand is you need a Durham pest control company like The Eco Man Pest Solutions to eliminate the initial infestation. Our company is not a new, up-and-coming pest control company; we have removed rodents for over 25 years in the Durham area. We don't show up and quickly apply a treatment; instead, we implement a holistic approach to rodent control using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods. We are a licensed and insured company committed to protecting your family and home from the dangers of a rodent invasion.
Common Rodent Species: Identifying Different Types Of Rodents
Just as the head police detective wants the rundown upon arriving at a crime scene, let's get the basics about rodents. Rodents are furry mammals with four legs, two eyes and ears, and a tail. They are warm-blooded and, with only a handful of exceptions, give birth to their offspring. The family pet could fit this description, so what makes an animal a rodent?
The defining characteristics are a pair of upper and lower constantly growing incisor teeth which give the animals a bucktooth appearance. These teeth grow constantly and will keep the animal from eating unless trimmed regularly. Rodents gnaw on available items to sharpen and shorten their teeth. In the wild, they chew on wood, nuts, roots, and small trees, but when inside homes, they gnaw on thin aluminum, wiring, siding, glass, concrete, and plastic. Rodents create holes in floors and walls and damage furniture
There are two types of rodents around your Durham property: wildlife and commensal. Squirrels, chipmunks, and voles are examples of wildlife rodents because they do not need humans and avoid humans when possible. Rats and mice are commensal rodents because they do not mind sharing the same space with humans; they may even depend upon human help.
Wildlife rodents are not usually a problem for many Durham homeowners, but these North Carolina rodents are troublesome:
- House mice
- Norway rats
- Roof rats
Now that we are narrowing down our lists of suspects, we will get the rundown on each of these commensal rodents.
House mice are common invaders of Durham homes. These rodents have a round dusty-grey 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 inch body with a cream-colored belly. They have a long 2 3/4 to 4-inch tail and a pointed muzzle. They live in dark, secluded areas of the house in nests constructed from fabric, cotton, packing material, and insulation. Although they are active at night, their curiosity often causes them to venture out during daylight hours.
Rats are longer and heavier than rats. Norway rats have a plump, 7 to 9-inch body (not including the 6 to 8-inch tail), brown fur on the topside, and a grey or white belly. They prefer to live on the lower levels of homes hiding underneath debris in basements. Norway rats are not curious like house mice and venture out at dusk to forage throughout the night.
Norway rats live on the lower levels, but roof rats live on the upper levels when they enter Durham homes. They have the same body length and topside coloration as Norway rats but may have a grey, white, or black belly. Because these rats are climbers, they have long, thin bodies. When they enter Durham attics, often by chewing through the wood or aluminum siding, they hide underneath the debris.
When these common Durham rodents enter your home, you need The Eco Man Pest Solutions to remove them from your house. Our technical pest pros know the signs of a rodent infestation, can identify the culprit, and create a strategic plan to eliminate them.
Rodent Dangers: Health Risks And Property Damage
Some may think rodents are cute with their little ears, black eyes, and furry bodies, but they are dangerous when they invade houses. Let's start with a rundown of the health hazards these animals create for homeowners.
Rats and mice do not forage for food in sanitary areas but graze in sewers, drains, trash, compost piles, and other disgusting locations. These areas are Petri dishes for bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms. Rodents have oily fur that disease-causing organisms stick to as they move through these nasty locations. Also, when they consume tainted organic plant and animal matter, the pathogens enter their body, and what goes in must come out.
Rodents are active at night; since they do not have good eyesight, they bump into items leaving pathogen-filled grease marks on walls, countertops, cabinets, and furniture. When humans brush against these tainted items, the organisms can transfer to them and trigger an illness.
As noted previously, rodents consume tainted foods in these filthy areas, and as they move through houses, they defecate and deposit feces in cabinet drawers, pantries, and on exposed food items. Humans using these unclean items, open themselves up to the possibility of contracting an illness.
Leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), tularemia, and salmonellosis are diseases spread by house mice. Rats distribute many of the same bacteria in addition to viruses like cowpox virus.
Another way rodent feces affect the health of home occupants is when they become airborne. House mice deposit rod-shaped pointed droppings 1/8 to 1/4-inch long. As would be expected, because they are larger, rats produce capsule-shaped 1/2-inch droppings with blunt (Norway rats) or pointed ends (Roof rats). When the fecal matter dries, particles detach and become airborne; these floating pieces circulate through the home's air system. Occupants inhale the particles which trigger itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, tight chest, and other allergic and asthmatic reactions.
In addition to the health hazard, rodents damage items in the house. Rats chew two to three-inch holes in walls and floors to create access to food sources. Rodents often establish nests inside wall voids among electrical wires. As they chew on them to trim their teeth, they destroy the protective coating exposing them to moisture and each other. Short circuits and electrical fires are often the results causing expensive repairs and even house fires.
The Eco Man Pest Solutions provides effective rodent control protecting your family and home from these destructive and harmful creatures.
Rodent Exclusion Tips: Safeguard Your Property from Infestations
When The Eco Man Pest Solutions removes rodents from your Durham home, you don't want them to return. While you cannot stop rodents from passing through your property, you can take these rodent prevention tips:
- Cover indoor and outdoor garbage containers and compost piles
- Pick up animal feces and rotting fruit from the property
- Remove junk, debris, and overgrown vegetation
- Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the structure
- Elevate firewood and move 20 feet from the home
- Seal the attic and crawl space vents with a 1/4-inch wire mesh
- Close gaps and cracks in the foundation, roofline, and between incoming pipes and wires with steel wool
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors
- Fix holes in window and door screens
- Remove debris from the attic, basement, and crawl space
Maintaining a clean, dry exterior will discourage rodents from living on your property, lessening the chance they will try to enter your house during adverse weather conditions. If, for some reason, they stay on the property and try to enter, implementing the exclusion tips will help keep them out.
When a technical pest pro inspects your Durham house for signs of a rodent infestation, we can provide you with additional exclusion ideas specifically for your property.
Professional Rodent Control: The Safe Way To Remove An Infestation
In addition to their droppings, grease marks, and the physical damage they cause, rodents can spread disease and cause harm by scratching and biting. Catching a rodent in a trap may be satisfying, but you can get injured during the removal. Furthermore, DIY traps don't stop the problem because they don't get the rodents in the nests.
The safest way to remove rodents is to use rodent control in Durham from The Eco Man Pest Solutions. We send a highly-trained, licensed, and insured technical pest pro to inspect your home for rodents. If we find rodent signs, we will work to determine entry points, attractants, rodent species, and hot spots. Once we gather information, we design an eco-friendly way using Integrated Pest Management solutions to rid your home of the rodent problem.
Once we remove the unwanted pests, we focus on exclusion to ensure they do not return. We close entry points using steel wool, expandable foam, patches, and other materials to prevent a future infestation. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote.
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