There are several different types of rodents that have the potential to invade your home at any time, especially during the winter months. Not only can rodents be annoying to deal with in the home, but they can also carry serious diseases with them that can have negative effects on you and your family. Typhus and rabies are only some the diseases you should take into account when preparing for rodent invasions. Besides the disease, rodents can devalue your home by causing all sorts of structural damage, chewing through wiring and drywall to create holes and other problems. If you currently have a rodent infestation in your home, use this guide to determine what you are dealing with, then take the necessary steps to eliminate the population as soon as you can to avoid problems in the future. If you have trouble, find a pest control specialist to help you.
The House Mouse
The most common rodent that homeowners will have to deal with is the house mouse. These creatures are very small, stretching only to about seven inches including the tail, and have beady eyes and ears that are too big for their bodies. When it comes to house mice, the main concern is breeding. They only live about a year, but can have as many as ten litters in that time, meaning they will reproduce quickly if given the opportunity. House mice set up shop in dark, moist places that provide shelter and a secure food source. They prefer grains, but will eat just about anything to stay alive. Have a pest control specialist check your closets, storage areas, and crawl space for any signs of these little guys.
The Roof Rat
The roof rat is larger than the house mouse, and has glossy fur that can range from brown to dark gray or black. Their tails are longer as well, and the roof rat can grow up to sixteen inches in length when including it. Unlike the house mouse, the roof rat can only reproduce four to six times per year, which is still a lot. They will seek sanctuary in garages and sheds, finding any source of food or water to sustain themselves. Roof rats are known to carry disease, and should be dealt with as soon as you detect them to avoid further problems.
The Norway Rat
Norway rats are a bit smaller than roof rats, maxing out at about a foot in length, and their fur is usually a light brown with a white underbelly. They can gnaw through different types of wood and electrical wiring with ease, as their teeth and jaws are very strong. They generally prefer ground floors, but have been known to move about if the conditions call for it. Like other rodents, it is important to get rid of them as soon as you can.