Did you know that rodent infestations are estimated to occur in around one-third of American households? This makes rodents one of the most prevalent pest problems in the country, including in Texas. The most common rodents in Austin are mice and rats, and these species can cause many problems and headaches if they come inside your home. While mice and rats are different species, they have many similarities in how they look and how they act. An infestation of either mice or rats can cause property damage and health risks.
How Can You Identify Rodents?
Given that mice and rats look a little similar, especially if you only get a brief look at them, we’ve provided a simple guide to help you identify which species you're dealing with. It’s also worth noting that it’s very uncommon to have an infestation of both species at the same time.
Mice are a small rodent species that are brown-grey in color. They only get to be about 6-8 inches long and they have triangular heads and thin, long tails. Their droppings are pointed at both ends.
Rats are much larger when adults and can reach up to 18 inches long. They are usually a brown-grey to dark brown color and they have blunt heads and thick, scaly tails. Their droppings are bigger and are rounded at both ends.
Why Are Rodents So Destructive?
You’ve likely heard that rodents can cause property damage, and even the image we have of rodents in pop culture includes mice chewing through walls to make homes inside. Both mice and rats have incisors that constantly grow, so they need to gnaw continually in order to keep these teeth from getting too big.
This rodent behavior of chewing all the time means they can destroy almost anything including clothes, furniture, plastic, wood, wires, and pipes. This can lead to many individual items being damaged, but the even bigger risk is that rodents could damage important home components such as electrical wires and plumbing. You could end up with safety risks throughout your home and have to spend a good deal of money in repairs.
Are Rodents Really That Bad For Your Health?
While it’s important to keep in mind that not all rodents will spread illnesses or make you sick, there is a very real risk of this happening. Mice and rats are known to carry many diseases that can harm humans such as salmonella and hantavirus, and they can also cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks as they leave fur, urine, and feces around your home.
While these are the two main health risks associated with rodents, they can also carry parasites like fleas that can spread even more diseases including the plague. On top of all of this, large rodent infestations can lead to respiratory problems as their droppings fill up inside walls.
Why Expert Help Keeps You Safe From Rodents
Since rodents pose so many health and safety risks, and because they are such difficult pests to prevent and remove, the best way to keep you and your family safe is with Roberts Termite & Pest Control, Inc. We have over 60 years of experience providing residential pest control to the Greater Austin area which means we know how to prevent and control mice and rat infestations of any size.
We make it easy for you to get started by offering free estimates. To request your estimate, or book an appointment, contact us by phone at (737) 214-0780.