a black rat on the floor in a house

What are rodents?

Mice and rats are examples of rodents that most people are familiar with. Other examples of rodents that residents of Louisiana commonly see include squirrels, beavers, and nutria. All rodents have a set of strong front incisors that never stop growing and that they use for gnawing off chunks of food; they use their back molars to grind up the food. They also use their sharp front incisors to gather items to create their nests, enter through barriers, and defend themselves.

a black rat on a wooden table

In order to prevent their front incisors from overgrowing, rodents constantly gnaw on the objects they come across. Rodents are troublesome pests that cause a lot of damage and are difficult to control and eliminate. In our area, three of the most common species of rodents that invade our homes and businesses include mice, roof rats, and Norway rats.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are disease-spreading, damaging pests that should never take up residence in any home or business. Rodents spread bacteria and other pathogens by traveling across surfaces or by contaminating water and food sources with their urine and excrement.

Diseases that rodents spread include:

  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Leptospirosis
  • Tularemia
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonella

Other problems that rodents create when living in our homes include chewing through wires and triggering short circuits or fires, damaging structural elements, and destroying personal items.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Things found in most of our yards like trash cans, pet food, gardens, compost, fruit trees, and bird feeders will attract rodents because they know they can forage for food in them. Also, the landscaping found in most yards offers rodents plenty of places to hide out of view of predators.

Rodents are a problem throughout the year. They do not hibernate, and their high metabolism means they are on a constant lookout for sources of food. If the weather outside becomes too hot or cold, they like to move inside, seeking more comfortable living conditions.

Where will I find rodents?

Most of the species of rodents living worldwide live out in nature and away from people, playing an important part in the ecosystem by acting as prey for other animals, but Norway rats, roof rats, and many mice have learned to co-exist with people and take advantage of the food and water sources our properties and structures offer them.

Norway rats have learned to take advantage of the food and shelter found around our canals, seaports, and docks. Roof rats are exceptional climbers and nest up off of the ground in trees and on roofs. They prefer orchards and yards with fruit trees. Mice are very adaptable and have come to rely on our homes and businesses to provide them with food and shelter. Outside they hide in dense vegetation, tall grass, and woodpiles.

Inside, mice nest in attics, wall voids, the backs of cabinets, areas behind appliances, in upholstered furniture, and storage boxes. Roof rats prefer to live in upper cabinets, attics, and the upper levels of buildings. Because Norway rats have poor climbing abilities, you'll find them in the basement or first level floors.

How do I get rid of rodents?

Eliminate rodents and other pests from your Louisiana residential or commercial property with the help of River City Termite & Pest Control. We offer personalized services you can count on to eliminate problems with pests and keep them from returning.

Get rid of rodents from your property by reaching out to River City Termite & Pest Control. We are happy to work with you to ensure that your Baton Rouge area home or business is kept free of rodents. To learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control services, give us a call today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

Help keep rodents out of your home with the help of the following, easy-to-implement rodent prevention tips:

  • Seal holes and spaces discovered both inside and outside of your home.
  • Place caps on chimneys and covers over vents and drains leading into your home.
  • Steel wool should be used to fill in holes around wires, cables, and ducts leading into your home. This material is difficult for rodents to chew through.
  • Cut back overgrown shrubbery from your home's exterior walls where rodents can hide.
  • Remove nesting sites like leaf piles, woodpiles, overgrown landscaping, and fallen trees or tree stumps from your property.
  • Maintain gardens and fruit trees and harvest ripe fruits and vegetables. Remove any that have fallen to the ground.
  • Rodents love to feed on birdseed. It is a good idea to remove bird feeders from your property or place them at the edge of your property away from your home.
  • Store your pet's food in plastic or metal containers with tight-fitting lids. Pick up uneaten pet food each evening.
  • Make sure outdoor trash cans and compost bins have locking lids on them.
 

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