Common rodents that infest our Southern Florida homes and businesses include rats, mice, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, voles, guinea pigs, and chipmunks. Rodents have sharp incisors that they use to gnaw wood, drywood, wiring, food, and even used to bite predators. Most rodents can live quite comfortably among humans finding a place to nest away from the activity of those living in the home and coming out at night in search of food. Your home presents an excellent source of shelter for them and their young, particularly during the colder months.
Major metro areas throughout our service area have a notorious problem with rats. The infrastructure of the city including tight living quarters, high population of people and an overabundance of trash create the perfect storm for serious rat problems. Rat control requires a thorough understanding of rat’s behaviour, preferences and prevention methods as well as a plan as unique as the setting of the infestation.
Rats live in extremely unsanitary conditions and carry many diseases that are health risks to humans, due to their droppings and constant incontinence (rats often times use urine trails to find their way in the dark). Rats have the ability to cause electrical fires in buildings by gnawing through electrical boxes. Rats constantly gnaw on solid objects to keep short/sharpen their constantly growing incisor teeth.
Rats can be a serious problem in cold winter months when they seek food and warmth inside houses and other building structures. They can suddenly appear in large numbers when excavation work disturbs their in-ground nest, or their food source is changed. For example, rats feeding in schools might enter closeby properties during the school holidays when schools are closed.
Rats are often a problem where structures are located near waterways, creeks and canals or other places where ready water supply is available.
A mouse infestation can be very frustrating for a homeowner and store bought traps and poisons can be very easily misused and even dangerous around a home. A pest professional with a thorough understanding of mice as well as their habits and food preferences can get an infestation under control rather quickly.
Mice are more than just a nuisance they infest your home gnawing on wiring and posing a fire hazard. They also will search out food contaminating areas throughout your kitchen as they constantly leave droppings behind that can transmit disease to humans.
Roof rats are quite remarkable and agile with an adult roof rat able to squeeze into your home through a hole as small as the size of a quarter and can live for up to 18 months, but most will die before they are one year old. As their name suggests they are excellent climbers and get their name because they usually live high above the ground on tops of buildings, on roofs or in attics. They also live in sheds, garages, under floors, in wood stacks and thick grass.
Roof rats can dig three feet straight into the ground and have extremely strong teeth that allow them to chew through hard objects such as glass, cinderblock, aluminum and lead. They have very poor vision and are color blind, but they have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. Rats have around 5 litters each year and each litter has 6 to 12 young in it. Roof rats can start reproducing when they are just three months old. This can make a roof rat infestation grow rather quickly in a short amount of time.
Another rat common in our Florida service area is the Norway Rat (also know as the brown rat, common rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat). They are one of the best known and most common rats. They inhabit areas wherever humans live, especially in urban areas.
If you live near water or swampland then you are most likely familiar with the muskrat. This rodent is a medium-sized native to North America.. They are usually found in wetlands and can thrive in a wide range of climates and habitats. Muskrats play an important role in nature and are a resource for humans in the way of food and fur.
Muskrats damage is mostly due to their burrowing tendencies. They can damage swimming pools, ponds or aquatic gardens. Muskrats are referred to as “rats” in a general sense because they are medium-sized rodents with an extremely adaptable lifestyle, as well as an omnivorous diet. They can also carry and transmit disease and should a population settle into your property a pest professional can help control them.