Rodent Identification Guide

What are rodents?

Rodents are part of the order Rodentia and make up the largest group of mammals. All rodents, no matter their size or shape, have front incisors that continuously grow throughout their life. Their name comes from the Latin word "Rodere," which means "to gnaw." In order to prevent their front teeth from overgrowing, rodents will gnaw on anything they come across. Species of rodents that commonly invade yards, homes, and businesses in our Huntsville, Alabama service area include the Norway rat, roof rat, and field mouse. 

a rat crawling on the ground outside a home

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are not only pesky but are also a health threat to people and can cause extensive and expensive damage in and around our homes. Rodents carry a wide variety of diseases and can spread hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat-bate fever, salmonellosis, and more through their saliva, urine, and feces. Inside homes, rodents contaminate food, dishes, food prep areas, and other surfaces with bacteria and human pathogens. They also introduce disease-spreading ticks and fleas onto properties. 

Rodents not only spread diseases but are very destructive pests. Their constant chewing causes a lot of damage to personal property and the structures of our Huntsville, AL homes and businesses. They damage wires, insulation, pipes, drywall, and flooring. Rats have poor vision and leave grease marks on walls and furniture as they follow the same path from their food source to their nest each day. Rodents also chew on and damage personal items like clothing, shoes, and furniture. 

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Rodents are wild animals, but because our habitats have merged, rodents have become used to living near people. They have come to rely on us for food, water, and shelter. Rodents forage for food from open trash cans, compost bins, pet food bowls, and gardens. Mice and rats like to live outside, but to escape harsh weather; they often move into our temperature-controlled homes and businesses, which also provide them with safe shelter and easy access to food. 

Where will I find rodents?

You will find most rodents nesting within 10 to 30 feet of food sources. Outside, mice and rats place their nests in sheltered locations, away from predators and people. You'll find rodent nests in tall grass, under woodpiles, in dense vegetation, along riverbanks, under decks, and under the foundations of buildings. Roof rats are a type of rodent that like to nest up high in trees. 

Rodents often find their way inside homes and businesses while they forage for food or to escape harsh weather. Inside, rodents nest behind walls, under floors, in attics, basements, and kitchen areas behind large appliances or the backs of cabinets. 

How do I get rid of rodents?

Get rid of rodents by partnering with the trusted home pest experts at Custom Pest Control. For over 20 years, we have been helping home and business owners maintain pest-free properties. If you are looking for a personal approach to pest control, look no further.

At Custom Pest Control, we customize our pest control programs to meet the unique needs of each of our customers. Let our family protect your family from North Alabama's toughest pests! For more information about our rodent control service, reach out to Custom Pest Control, and speak with one of our friendly professionals today.

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

The best way to prevent problems with rodents is to partner with a professional and implement the following prevention tips in and around your Huntsville, Alabama home:

  • Seal any entry points found in your structure's foundation or exterior walls.
  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Place cap on chimneys and repair loose or missing roof shingles.
  • Put mesh covers on vents and drains entering into your home.
  • Fix any holes in the roof eaves.
  • Cut tree branches back away from the roof.
  • Store firewood away from the outside walls of your home.
  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins. 
  • Remove bird feeders from your yard.
  • Store any leftover food in the refrigerator or inside of glass or plastic storage containers with airtight lids.

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