Rodents

What are rodents?

Rodents make up the largest group of mammals and are identified by their continuously-growing front incisors. Many species of rodents have come to somewhat rely on people for their survival, and they have become a major problem inside homes and businesses.

a mouse climbing on electrical wiring in bel air south

The most common species of rodents causing problems for people living in Maryland include Norway rats, house mice, field mice, and deer mice.

Norway rats
Norway rats have heavy, dense bodies. They are not great climbers and typically enter homes and other buildings through the ground floor. Norway rats have shaggy fur that is brown or gray in color. Their underbellies are lighter in color. Norway rats' bodies grow to about 9 ½ inches in length, and their bi-colored tails add another 6 to 8 inches.
 
House mice
House mice have small, slender bodies that grow to between 2 ½ and 3 ¾ of an inch in length. Their tails add another 3 to 4 inches to their total length. Their tails and large ears are covered in a light layer of soft, velvety fur. The color of their fur can vary between grayish-brown, dark gray, or black. Their underbellies are always lighter in color than their bodies.
 
Field mice
Field mice are usually gray or tawny brown in color, and their underbellies are covered in white hairs that extend back behind their tails. They also have lighter-colored, or white, feet. Field mice have short tails that are about the same length as their bodies. From nose to tail, adult field mice grow to between 5 and 8 inches in length.
 
Deer mice
Deer mice have large ears covered in fur, black eyes, and a slender build. Adults are brownish-red or grayish-brown in color, and have lighter, whitish-colored underbellies and feet. Their tails are covered in fine hair, and are bi-colored: darker on top and lighter-colored on the underside.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are a danger to both people and property when living inside homes or other buildings. Some examples of negative rodent behavior are:

  • Rodents quickly create structural damage by chewing through electrical wires, lumber, insulation, drywall, duct work, and flooring. 

  • Rodent chewing habits can cause fires and water damage.

  • Rodents cause personal items like furniture, clothing, and books to become damaged.

  • Rodents carry and spread many serious diseases, including Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), salmonellosis, dysentery, Hantavirus, and leptospirosis. 

  • Rodents' shed fur, saliva, and excrement can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. 

  • Rodents regularly contaminate food sources with their urine, excrement, and saliva.  

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Properties that are located next to or in close proximity to fields, parks, wooded areas, and meadows tend to have problems with rodents. Rodents that are living out in the wild are attracted to properties that provide them with easy access to food, water, and shelter.
 
Rodents will feed on, drink from, or seek shelter in the following:

  • Vegetable and fruit gardens

  • Compost piles

  • Pet food

  • Open containers of garbage

  • Outdoor eating areas

  • Bird seed

  • Bird baths

  • Clogged gutters

  • Wild animal feeders

  • Wood piles

  • Dense vegetation

  • Piles of debris

Rodents invade homes and other buildings throughout the entire year. However, they do tend to become more problematic in the late fall and winter months, when they are looking for shelter where they can overwinter.

Where will I find rodents?

Outside
Outside, rodents nest in a variety of places including tree stumps, piles of wood, abandoned nests of other small animals, between rocks, in tall grasses, and in dense vegetation. They will also seek shelter under piles of debris, decks, foundations, sheds, or along the sides of rivers or ponds.

Inside
Inside homes and other buildings, rodents nest in dark, out-of-the-way places, such as behind walls, in basements and crawl spaces, in attics, behind large appliances, or underneath sinks. Rodents find their way inside through spaces in exterior walls and the foundation, through chimneys, and through holes found along the roof line or at roof intersections.

How do I get rid of rodents?

To completely eliminate rodents from your home or business and prevent a re-infestation, partner with a knowledgeable professional. At Pest Czar, our local and experienced professionals can provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to find and eliminate all the rodents living in your home or business. We can then prevent their return by implementing one of our GreenPro certified pest protection plans. For exceptional, eco-friendly rodent control services in the Baltimore Metro area of Maryland, call Pest Czar!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

The following tips can help you to prevent future problems with rodents in and around your Washington DC or Maryland home or business:

  • Put into place a professional residential or commercial rodent control program from Pest Czar.

  • Outdoor trash containers should have tight-fitting or locking lids on them.

  • Maintain gardens and outdoor eating areas.

  • Remove sources of water from your property.

  • Pick up pet food between feedings.

  • Trim tree branches, bushes, and shrubs away from the outside of your home or business.

  • Make sure damage to your home’s roof or roofline is repaired.

  • Place caps on all chimneys.

  • Seal cracks and crevices found in your home’s foundation and exterior walls.

  • Place door sweeps underneath all exterior doors.

 

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