Rodent Identification

What are rodents?

Rodents make up the single largest group of mammals, with about 1,500 different species living worldwide. Each species has unique habitats, food preferences, and appearance. All rodents, no matter their species, have continuously growing front incisors. To prevent their teeth from overgrowing, they constantly gnaw on objects - causing damage to those objects in the process.

a large rat on the ground outside of a home in washington dc

Two of the most common rodent species living in our area are the mouse and rat. An adult mouse is much smaller than an adult rat. Both have bodies covered in black or brown hair with a lighter colored underbelly. Other physical differences between the two rodents are their snouts; mice have pointed noses, while rats tend to have blunt noses. Also, compared to the size of their heads, mice have large ears, while rats have small ears. Another difference between them is that the long scaly tail of a mouse is covered in a light layer of velvety hair, while the long scaly tail of a rat is void of hair.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are dangerous pests that can spread pathogens that make people ill. Mice and rats are capable of spreading more than 35 diseases through their saliva, excrement, and urine. Other problems associated with a rodent infestation include:

  • Allergies. Many people are allergic to rodent excrement and their shed fur.

  • Parasites. Rodents harbor disease-carrying parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites that they introduce onto properties and eventually into homes.

  • Damage. Their chewing habits cause damage to structural beams, wires, pipes, insulation, flooring, furniture, books, pictures, and more.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

You'll always find rodents living close to us. They may be shy by nature but are not shy about using our yards and homes for shelter, our gardens or trash cans to forage for food, and our leaky outdoor fixtures for water. Rodents are prolific breeders and can to take over any property they invade quickly.

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents like to live outside in a variety of places, including wooded areas, fields, tall grasses, woodpiles, and gardens. They often nest in dense vegetation near foundations or under foundations. Rats, depending on their species, may also nest up off of the ground in trees. Mice only need a gap the size of a pencil, and rats the size of a quarter to get into a home or other building. Since these furry creatures often nest near the outside of buildings, they often find their way inside while foraging for food and water. Inside, rodents nest behind wall voids, attics, in rafters, and basements. They also like to take up residence behind large appliances and in upper and lower cabinets.

How do I get rid of rodents?

If you want to solve your property’s rodent problems once and for all, turn to the local experts at Capitol Pest. Since 1936 we have been using the latest technology and most effective products to guard residential and commercial properties from rodents and other pests.

At Capitol Pest, we know pests, and we know how to keep them out of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia homes and businesses using comprehensive treatments and prevention measures. For more information about our commitment to solving your property’s pest problems, contact us today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

For homeowners who want to keep rodents out of their yards and homes, partner with the experienced professionals at Capitol Pest. With the help of our year-round, affordable pest control services and the following prevention tips, your home will become and stay free of rodents!

  • Cut back overgrown grass and shrubbery from the outside walls of your home. Trim tree branches back from your roofline. Place metal flashing at the bottom of trees to prevent rodents from being able to climb them.

  • Repair any cracks or gaps in the foundation and exterior walls of your house. Place weatherstripping around windows and doors and install door sweeps. Seal off spaces around wires, air-conditioners, and other utilities entering your home. Repair holes at the roofline, repair roof damage, and install a tight-fitting cap on the chimney.

  • Eliminate access to food sources. Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins. Rinse out jars and cans before placing them in the recycle bin, pick up uneaten pet food, and keep outdoor eating areas clean. Inside, store food in the refrigerator or containers with air-tight lids.

  • Eliminate their access to water. Keep gutters clear and repair leaky pipes and dripping faucets.

  • Keep storage areas inside your home free of clutter, providing rodents with fewer places to hide.

Helpful Rodent Articles

Why Is It So Hard To Keep Mice Out Of My DC Home?

 

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