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Rodent Identification Guide

What are rodents?

Rodents are part of the order Rodentia and make up the largest group of mammals. Their name comes from the Latin word "rodere," which means "to gnaw." Rodents, no matter their species, are all characterized by front incisors that continuously grow. Rodents chew on any object they come across in order to prevent their front teeth from overgrowing.Rodents that typically frequent properties located in the Greater Houston Area include the house mouse, Norway rat, and Roof rat.

close up of rat

Are rodents dangerous?

There are many reasons why rodents are dangerous pests and should not be ignored when they invade our properties:

  • Rodents chew through wires, pipes, ducts, and other structural elements.
  • Their chewing habits may cause short circuits, fires, or water damage.
  • Rodents will chew on or stain furniture, clothing, boxes, books, and more with their excrement.
  • Rodents spread many diseases and bacteria to people, including lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), salmonellosis, hantavirus, and leptospirosis.
  • Rodents living inside can trigger allergies with their shed fur and excrement.
  • These furry pests contaminate food sources.
  • Rodents create an unpleasant musky odor in your home near their nesting sites.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Rodents do not hibernate and can become a problem on any property at any time of the year. They typically live and forage for food outside, but often find their way into homes and other structures. Rodents move indoors seeking refuge from unsuitable weather conditions or while foraging for food. Once inside, they usually stay until they are forced to leave.

Where will I find rodents?

Depending on their species and environment, rodents nest in a variety of places:

  • Norway rats nest outside in burrows. They burrow in garbage piles, under woodpiles, and underneath concrete slabs and foundations. They invade buildings at ground level and nest in the basement or behind the walls on the first level.
  • Roof rats live together in colonies. They prefer to nest up off of the ground. Roof rats like to live in trees, dense vegetation, voids along rooflines, chimneys, in attics, and above ceilings.
  • House mice, while preferring an indoor lifestyle, will nest outside in tree stumps, fallen trees, tall grasses, woodpiles, and dense vegetation. Inside they nest in quiet areas like crawlspaces, behind walls, in basements, in the backs of cabinets, and attics. 

How do I get rid of rodents?

The best solution to your problem with rodents is a professional solution. At TNT Home & Commercial Services, we take our time and provide the thorough services needed to solve pest problems once and for all. Our central focus is to ensure that our customers are satisfied, and their property is free of pests! For more information about protecting your Greater Houston home or business from rodents and our area's other common pests, reach out to TNT Home & Commercial Services today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

More than an inconvenience, pests can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. In addition to our professional rodent control services, use the following tips to keep rodents out of your home:

  • Fix any openings in your home's exterior walls and foundation that rodents can squeeze through.
  • Place caps on the chimney.
  • Repair roof damage.
  • Clean up debris from your yard where rodents could nest or hide.
  • Frequently mow your lawn to keep the grass cut short.
  • Cut back overgrown vegetation away from the exterior of your house.
  • Pick up fruits and vegetables that fall to the ground in garden areas.
  • Remove bird feeders from your yard.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food each evening.
 

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