When you think about pests, your mind might go straight to insects, but there are mammals that are also common home-invading pests. Rodents are pests that you’re likely to encounter at one point another on your Austin property, and by far the most common home-invading rodents are mice and rats.
These are two unique species, but they do share many similarities in appearance, behavior, and problems they cause for humans. Both mice and rats can damage property and cause health problems, so they are more than just a nuisance.
How Can You Tell Mice And Rats Apart?
You might wonder how to tell mice and rats apart given that they can look quite similar. While full-grown rats are bigger than full-grown mice, baby rats can be about the same size as adult mice. However, there are some other things you can look for. Mice are brown-grey with small, triangular heads and thinner, longer tails while rats are either brown or black and have a blunter head and thicker, shorter tails. Their droppings are also different as mouse droppings are pointed at both ends while rat droppings have round ends.
The Dangers Of A Rodent Infestation
Mice and rats can cause many safety and health risks around your property. For one thing, they have the need to constantly gnaw which means they chew through many materials including pipes, wires, and drywall. However, the main thing to worry about when it comes to rodents is the health concerns they can cause for humans. Here are some of the many serious problems mice and rats pose:
- They can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
- Their feces, fur, and urine can make you sick.
- Mice and rats can carry many diseases including hantavirus and salmonella.
- They can contaminate food.
- In rare cases, they may bite.
- Their feces can build up over time in walls and cause respiratory concerns.
- They usually have parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites.
What Are The Signs Of A Rodent Infestation?
Because rodents are such dangerous and destructive pests, knowing the signs of an infestation can help you identify the problem early on and take steps to remove them. The following are five common signs of a mouse or rat infestation:
- Scurrying sounds coming from inside walls
- Noticing that baseboards have been chewed through
- Finding small, rod-shaped droppings around your property
- Seeing food packaging that has been chewed through
- Smelling a strange, musty odor
Are Rodents Easy To Remove?
If you do have a rodent problem, you might be tempted to try to remove them on your own, but this isn’t advisable. Overall, DIY rodent removal methods aren’t very effective as mice and rats can hide in so many hard-to-reach places and are also very prolific. This means that common methods such as traps and bait usually don't get the entire infestation. Plus, some rodent control measures such as bait can be dangerous for small children or pets. This is because the poisonous bait is often in bright shades that can look or smell like food for a child or animal.
The Safest Way To Remove Rodents
Rodents running around your property pose many dangers, so they aren’t pests that should be allowed to remain in close proximity to you or others around you. Since handling rodent problems on your own can also be dangerous, the safest and most effective way to get rid of an infestation is with pest control services from Roberts Termite & Pest Control, Inc. With over 60 years of experience in the Austin area, you can trust that our experts can remove any rodent infestation no matter how large. To schedule a free estimate, call us at (737) 214-0780.