Are you hearing something go bump in the night? You might have a rodent problem. If you do, there are a few facts you should know about those night dwellers. Today, we'll discuss what rodents are, how rodents present problems in Durham homes, how to prevent infestations, and what to do when rodents find their way into your home. If you want to speak with a professional directly regarding your rodent control issue, remember that the service team here at The Eco Man Pest Solutions offers advice and advanced solutions for rodent pest control in Durham.
What Are Rodents?
There are all kinds of rodents in Durham. Some of them never infest Durham homes. When is the last time you heard of someone having a troublesome beaver infestation? Some rodents are rarely a pest problem. Chipmunks fall into this category. Some rodents are lawn pests. Gophers and voles are good examples of rodents that can damage your lawn and landscaping. The three rodents that enter homes are rats, mice, and squirrels. Of the three, squirrels cause the least issues. They also fall under the category of wildlife management rather than rodent control.
When it comes to indoor rodent pests, why are rats and mice the worst? It has to do with "how" they infest a home. Squirrels get into attics and typically remain up there. When a squirrel needs a bite to eat, it goes outside to get it. Rats and mice often explore Durham homes in search of food resources. But not all rats and mice are created equal. Deer mice, for example, are far more likely to live in a barn or shed. They don't typically infest homes.
Here are the three rodents that do:
- House Mice: The rodent we call the house mouse is Mus musculus. It is a species of mouse that has taken to living in or in close proximity to human dwellings. There are currently no populations of wild mice that live outside of human settlements. When dealing with a house mouse problem, it is critical to keep this in mind. These rodents will fight tooth and claw to stay in your home.
- Roof Rats: This species is the rat equivalent of a house mouse. Known scientifically as Rattus rattus, these black rats are great climbers. In nature, they're found in high tree cavities. Inside your home, they'll nest in rafters, attic spaces, and wall voids. Of the two rats mentioned here, roof rats are the most likely to live permanently inside your home.
- Norway Rats: These brown rats are ground rodents. If you've ever read the book, or watched the movie Charlotte's web, you know a bit about these rodents. They live in holes, collect objects, and eat unsanitary things. When they get into your home, they can hide in walls and attic spaces. If possible, they'll go in and out of your home as they search for robust food sources to dine on. Norway rats are bigger than roof rats and require more robust dietary staples.
When dealing with a rodent problem, it is helpful to know what you're up against. It also helps to know the dangers of having rodents in your home. Understanding the risks can provide an incentive to take the measures necessary to exclude these critters.
Rodents Spread Disease And Damage Property
All rodents are harmful to humans, though they don't mean to harm us. In fact, they would go out of their way not to cause us harm if they could. We're their meal ticket. But they can't help it. Here are ways rodents cause accidental harm to people.
- Rodents spread invisible organisms they pick up in trash receptacles, dumpsters, junk piles, sewers, compost heaps, drains, and other dirty places.
- Rodents pick up ticks and fleas when moving through wooded areas and vegetation. Ticks and fleas are linked to surprisingly harmful diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and typhus.
- Rodents spread allergens when they explore a home. These can create respiratory issues.
- Rodents don't go outside to use the restroom. The waste materials they leave in a home are a source of contamination. These materials can ruin insulation and create a bad odor in your home.
- Rodents chew on wiring and are considered a fire hazard inside structures. Experts estimate that 20 to 25 percent of structural fires that result from mysterious sources are likely caused by rodents.
- Rodents chew and chew and chew. They damage structural timbers, building materials, stored items, and more.
Rats and mice can do one or a combination of these things when they get into places you don't want them. For example, they can tear the stuffing out of the cushion of a stored couch, move the stuffing into a stored dresser drawer, leave urine and droppings in the drawer as they bed down, and chew a hole in the back of the drawer to more easily go in and out. Rodents are wild animals. They don't know how to act like domesticated animals.
How To Identify And Remove Factors That Attract Rodents
Rodents in Durham do what they do. They can't help it. But when you know some of the things they do, you can use the knowledge to help steer them away from your home and deter an infestation. Let's look at how you can identify and remove factors that attribute to rodent infestations.
- Rodents eat seeds. Do you have bird feeders? The seed in those feeders, or littered on the ground, will invite rodents to your property. Consider moving feeders away from the perimeter of your home.
- Rodents eat nuts. Squirrels aren't the only backyard rodents that eat nuts. Raking up nuts as soon as possible can deter rodent activity.
- Rodents have poor eyesight. What does this mean? It means they're not going to see your home from a distance and head across your lawn to get to it. They encroach—and they do so by going from one ground object to the next. Removing yard clutter can significantly deter rodents.
- Rodents are attracted to the smell of food. Decaying food has a strong odor, and rodents aren't picky. They'll smell decaying food and come from a distance to investigate. Covering trash and cleaning receptacles can deter rodents.
- Rodents prefer to hide. They'll hide under a shed. They'll hide in a bush. They'll hide in a stack of lumber. Removing places rodents can hide or installing hardware cloth to keep rodents out of voids underneath structures can reduce rodent activity in your yard.
- Rodents are drawn to tight spaces. When a rat or mouse sees a gap, they're likely to check it out. A full-grown mouse can wiggle and squeeze through a gap the width of a dime. A rat only needs a gap the width of a quarter. Applying caulking material or expanding foam can remove this temptation.
- Rodents can climb. They are amazing climbers. Some rodents can scale the exterior of your home like they would a tree in your backyard. It is essential to protect all potential entry points in your exterior, no matter how high. You should also apply guards on pipes to prevent rodents from using them to get to higher spots.
- Rodents can leap and fall from a surprising height. If you have tree branches within five feet of your roof, rats and mice can get on your roof. Trimming branches removes this access route. If you don't want rodents in your attic, this is a critical step to take.
- Rodents need water. While a rat or mouse can derive some of the water they need from the foods they eat, they like to find a home that has a drinking hole. A toy collecting water in the yard or a clogged gutter that is creating puddles next to your home will both do nicely. Consider areas where rats and mice might find a drink and address them the best you can.
It takes time and effort to keep rodents away from your exterior and prevent them from accessing your Durham in home. If you don't have the time or energy, you have another option. There is a secret weapon that will help you get complete control of rodents.
Durham's Secret Weapon To Complete Rodent Control
When you need rodent control services in Durham, contact The Eco Man Pest Solutions. We perform interior and exterior inspections to evaluate rodent activity, nesting sites, conducive conditions, routes, and more. Based on our findings, we employ a field-tested strategy to capture and remove rodents if necessary and apply exclusion work to seal rodents out and keep them out. Our technical pest pros have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the best service and trusted results.
Are you in Durham? Reach out to us and tell us about your rodent control issue. We'll provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your pest control needs. We'll also guide you toward a solution that best works for your specific problem. One size does not fit all. We will find the right solutions for you. Reach out today to get started and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Durham.
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