Rodents are one of the most common types of pests, and they can be found around the entire country. Did you know in the fall & winter seasons, they find their way into around 21 million homes in the United States? According to a survey by the National Pest Management Association, nearly one-third of all Americans have had a rodent infestation in their homes. There are many different types of rodents that invade homes during these cooler months, and they are usually in search of shelter and food. This doesn’t mean they aren’t still causing issues in the warmer months, but the cooler months are just where they are more common. The majority of homeowners report sightings of rodents in their basements, living rooms, and most commonly in their kitchens.
A mouse or rat problem inside a business or home can become a major threat to both property and health. Salmonella and other types of bacteria can be spread through various types of common rodents. They are also capable of triggering asthma attacks and allergies. They have been known to carry disease-causing parasites such as lice, fleas, and ticks. Besides health threats, rodents are known to damage wood as well as drywall and can also chew through electrical systems, which greatly increases the risk of electrical fires.
Professional rodent prevention tactics and awareness are vital in keeping both property and people safe. Rats can fit through openings that are as small as a quarter of an inch in width. Once inside, female rodents can breed quickly. An example would be a single female mouse being able to have up to 12 young every 3 weeks. This allows infestations to grow at a rapid pace. Listed below are the different types of rodents that are most commonly seen in the Collinsville, IL area during this fall & winter.
- Location: Deer Mice are found all throughout the US
- Where are they found: Deer Mice prefer to nest in more rural areas, places such as log piles, tree hollows, and even old fence posts. These mice are rarely a problem in residential areas. However, they can sometimes wander indoors during the cold weather in search of food and shelter. When It comes to indoor places, they commonly stay in cabins, barns, or sheds.
- Problems Caused: These mice are the most common carrier of hantavirus, which is a group of viruses spread by rodents. These viruses can cause issues with your kidneys, blood, and respiratory systems, which can sometimes be fatal to humans. The virus is most commonly transmitted by the inhalation of dust particles. They are contaminated with the saliva, feces, or urine of the infected mice.
- Prevention: Store birdseed and pet food in secure containers in household areas. Avoid keeping them in places like garages or storage sheds, as this becomes more accessible to deer mice.
- Location: The most common species of rodent, and they are found throughout the country.
- Where are they found: House Mice are typically found nesting in dark, secluded areas inside of structures. They are great climbers and can jump up to a foot high, which allows them to reach withdrawn and isolated areas.
- Problems Caused: House mice are known to cause significant property damage by chewing through insulation and drywall. They also are known to cause electrical fires by chewing through wires found inside the walls of homes. These mice also cause some health-related issues including the spread of Salmonella on stored food.
- Prevention: Since these pests prefer dark and sheltered areas, they tend to hide amongst the clutter. Make sure you are keeping storage areas clean and well-organized, as well as keeping boxes stored off of the floor. Sealing food in rodent-proof containers will also help ensure you are not attracting unwanted pests.
- Location: Similar to the prior two species of rodents, these rats are widespread and can be found throughout the United States.
- Where are they found: Norway rats are primarily nocturnal creatures and often burrow underneath concrete slabs or into piles of garbage. These pests tend to enter homes in the fall when outdoor food sources become scarce. You can typically find these pests nesting in crawlspaces, basements, and other undisturbed areas inside your home.
- Problems Caused: These pests can cause some serious damage to your property. They are known to gnaw through various materials including lead pipes and plastic. They are known to carry diseases including cowpox virus, rat-bite fever, jaundice, and even the plague. Additionally, Norway rats can also bring mites and fleas into your home.
- Prevention: Watch out for signs of an infestation including droppings, damaged food goods, grease rub marks, and gnaw marks. An infestation can grow quickly, so finding and dealing with potential intruders quickly is essential.
If you discover or suspect you have a rodent infestation, make sure to call us at IMEL Pest Control. We will send one of our trained exterminators out to make sure these pests are gone from your homes for good!