15 / Jan / 2021
Rodents are a dangerous pest that present numerous dangers to the homes they infest. Between damaging property, spreading disease, and contaminating anything they come across, rodents are a headache-inducing pest no one wants to have.
However, they’re also notoriously difficult to eliminate. Due to their fast reproductive rate and ability to get into almost anywhere in homes they invade, Irvine residents are always better off leaving their pest problems to the professionals.
Rodents spread bacteria through their urine, droppings, and saliva, transmitting diseases like murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and rat bite fever. Plague is a disease that both roof and Norway rats can carry, but in California it is more commonly associated with squirrels, chipmunks, and native woodrats. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is rare but often associated with rodents.
The second big problem rodents bring to buildings they invade is property damage. Rodents are known for causing a lot of property damage due to their persistent gnawing. We derive the word “Rodent” from the Latin word “rodere” means “to gnaw,” and gnaw they do! Rodents gnaw, eat, and contaminate any food items they come across. They gnaw electrical on wires, wood, and walls. They’ll also tear up insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting, including soft metals such as copper and lead, as well as plastic.
This area of California has several rodent and related species marauders but as elsewhere in the U.S the most common rodent pests are the Norway rat, the Roof rat, and the house mouse.
At 7-9 ½ inches long, the Norway rat aka sewer rat, brown rat, or common rat are the larger of the two species with tails shorter than its body length, a stocky appearance, and small ears. They are brown with scattered black hairs; gray to white underside with a blunt muzzle. They reach reproductive maturity within several weeks. Norway rats tend to be the most problematic in coastal or downtown areas.
Roof rats, aka black rats, fruit rats, or house rats, are smaller and sleeker, with tails that are longer than their bodies, with their 16″ total length made up of 6-8″ body plus 6-8″ tail. They have light undersides with a long thin with scaly tail, large ears and eyes. They typically live indoors in attics and outdoors in trees and dense vegetation. They reach reproductive maturity within a few months, allowing them to reproduce quickly.
House mice have slender grayish brown bodies 2 1/2 – 3 3/4″ long with a slightly pointed nose, black protruding eyes, large sparsely-haired ears, and a nearly hairless tail with scale rings and a cream belly. Adults weigh from 1/2 to 1 ounce. In the wild, they often feed on seeds and grain, but will prefer sugar whenever present. Their eclectic diet can include bacon, chocolate, candies, butter, and nutmeats.
It is rare to find both rats and mice inhabiting the same space as rats will chase, hunt, kill, and eat mice.
The quicker you can identify a rodent infestation, the faster you can take steps to eliminate it. Here are some key warning signs that can tip you off to a rodent infestation early:
Damaged fruits and nuts, such as walnuts, oranges, and avocados.
Signs of gnawing on plastic wood or rubber materials.
Droppings found close to a rat runway or feeding location.
Gnawing sounds from attic, subfloor areas and wall spaces.
Sighting them on fence posts, in your garden, or in your basement.
Burrows in the ground near foundation or slab and pipes
holes in your exterior and interior walls and finish boards.
However, due to the dangers rodents cause and the difficulty that comes with trying to treat them, prevention is always the best idea when it comes to rodents.
If you want to keep your home protected from the many problems rodents bring, here are some effective prevention steps you can use to lower your risk for infestation:
Keep all food sources locked in gnaw-proof cabinets or containers.
Seal all points of entry including cracks around doors and windows.
Screen dryer vents and chimney openings.
Repair all holes in fascia and soffit boards immediately.
Keep garbage in sealed bins and dispose of it regularly.
Keep tree limbs cut back from the roofline and trimmed to prevent any chance of nesting.
Clean rain gutters of squirrel treats like seeds and edible detritus of all kinds.
Routinely harvest ripe fruit and pick up all fruit that has fallen to the ground.
Control snails and clean up pet feces.
Repair leaking or sweating faucets, sprinklers, and other piping.
Controlling invasive rodents is a lot of work and if you do not have the time, tools, or expertise, the most effective & safest way to get rid of rodents is to contact the professionals at Malang Pest Control. We have all the tools and knowledge you need to eliminate your rodent problem quickly and completely. Contact us today and eliminate rodents from your life today!