The Dangers Rodents Bring To Houston, TX Properties
If you live in Houston, you probably know about one of the most common home invaders - the rodent. Many types of rodents are in the area, all of which pose a threat to you and your property. Learn more about what makes them so harmful and how you can protect yourself from rodents.
What Rodents Live In Houston?
There are several rodents in the Houston area, and each one comes with its problems. Even if you call a pest control expert at the first sign of rodents, you should still know a little about the most common invaders.
Deer Mice: These rodents are almost cute until you get to know them. Typically, deer mice are brown and have light feet and bellies. They can grow from five to a total of eight inches long, which makes them small enough to get into tight spaces. When outside, deer mice like to nest in fence posts, debris piles, and logs. As the temperature drops, deer mice may head inside to escape the cold. They often seek shelter in attics, wall voids, and storage boxes.
House Mice: Even smaller than deer mice, house mice can enter your home through an opening the size of a dime. They are grayish-brown and often depend on humans for an easy meal. You might find these mice lurking in your pantry or near your garbage can. Although all rodents chew on things, house mice are notorious for chewing on insulation and wiring. They might remain hidden from your sight for a while, but house mice can do significant damage.
Roof Rats: As you might expect, roof rats are commonly seen on roofs and in other high places. They climb very well and make their way up trees to gain access to your attic. Roof rats are somewhat slender in body shape and have brown to black fur. Because they are agile, roof rats can be difficult to keep away from. It would help if you took measures to keep them far away from your home, but even then, they might get inside.
Norway Rats: People often refer to these rats as sewer rats because they tend to hang out in sewers and alleys. Unfortunately, they also like to invade homes and businesses in Houston. These rats have brown fur as well as black speckled spots. Although this rat can't climb, it's a good swimmer. Typically, people find Norway rats in their basement, debris piles, and garbage cans. They cause as much damage as other rodents, which means you could end up with thousands of dollars in property damage.
Raccoons: Although people often think of only mice and rats as rodents, there are other types of rodents. The common raccoon is the largest rodent in Houston, weighing as much as 18 pounds. If the size isn't enough to help you identify this creature, the patterns and colors should. Raccoons have a distinct facial mask as well as gray or black fur. What makes raccoons so troublesome is the fact that they are highly intelligent. They can open up your garbage cans and cause extreme property damage. If raccoons find your property appealing, you will find it challenging to keep them from getting into your trash and your home.
Squirrels: Even squirrels cause problems for property owners. They may look adorable, but squirrels have sharp teeth and can chew on your wiring and insulation. If squirrels choose to nest in your walls, you have a serious problem. As excellent climbers, squirrels can get onto your roof and inside through hidden openings. You might think your home is safe from squirrels, but the upper levels of your property could have a few entrances.
Why Are Rodents In Houston Dangerous?
Now that you know about the local rodents, you might be wondering what it is that makes them so dangerous. You should know a few things about Houston's rodents, which helps you understand why you don't want them around.
Rodents Spread Diseases: While some animals are scary because they can bite you, rodents are dangerous for other reasons. All rodents in Houston can spread diseases to humans, and it happens in a few different ways. Typically, rodents spread diseases through their feces, hair, and urine. When rodents bite you, they also spread diseases. Rabies is a potentially deadly disease that is transmitted when a rodent that carries the disease bites you. Although not all rodents are carriers of rabies, some of them are. You should always seek medical attention after receiving a bite from a rodent unless it's a pet. Hantavirus and rat-bite fever are only two of the diseases rodents can spread. If you own a food-related business, all of your customers could be vulnerable to various bacteria and pathogens. As they seek out food, rodents often contaminate large quantities of pantry storage items.
Trigger Allergies: Rodents also can trigger allergies or asthma, which is another health hazard. When you have multiple rodents running around your property, there's a good chance someone will experience symptoms. They may have shortness of breath, sneezing, or red eyes. When someone has asthma, the stakes are high. Your rodent problem could be what triggers a nearly fatal asthma attack. You or a loved one shouldn't need to live in fear.
Introducing Other Pests: As mammals, rodents sometimes carry parasites. A mouse could have fleas or ticks on it and then bring those Houston pests into your home. Now, on top of dealing with rodents, you need to worry about fleas and ticks. Many parasites can spread diseases to humans. With fleas, there's a risk of several diseases. The ticks in Houston are also capable of spreading several diseases when they prey on humans. If you have any pets on your property, they may also suffer at the hands of these pests.
Property Damage: One of the shared characteristics of rodents is teeth that grow constantly. If rodents don't chew on things, their teeth become too long, and they could eventually die. Therefore, rodents have a biological need to gnaw on hard objects. They might chew on your furniture, insulation, and cabinets. Even if you only have one rodent in your home, the potential for damage is high. But there's usually more than one rodent around, which means you're likely to have significant damage. You may need to replace your furniture, cabinets, and much more. If damage occurs to structural elements of your home, the repair cost will be higher. You could find yourself with thousands of dollars in damage. It's worth mentioning that the urine and feces of rodents can also cause property damage. If you have antiques or prized possessions stored in an area with rodents, they may become a lost cause. As rodents urinate and defecate inside your boxes of belongings, you might experience invaluable losses.
Fire Hazard: People often overlook the potential for a fire hazard when rodents are around. When rodents chew on electrical wires, they make your home a dangerous place. Electricity flowing through the wires could arc and result in a spark and fire.
Your home has many hidden dangers. Because your wiring is behind walls, you can't know when your electrical system is one of those dangers. As long as rodents are around, there's a chance your home is a fire hazard.
The Challenges Posed By Houston Rodents
Out of all the pests in Houston, rodents are one of the only ones that primarily rely on humans for food. It's not a new trend; centuries ago, rats and mice learned that humans have an abundance of food. Trash scraps and food storage give rodents everything they need to survive, and the food source never goes away.
Because you always have food for rodents on your Houston property, it's nearly impossible to keep them away. You also have other factors that make your property appealing, like shelter and water. In the winter, rodents are particularly attracted to your home or business. The cold weather sends these mammals scrambling to find a warm place to hide. The space inside your walls is just what rodents need to weather a long winter.
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to make your property less appealing as a shelter. Sure, you can follow a few basic rodent prevention tips. But you can't eliminate water sources from your property, nor can you make it impossible for rodents to get inside. Sharp rodent teeth can turn almost any hole into an opening large enough for the biggest Houston rat or squirrel to get into.
Rodent Elimination Is Even More Difficult
As hard as it is to keep rodents out of your Houston property, it's even more challenging to get rid of them after they enter your home or business. Rodents reproduce at a rapid rate, and this means a few rodents quickly grows into an infestation. Evicting hundreds of rodents is a task that almost no home or business owner is up to.
Even getting rid of a few rodents is a challenge. Although most stores sell rodent traps and baits, these products aren't 100% effective. For instance, you need to know precisely where to place a mousetrap for it to catch mice. This means having extensive knowledge of rodent habits and behavior.
Some of the products you find may be dangerous to humans or other animals. If you use glue traps to catch rodents, you could end up harming another critter. Chemical baits may be harmful to a young child on your property. When it comes to rodent elimination, the safest and most effective method is to work with an experienced professional.
Tips For Rodent Control In Houston
To keep you, your customers, or your family from experiencing the danger of a rodent infestation, you should protect your property. These tips are an excellent way to get started but are no substitute for professional assistance.
Clean The Area Around Your Home Or Business: While it's important to keep rodents from coming inside your home or business, it's even more important to keep them away from your property. If rodents don't approach your yard, they won't try to get into your home. For rodent protection, take measures to make your yard unappealing to all of the local rodents. This means you should tidy up your property, removing all junk piles, debris piles, and overgrowth. If you don't already have a yard maintenance routine, create one. You need to keep your lawn from becoming too tall and your bushes from spreading. If you notice any trees or tall bushes touching your home or business, trim them back.
Close Openings: Do a thorough inspection of your property and identify any potential rodent entrances. If you see cracks in your foundation, holes around your plumbing or wiring, or gaps under your door, take measures to close them up. There are a variety of methods you can use to eliminate openings. If you don't have any apparent gaps, you may be able to keep rodents out. However, you need to regularly check for new openings and consider inspecting your attic for any holes that lead outside.
Close Up Your Trash Cans: Rodents are sure to come by if you have garbage cans full of accessible food. If you want to stay safe from rodents, store your trash in containers with lids. Business owners should invest in dumpsters that seal tightly. Your inside trash cans should also have covers. In addition to keeping away rodents, this can keep away other pests.
Work With A Professional
Whether you have a rodent infestation or you want to keep Houston rodents out, you should consider working with an experienced professional. Our team at Modern Pest Control has been providing reliable service to Houston residents for years. We pride ourselves on getting the job done in a timely and effective manner. When you have rodent trouble, you can rely on us. Call now to schedule an appointment.