Whether you're looking to control big rodents, small rodents, or furry-tailed rodents in your yard, your task is simplified when you know more about these common rodent pests. Today, we hope to make rodent control as simple as possible by sharing tips for rodent identification, giving general facts about common domestic rodents, and showing how to exclude rodents from your Phoenix home. Of course, the simplest solution is to let the Overson Pest Control team assist you with rodent pest control in Phoenix. You can do that by navigating to our contact page and reaching out to us.

How To Identify Common Types Of Rodents In Phoenix

The list of common rodents in Phoenix is short. Our focus today is on rodents that become indoor pests, which makes the list even shorter. 

  • The big rodents that come into your yard are rats. They come in two general colors: black and brown. The black ones are roof rats. The brown ones are Norway rats. Black roof rats create aerial nests and commonly invade attic spaces in Phoenix homes. Brown Norway rats are ground rodents; they typically create burrows in the ground and go in and out of structures. If conditions warrant permanent indoor habitations, these rodents are fast to take you up on your offer.
  • The small rodents that come into your yard are mice. They come in two general colors: tawny and gray. The tawny mice with the white underbellies are called deer mice. They prefer to inhabit storage lockers, sheds, barns, and other outbuildings. The gray mice are called house mice. As you can imagine, these mice like living in houses.
  • The furry-tailed rodents are squirrels. While typically considered backyard rodents, a squirrel may start to think that living in your home is a pretty good idea. You should discourage them. It is often simple to control squirrels; just don't feed them.

These are the common rodents of Phoenix. While there are others worthy of mention, we'll stay focused on these today for the sake of simplicity, since simple rodent control is our goal.

Rodents Can Spread Disease And Damage Property

It may seem out of place to talk about rodent-related diseases in an article focusing on simple rodent control, but the two subjects go hand-in-hand. Why? Because sanitation is often a simple fix for rodent problems. Poor sanitation can provide food sources or hiding places for rodents. Let's break down these two issues and explain why correcting sanitation problems can provide several benefits.

Organic Debris: What happens when food rots? It smells bad, right? The odor is strong and unappealing to humans but it isn't unappealing to rodents. They can catch the scent of rotting food from a distance and travel across treacherous terrain to get to it. The first step in preventing a rodent problem is to remove conditions that create odors. Here are some examples of how to do this:

  • Open trash. You throw lots of tasty food away. Rodents are happy to get into your trash and nibble on food items even after they start to rot. Cover your trash receptacles to keep rodents from scaling walls and jumping inside. Get your trash to the curb weekly to prevent your receptacles from acquiring a strong odor. If they start to smell, clean and deodorize them to remove any rodent-attracting aromas. 
  • Junk piles. It is common to collect scraps of material and store them in a small junk pile. Some items can attract rodents, such as a pile of old pizza boxes. Any debris that has had contact with food can attract rodents and provide a catalyst for rodent-related illness.
  • Cookouts. There are many ways a backyard cookout can provide a source for disease contamination. Paper plates with old food on them are a treat for rodents and a potential place for contact with invisible organisms related to human disease. Dirty utensils and dirty grills can have germs. Ketchup on the outside of a bottle, or other condiments, can start to rot. These are food sources and a potential for contamination.

Keep leftovers stored in sealed containers and clean up after outdoor fun if you want to deter rodents. When you do this, you'll also prevent rats, mice, and squirrels from picking up harmful microorganisms found in rotting organic matter. Doing so will help deter the spread of salmonella, E. coli, hookworms, and more. Do you see the connection between diseases and rodent control?

Droppings: Urban rats and mice sometimes eat the waste of domesticated animals. It is gross to think about, but these droppings are an attractant that can also contaminate the rodent pests in your yard. When you stay on top of waste clean up, you resist rodents and reduce the health risks.

Yard Work: There are many ways to deter rats, mice, and squirrels with yard work. Some of them will help to reduce health risks and diseases associated with rodents. One tiny mouse can have a hundred seed ticks on its body. (While certainly rare, it is possible.) But even a few ticks or fleas are enough to cause concern. Ticks and fleas can transmit several diseases, not the least of which are Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. When you keep on top of yard work, you reduce moist habitats that are ideal for ticks and fleas, such as dense vegetation and leaf piles. Yard work also helps to remove nuts and fruit from the ground, which are ideal food sources. Rotting fruit can have microorganisms that may lead to rodent-related disease.

When you roll your sleeves up and tackle general sanitation and maintenance, you deter rodents and guard against illness. It's hard work but worth the effort you put in.

How And Why Rodents Find Their Way Into Our Homes

When rodents have reasons to explore your exterior, they can get inside. We've discussed a few conditions you may correct to deter rodent activity. They were centered on disease mitigation. Here are a few that don't present a disease threat but are worth taking the time to correct.

  • Birdseed. There is only one food source rodents love more than nuts and fruit. Seeds. If you have bird feeders, consider relocating feeders that hang near your exterior. Doing so will prevent birdseed from landing on the ground next to your foundation and providing an incentive for rats, mice, and squirrels to hang out near your home.
  • Clutter. Rats and mice have poor eyesight and must use their other senses to navigate. They use their noses to make a map of the smells around them. They use their hearing like sonar in a submarine. But, most of all, they use their whiskers and body hair to feel objects around them like a blind person uses a cane. If you have yard clutter, rodents will use the clutter to encroach upon the exterior of your home.
  • Openings. Rats and mice have a condition called thigmotaxis. They are drawn to squeeze into tight spaces and run in confined locations. They like to have lots of stuff to touch. The reason is likely related to what we already pointed out. Rats and mice can't see in the dark. They use touch as one way to move about in utter darkness. If you offer a gap around a pipe, wire conduit, or exterior door, a rat or mouse may take you up on your offer and squeeze into it.
  • Branches. A squirrel, roof rat, or house mouse, can't help but climb trees. If you have a tree next to your home and a branch that hangs near your roofline, you can invite a problem. Cutting those branches can deter rodents.
  • Pipes. Roof rats, squirrels, and house mice don't just scale trees. They can scale pipes. Do you have a pipe that runs up the side of your home? A rodent might decide to run up the side of your home. You can prevent this by applying a cone-shaped guard.

We could give more examples, but these provide a foundation for considering the unique ways your property may invite a rodent problem. When rodent pressures are high or conducive conditions are hard to manage, a rodent control program is needed. Consult a licensed professional to establish an effective control plan.

The Most Effective Rodent Control For Phoenix Homes

Are you in Phoenix or the surrounding area? If so, contact Overson Pest Control. We offer rodent control and management solutions for Phoenix residents and business owners, including the installation and monitoring of tamper-resistant bait stations, exclusion work, and trapping. Our pest management professionals are highly trained career professionals with experience in selecting rodent control products and applying field-tested strategies to get complete control of rodent pests. Your IPM service technician will evaluate the conditions on your property and provide all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your rodent control. Connect with us today to discuss the options and get answers to your questions, or to schedule a service visit with one of our pest management professionals. We're here to help!

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