What Types Of Rodents Are Most Common In Texas?
The term "rodent" covers a wide range of creatures, many of which will never infest your home, such as beavers or marmots. In all of our years of doing pest control, we haven't had to deal with one beaver infestation. But there are a few rodents we see quite often, and the worst of the worst are mice and rats. When these Texas rodents get into a man-made structure, they can create a plethora of problems.
Small, dark beady eyes, large ears, and long tails make these small rodents easily recognizable. House mice may reach seven inches in length including their tails. Mice fur comes in a range of colors - you may encounter grey mice, brown mice, or even black mice. Their bellies are lighter-colored. Whether you see brown mice or black mice, they may still be the same species. If a mouse is found in your home, it is most likely a house mouse.
Shy Norway rats have stocky bodies, blunt noses, bulging eyes, small ears, and bi-colored tails. These Texas rodents are much larger than their mouse cousins. Norway rats grow up to nine and a half inches in length but their tails add another six to eight inches in length These rats have scruffy brown fur peppered with black hairs. Their bellies are lighter in color, often gray or white. Norway rats are poor climbers but excellent swimmers.
The roof rat can be distinguished from the Norway rat because of their smaller, leaner bodies and their prowess for climbing. These Texas rats are dark brown or black in color with lighter underbellies. Roof rats have pointed noses, large ears, and big, beady eyes. They grow up to eight inches in length, and their long scaly tails add another six to eight inches.
There are several species of squirrels active in Texas including gray squirrels and fox squirrels. Both these Texas rodents will make their way into your home in search of food or shelter. Depending on their species, squirrels range in color from whitish gray to red or brown in color. Their stomachs are usually lighter than the rest of their bodies. Size varies by species.
Are Rodents Dangerous?
Yes, rodents are dangerous. When they infest homes and businesses, they have the potential to transmit Salmonella as well as spread Hantavirus through their urine, saliva, and feces. Rodents also introduce fleas, ticks, and other parasites into the environments they infest.
Rodents are a serious threat to structures and property due to their constant need to chew to keep their incisors trimmed. Texas rodents create fire hazards when they chew through electrical wires. Other building materials that don’t escape their gnawing include drywall (they also nest in it) and flooring. It is very common to find damage caused by rodents in storage areas. They’ll chew through clothing, boxes, furniture, and other household items. Rats that burrow may cause problems around sidewalks, foundations, and decks.
Where Am I Likely To Find Rodents?
Mice are often discovered in attics, basements, under floorboards, and behind wall voids. They’re also frequently found behind appliances that are close to food and around water sources. Norway rats stick to the ground level for the most part and are often found in basements and crawl spaces.
Roof rats, however, are a more agile Texas rat species and tend to go for higher ground. It is common to find them in attics and upper levels of buildings. Squirrels also hang out in attics and will make their nests in chimneys or behind wall voids.
Does Modern Offer Rodent Control?
At Modern Pest Control, we offer rodent control in Greater Houston that includes solutions for mice, rats, and squirrels. A licensed pest control technician will inspect your property to determine what type of rodent(s) are active in your structure and how they’re getting inside. Based on that assessment, our group of exterminators will work with you to develop a trapping and exclusion plan to permanently rid your property of rodents.
How Can I Prevent Rodent Infestations?
When it comes to keeping rodents out of your home or business, you must seal every opening that would permit entry. You may be surprised, but mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime. Our team of pest control professionals recommends:
Eliminating potential food sources on the property, both inside and out.
Implementing proper sanitation methods
Covering chimneys and vents
Fixing loose shingles and mending holes along the roofline.
Sealing any holes or gaps on the exterior.
Decluttering garages and storage areas to eliminate hiding places.