Rodent Identification & Prevention

What are rodents?

Rodents are a type of mammal with thousands of different species living throughout the world. All rodents have something in common: their front incisors that continuously grow throughout their lifetime. To prevent their teeth from overgrowing, rodents will chew on anything they come across – chiseling them down into sharp cutting tools.

a rat in an attic in a home in memphis tennessee

Two of the most common species of rodents living in the Memphis Metro area are house mice and roof rats.

House mice
The most common household-invading mouse is the house mouse. This species of mouse has a pointed nose, large ears, and is light brown to gray with a light, cream-colored underbelly. The house mouse also has a long tail covered in a light layer of velvety fur.

Roof rats
The roof rat is very agile, and its thin body allows it to easily climb structures. It has a pointed nose, large ears, and large, dark eyes. It also has dark brown or black fur with gray hairs scattered throughout, and its underbelly is is lighter in color. This rat species has a long tail that is scaly and void of hair.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are dangerous because of the diseases they can spread like salmonella and hantavirus. They also contaminate food, food prep areas, and other areas of your home with their excrement and saliva. Crop damage is another common problem associated with rodents, causing billions of dollars in loss to the agriculture industry every year.

The rodents' sharp front incisors allow them to do a lot of damage when living inside of your home or business. They will chew on structural elements like wires, pipes, and drywall, and can ever trigger fires and water damage. Their constant chewing will also damage things like carpets, clothing, and upholstered furniture.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Rodents are wild animals and are fully capable of living outside without the help of people. However, as our environments have merged, they have come to rely on people for some of their food and shelter needs. Rodents are a common problem in yards and homes because they provide them with their basic needs. Rodents are mostly attracted to yards that provide easy access to food like garbage cans, compost bins, bird feeders, fruit trees, and gardens. Once comfortable in your yard, they’ll often move indoors to take advantage of its temperature-controlled environment, safe shelter, and food sources.

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents make up one quarter of all mammal species and live on every continent except Antarctica. When nesting outside, rodents like to stay hidden out of the view of people and predators. Mice usually nest in areas of tall grass, in trees, dense vegetation, and gardens; roof rats often nest under woodpiles, under decks or sheds, and foundations. Inside, rodents nest in hard-to-reach areas close to food sources. Indoor nesting spots often include above the ceiling, behind wall voids, below the floor, in crawlspaces, and behind large appliances. Additionally, roof rats will nest in attics and rafters.

How do I get rid of rodents?

If you are looking to get rid of rodents from your Memphis property, the professionals at Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife are here to help. Our EPA trained and certified technicians will resolve your rodent issues once and for all! Our affordable on-going services protect people, homes, and yards from mice, rats, and our area's most common pests. To learn more about our exceptional residential or commercial pest control services, reach out to Dart Pest today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

Utilize the following tips to help keep rodents out of your Memphis Metro area property:

  • Seal openings in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline using caulk or wood filler.

  • Keep storage areas clean and free of clutter where rodents can hide.

  • Cut tree branches back away from your property's roofline.

  • Pick up uneaten pet food between feedings.

  • Remove bird feeders from your yard.

  • Keep garage doors closed.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas free of debris.

  • Store vehicles and lawnmowers inside of the garage.

  • Store all food inside the refrigerator or in airtight containers.

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

  • Place tight-fitting caps on chimneys, and mesh covers over all vents leading into your property.

 

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