The presence of rats in your home can introduce a lot of problems. Not only can they carry harmful diseases, but they can cause a lot of damage to your property. Rats may be abundant in the city of Houston, but you can keep these pests away from your home by utilizing a few simple practices.
Identifying the Common Rodents in Houston
Before you can build a proper rodent defense, you need to know your enemy. These are some of the basics of the most common rodents found in Houston.
The deer mouse has a short body with brown fur and small ears. They avoid residences, populating outdoor areas like farming buildings and sheds. Deer mice like small grains and fruits but also eat insects.
House mice are the most common type of rodent to infest a home, breeding very quickly. House mice are a dusty gray color with an off-white belly. They will consume almost any human food they can get their paws on.
Roof rats are dark black. They prefer to live on high ground, making your roof and attic the perfect breeding place for them. They eat just about anything and contaminate any food source they come in contact with.
Norway rats are prevalent throughout the entire United States, particularly in urban communities. This is where they have the best access to garbage to burrow in and to eat. When colder weather comes, they will enter the nearest home and begin foraging for food.
Outside Areas to Focus On
The outside of your home is the first place to prepare because it’s the first place the animals will visit. You can fortify your structures to prevent rodents from nesting in them.
Some of the most common places for rodents to visit are gardens or tool sheds. They are full of nooks and crannies that make for perfect nests. You’ll also want to keep a close watch on any fruit trees in your yard and closed-in playgrounds.
The main thing that attracts rodents is food. If you have food lying around your yard or garden, you will almost certainly get visitors. You should regularly harvest fruit trees and remove rotting fruits from the ground.
Also, avoid having too much clutter. The more cluttered a structure is, the more places rodents can hide. Keep everything organized and aligned, and you’ll be able to spot a pest right away.
You can also seal up any holes or entranceways to your home to keep rodents from getting in from your yard.
Inside Areas to Focus On
Rats and mice love to live in dark places that humans don’t visit very often. Inside the home, they enjoy areas like ceilings, attics, basements, and walls. You can also find them in storage rooms if you don’t go there often.
During the winter, rodents will become more courageous and enter homes to get warm. Other than that, it’s all about food. They love to eat your scraps, so if you have a lot lying around, it’s only a matter of time before a rodent problem develops.
The best way to keep rodents out of your house is to keep it clean and tidy up unvisited spaces as often as possible. Clean any food mess and seal any dry goods in plastic. Regularly clean attics and other storage areas so they are less likely to attract pests.
Signs to Look For
If you’re not sure if you have a rodent problem, some tell-tale signs indicate it. First, you’ll want to look for droppings. Rodent droppings are usually about ⅛ to ¼ of an inch long and come in several clusters.
Also, look for scratch marks on walls and food bags. A large infestation will also leave a smell of urine. Mice and rats use urine to communicate, and when you have a lot of them, the smell will be hard to miss.
Dangers Caused by Rodents
The greatest dangers caused by rodents are diseases. Rats and mice can contaminate your food supply with harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli. They can also carry ticks, fleas, and other parasites that can transmit diseases such as the plague or Lyme disease. Rodents can also chew through your electrical wiring, increasing your chances of a dangerous electrical fire.
It’s important to get rid of rodents before they cause any of these major problems. Fortunately, our Houston pest experts can get rid of rodents quickly and safely. Contact Stampede Pest Control today to get a free quote!