Rodent Identification Guide

What are rodents?

Rodents, such as mice and rats, are common invaders of Central New York homes and businesses, and are known for their destructive and annoying behavior. Mice and rats are mammals, and are commensal rodents; this means that they have come to want to share our table, or live with us.

mouse in the dirt

Over time, mice and rats have learned to take advantage of the food and water sources our properties and homes offer them. Rodents are unwanted pests that provide us no benefits, and must be kept out of our structures.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents belong to the order Rodentia, and vary in size, shape, and behavior. All rodents, however, have one thing in common: constantly growing front incisors. To help keep their teeth sharp, and to prevent them from overgrowing, rodents gnaw on anything they come across. Their chewing behavior makes them very damaging pests to have in your home or business. Rodents will chew through and destroy wires, pipes, drywall, flooring, furniture, boxes, and more.

In addition to their destructive behavior, rodents are dangerous because of the diseases, bacteria, and parasites they can spread. Rodents spread hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis, all of which make people very ill. Rodents will also contaminate food, food prep areas, and other surfaces with their saliva, urine, and feces.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

The most common reason rodents are on your property is because of easy access to food. Like all of us, rodents like to know where their next meal is coming from. The more areas on your property where they can forage for food, the happier they will be.

Rodents forage for food in gardens, fruit trees, recycling bins, compost piles, and garbage cans. Rodents also will take advantage of any opening they find in our homes or commercial buildings to come in and search for more food, or to escape extreme weather. 

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents live outside in sheltered areas that protect them from the elements and hungry predators. They nest in tall grass, fields, under fallen trees or woodpiles, in dense landscaping, in trees, and along riverbanks. They also nest near our homes under decks, along roof eaves, or in chimneys.

Those rodents that have moved inside to create a nest will do so within 30 feet of a food source. Typical indoor nesting spots include wall voids, under floors, basements, attics, the backs of cabinets, and behind large appliances. 

How do I get rid of rodents?

Get rid of rodents from your Central New York property with the help of local, experienced professionals. At Sweeney’s Pest Elimination, we have been protecting people and properties from our area’s most common pests for over 20 years.

If you are experiencing problems with rodents, our professionals will take care of the problem and put into place the services needed to stop them from returning. To learn more about our residential or commercial pest control solutions and eliminate rodents from your Central New York property, contact us at Sweeney’s Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

In addition to our professional rodent control services, avoid future problems with rodents by putting into place the following prevention tips:

  • Remove bird feeders from your property.

  • Pick up any uneaten pet food.

  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins.

  • Seal up entry points in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Repair any roof damage you find.

  • Use a copper mesh and a siloconized sealant to seal spaces around wires, pipes, and other utilities that go into your home.

  • Place covers over chimney openings.

  • Cut back overgrown vegetation, bushes, and tree branches from your home.

  • Get rid of standing water from your property.

  • Inside your home, store food in the refrigerator or in containers with airtight lids.

  • Regularly move large appliances and clean behind them.

  • Keep cabinets and pantries free of clutter and food debris.

 

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