WHAT TYPES OF RODENTS ARE MOST COMMON IN TEXAS?
Rodents, as defined by Merriam Webster, is an order of relatively small gnawing mammals that have both jaws and a single pair of incisors with a chisel-shaped edge. In Texas, the types of rodents property owners/managers encounter the most are mice, rats, and squirrels.
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 and have grayish brown to dark gray or black fur. Typically, their bellies are lighter-colored.
Shy Norway rats have stocky bodies, blunt noses, bulging eyes, small ears, and bicolored tails. Norway rats grow up to nine and a half inches in length but their tails add another six to eight inches. These rats have scruffy brown fur peppered with black hairs and their undersides are light 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 in climbing. Dark brown or black in color with lighter underbellies, roof rats have pointed noses, large ears, and 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 the gray squirrels and fox squirrels. 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. 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 water sources. Norway rats stick to ground level for the most part and are often found in basements and crawl spaces while roof rats, the athletes of the two rats, go for higher ground. It is common to find them in attics and upper levels of buildings. Squirrels also hang out in attics, nest in chimneys and behind walls 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 in. Based on that assessment, a trapping and exclusion plan will be developed to get rid of rodents and to keep them out of your property. Visit our rodent and wildlife control page to learn more about our services or simply contact us to request more information.
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 might be surprised but mice can squeeze throw openings as small as a dime. Our team of pest control professionals also recommend:
- 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.
- Seal any holes or gaps on the exterior.
- De-cluttering garages and storage areas to eliminate hiding places.