Think you have a mouse problem in your basement or rats have taken over your garage? When it comes to dealing with a rodent infestation, it can be difficult to know what type of rodent you have, how you can get rid of them, as well as how to prevent them from coming back. The experts at Garrie Pest Control are here to help. Keep reading for expert answers to the questions our rat and mice exterminators receive most often about rodents in New York!
Frequently Asked Questions About Rodents
Rodents are gnawing mammals and are distinguished by their strong, constantly growing incisor teeth. There are several types of rodents that are common to the state of New York:
Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime and rats only need a gap the size of a quarter. They can enter homes using gaps around dryer vents, utility pipes, exterior doors, and chimneys. Rats, on the other hand, can leap more than 4 feet horizontally and will jump from overhanging trees to access roof lines and attics.
Rats and mice may look similar, but they have a number of unique characteristics that help to set them apart:
- Rats are, of course, bigger than mice. Some rats can measure up to 9 inches long (or up to 16 inches with their tail). Mice are typically 2-4 inches in length (without the tail).
- Rats have larger feet, a thick and hairless tail, and small ears.
- Mice, on the other hand, have larger ears and a long thin tail covered with hairs.
- Rodent droppings differ as well. Rat droppings are shiny black and up to 3/4″ long. Mice droppings are smaller with pointed ends.
Like any pest, rodents are attracted to the easy access to food, shelter, and water inside your home. Especially in our region, rats and mice may be compelled to come inside to escape freezing temperatures outdoors. For the most part, however, rats and mice prefer to be outdoors when they are able to.
Rats are infamous for being excellent climbers. But can rats scale your walls? Typically, rats do not climb interior walls or glass. That said, they will gladly climb brick walls, trees, telephone poles, stair cases, and more. A rat can survive a drop of nearly 50 feet without getting hurt.
Once inside your home, there are a few areas in particular that rats and mice are drawn to. Typically, they prefer dark and undisturbed places that are close to a food source. Some of the most common places you may find rodents inside your house include:
- Crawl spaces
- Inside wall voids
- Garages or sheds
- Beneath cabinets
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A rat or mouse infestation is one of the most feared pest infestations because they are both destructive and dangerous. Here’s why:
- Rats and mice can contaminate surfaces with their feces and urine.
- Some rodent species can carry a wide array of potentially dangerous diseases.
- Rats or mice can cause structural damage to your home with their nesting and mess-making habits.
- With their ever-growing incisors, rodents can gnaw through electric wires and create a fire hazard.
With their ever-growing incisors, rats and mice alike are driven to constantly chew on anything and everything. Needless to say, this can become a bit of a hazard when wires are involved. Some of the materials rats are indeed able to chew through include:
- Soft metals (like aluminum)
- Plumbing pipes
Rodents in your property will likely want to stay away from you. However, rats can bite in defense if they feel threatened. This defensive bite is rare, but can have serious repercussions. Rat saliva in some species carries dangerous diseases such as leptospirosis and Hantavirus. In even more rare circumstances, bite victims may contract rat-bite fever or tetanus infections.
No matter what, always seek professional medical attention when you are experiencing symptoms from a rodent bite.
Yes, rats and mice not only carry germs and diseases but transmit them. In fact, rodents have been linked to the spread of nearly 35 harmful diseases. Some of the most common include:
- Lassa fever
- Rat-bite fever
For the most part, rodents are nocturnal. They prefer to hunt overnight, which is when they’re less likely to be disturbed by human activity. Most rats have poor eyesight, and they’re less likely to be disturbed overnight. They rely on their scent and touch to navigate. During the day, rodents will likely hide in their preferred hiding spots. Seeing a rat during the day is a sign you could have a big infestation on your hands.
Rats and mice can be difficult to get rid of without the help of a professional. There are many store-bought options to do it yourself, but a large infestation almost always needs to be handled by an expert. Not only can a rodent exterminator get rid of your infestation, they can also ensure you do not deal with future rodent problems by helping to prevent them year-round.
Have More Questions For Our Rodent Experts?
If you need more information about rodents, our experts can help! Whether you think you have a rat problem or not, Garrie Pest Control is committed to informing our customers with everything they need to know about the potential dangers of a rodent infestation. Contact us today to learn more!