Do you remember some of the tough lessons you learned growing up? One of life's difficult lessons we had to learn was that you have to share. If you had siblings, you possibly had to learn to share a bedroom or split time on the gaming console. When you grew older, you may have had to share the use of the family car.

Sharing is a necessary part of survival and relationships, but there are some things that we still don't share; the bar of soap we use in the shower, deodorant, or hair brushes. Why don't we share those items with everyone in the house? We don't share some items because everyone should have things for personal use that are off-limits to others.

If you have a family, you share the house with others, and unless your children are in their forties and still living at home, you probably enjoy sharing your house with family members. Just like personal items, your house is off-limits to those outside your circle of family and friends. You don't want to share your home with strangers unless you need rent money, and you certainly don't want to share your house with rodents!

Rodents are unwelcome guests in our houses, and when they enter, you need to secure the best pest control in Phoenix from Overson Pest Control. We are a locally owned and operated company serving the Pheonix area since 2015. Our award-winning company technicians have over a decade of combined pest control experience, and we know about rodents and how to remove them from homes. One way we serve our community is through education, and in this article, we answer questions to help you win the war against rodents.

Types Of Rodents That Invade Phoenix Homes

Rats, mice, gophers, voles, moles, shrews, chipmunks, and beavers are part of over 2,000 rodent species worldwide. Rodents are nocturnal and are active at night foraging, building nests, and investigating new areas. These mammals have a pair of continually growing upper and lower incisors in each jaw, and they must chew continuously to trim the teeth to keep them from becoming unmanageable. Rodents are omnivores who consume many different foods ranging from leaves, fruit, and seeds to small invertebrates.

Rodents are wild animals that live outside; however, rats and mice have become domesticated and depend upon humans for food, water, and shelter. In the Phoenix area, the two types of rodents problematic for Phoenix homeowners are mice and rats. Let's examine the characteristics and signs of each of these rodents.

There are many mice species, but the house mouse is the one that invades local homes. These mammals have a light-colored underside with brown to grey fur on top. House mice are five to eight inches long; they have a long hairless tail almost the same length as their body. Mice create nests near food and water in dark areas behind heat-producing appliances.

Rats are also domesticated rodents, and Phoenix homeowners usually have issues with Norway rats and roof rats. Like mice, rats have a light underside with brown or grey fur on the top side interspersed with black hairs. Rats are seven to over ten inches long and have small eyes, uncovered ears, and a tail up to nine inches long. Rats create nests near food and water sources and chew holes in walls and floors.

Because these animals are nocturnal and adept at hiding, you may not see them during the day; however, these Arizona rodents leave these signs indicating an infestation:

  • Droppings: Like all living animals, rats and mice produce feces and indiscriminately release the droppings as they travel across surfaces in Phoenix homes. Mice feces is 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch long, smooth, rod-shaped, and have pointed ends. Rats produce shiny black, olive pit-sized rod-shaped droppings with blunt ends. You can find these droppings along the trails they create between nests and food sources and where they feed.
  • Chew marks: Mice and rats constantly gnaw on items in the house to keep their incisor teeth trim and sharp. You can find these marks on furniture, aluminum siding, and food packaging.
  • Holes: Rats create two to three-inch circular holes in walls and floors.
  • Nests: Inside homes, rats and mice create nests using shredded paper, clothing, and insulation. Nests look like four to six-inch balls and are garages, attics, utility closets, and basements. These hiding spots where they raise offspring are usually 10 to 50 feet from food sources.
  • Pathways: Mice and rats travel and create trails from food sources to their nests. As they traverse the areas, they urinate, and in their urine is a pheromone that alerts other mice and rats of the food source. As other rodents enter the home, they follow the urine trails to the food source. A concentration or pattern of tracks, partially eaten food, droppings, gnaw marks, and grease stains indicate a runway. Look for these trails behind appliances, under cupboards, and alongside kitchen cabinets, shower stalls, and bathtubs.
  • Tracks: Mice and rats leave four and five-toed footprints on dusty surfaces of the house. If you think you discovered a pathway, dust it with talcum powder to see if tracks appear in a couple of days.
  • Grease marks: Rodents have oily fur that attracts dirt and grim. Rodents bump into walls and squeeze through holes as they travel through the house, leaving smudges around and on those surfaces.
  • Odor: Rats and mice produce strong-smelling urine; when there is a concentration of rodents, the aroma becomes noticeable and creates a musty smell in the room.

If you see these indications in your Phoenix home, you need pest and rodent control near you from Overson Pest Control.

Rodents Can Make You Sick And Damage Property

Rodents are unwelcomed guests who should not share our house with us because they put the family in danger of serious illnesses. Diseases rats carry are leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and salmonellosis. House mice transfer the same diseases plus lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM).

Rats and mice contract the bacteria and viruses that cause these illnesses as they forage in open garbage, sewers, drains, dead animal, and on animal feces. As noted earlier, rodents have oily fur that attracts dirt and grim, leaving smudge marks on walls and objects, but their oily covering also draws disease-causing organisms. When they travel across kitchen countertops, inside of drawers, and pantries, the pathogens fall off and contaminate surfaces. Later, when the occupants unwittingly use utensils and food products polluted by these organisms, they contract diseases causing symptoms ranging from fever, headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. In some cases, the effects of these pathogens warrant a trip to the hospital.

The rodents may have bacteria or viruses hanging on their fur, but they also may have fleas and ticks hitchhiking their way into your home. Ticks can spread Lyme disease, Heartland virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas carry the dreaded bubonic plague, murine typhus, and tapeworm. Some diseases spread by fleas and ticks harm both family pets and humans. Not only can rodents bring these insects into your house, but they can spark an infestation of fleas and ticks.

Another way rodents may harm family members is from dried feces that become airborne. As the dark droppings dry, they turn grey and flake into airborne particles. The floating pathogens trigger allergic reactions in some children and the elderly.

In addition to the health risks rodents create, they also damage property. Rats and mice gnaw on wiring, furniture, aluminum siding, and anything else available. Rats will create holes in walls and floors. Because they can chew through plastic, these little rodents contaminate stored food products with their saliva as they tear through the containers.

Rodents are dangerous disease carriers. Call us at Overson Pest Control to keep your home rodent-free.

Four Simple Rodent Exclusion Tips For Around Your Home

Rodents are part of the ecosystem; however, that does not mean they need to be in our houses! Use these four easy tips to keep house rodents out of your Phoenix home:

  1. Close cracks: Mice can enter through gaps as small as a dime, and rats need an opening of only 1/2 inch to enter your house. Seal the gaps between incoming pipes, wires, and along the roof line with steel wool; use sheet metal or mortar to close large openings in the foundation.
  2. Seal vents and doors: Use 1/4-inch wire mesh to cover attic and crawl space vents and chimney openings; repair holes in window and door screens.
  3. Install door sweeps: Rats and mice can squeeze under exterior doors and get into the home, so seal off the gaps with door sweeps under all exterior doors. Also, keep the garage door closed as much as possible.
  4. Replace loose mortar along the window frame bases and around the basement foundation. Replace missing bricks or stones in exterior walls.

To minimize attracting rodents to your Phoenix property, practice outdoor rodent control by removing potential hiding places, food, and water sources from the yard.

The best way to eliminate rodents is to use the best local company for effective rodent control, Overson Pest Control. Our technicians will thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of your home to determine hot spots, rodent species, entry points, and attractions. Our trained, certified pest control specialists will create a strategic plan using weighted and locked bait stations and other techniques to remove the rodents. Contact us today and request a free quote!

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