Rodents have clearly been around for a very long time and their ability to survive hundreds of thousands of years says a lot about their hardiness as a species. The word “rodent” originated in the mid-19th century and is from the Latin rodent, which means “gnawing.”
If that isn’t descriptive enough, an online Dictionary characterizes rodents as “gnawing mammals of an order that includes rats, mice, squirrels, hamsters, porcupines, and their relatives, distinguished by strong constantly growing incisors and no canine teeth.”
You read that correctly. Rodents’ incisors never stop growing. That means they chew and this chewing causes not only damage but also leaves behind messy, potentially health-damaging leavings and droppings – often one of the first signs there is a rodent problem in the first place.
Mice are the smaller of the two pests, usually measuring no more than 7.5 inches in length (including tail) and weigh less than ½ pound. They can be white, brown or grey in color and are distinguished by their triangular-shaped snout and long facial whiskers. Mice have large, floppy ears and thin, hairy, long tails.
Rats are larger and may grow up to 16 inches in length and weigh much more than their smaller mice relatives. They can be white, gray, brown or black and aren’t known for their personal hygiene. Oftentimes, rat infestations can be identified by the grease marks they leave behind on the surfaces they touch. Rats have snouts that are more blunt, and have long, hairless (often scaly) tails.
Both mice and rats are nocturnal creatures who enjoy spending time with their friends. Many, many friends.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rats and mice spread over 35 diseases worldwide. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.
There are many things that can be done to prevent a mouse or rat problem. A few of the more simple things include reducing clutter, debris, and garbage that could attract rodents to your home or business. Take time to inspect areas where mice or rats could find their way inside, including the seals around doors and windows. Any small hole is enough to give a mouse and his many relatives access to your warm, inviting home.
Setting bait or traps to capture mice and rats is a common strategy and many homes and business owners do try to get a handle on the problem themselves. In the long run, diagnosing, preventing or solving a series rodent problem requires expertise, the right strategies, and professional assistance.
Because of the implications of a rodent infestation (which range from mild inconvenience to some serious health issues,), you can’t afford to let a pest problem like this get out of control. For expert and professional solutions to pesky rodent problems, contact Genie Pest Control at (402) 346-7810 or (712) 325-0808.