Rodents can prove to be difficult to keep out of structures. It is advised that for proper pest control, seal any cracks and ensure proper drainage installing gutters or diverts that will channel water away from the building. Additionally, to protect homes from unwanted intruders seal any food packages and do not leave food easily accessible . The following is a guide of the most common rodents found in the New York area:
Identifying Norway Rats:
Norway rats are found in areas closely associated with people and are the most common type found in New York. They nest in areas where food and shelter are easily accessible such as garbage dumps, residences, apartment complexes, warehouses, and other similar areas. Norway rats have a diet composed of any type of food. Food items in households offer a fairly balanced diet and this explains why homes are a target for these rodents.
Norway rats are a brown or gray colored rodent covered in fur. These rodents are large weighing about 500 grams (1 lb). In length, Norway rats can reach up to 40cm (16inches) meanwhile their tales are about 21cm ( 8in) long.
Detecting an infestation of Norway Rats:
Norway rats consume and contaminate food and animal feed damaging packing materials in which food is stored. So, inspecting for gnaw marks or holes in food packages is a good way to detect an infestation.
Additionally, rats cause structural damage to buildings by burrowing and gnawing. They deteriorate building foundations and slabs, by creating holes on walls, damage electrical wiring or water pipes. Considerable damage to insulated structures can occur as a result of rat burrowing and nesting in walls and attics.
Identifying Roof Rats
Roof rats are physically similar to Norway rats but much smaller. Their fur is brown or black , smooth fur and have large eyes . In size. roof rats are 40 cm long with a long tail. They are highly adaptable but prefer living in high places.
Parks, reservoirs, and landscaped residential areas make the ideal home to these rodents. They are sometimes found living in rice fields or farm buildings as well as in industrial sites where food is readily available. Once established, they breed and thrive just as Norway rats do .
In food-storage facilities, the most prominent sign of this rodent are smudge marks, the result of oil and dirt rubbing off of their fur as they travel . Inspect structures, as these rodents may damage insulation for nesting or gnawing electrical wiring.
Identifying House Mice:
House mice are rodents that are dusty gray with a cream belly color. They transport on four legs and are roundly shaped. The size of a house mouse can range from 2 .5 – 3.5 inches long and weigh about 12-30 grams( 0.026 - 0.05 lbs) . Their ears and tail also bear hair, notably much less than their bodies.
These pests are found in around residences, farms, urban lots, and agricultural areas. House mice can survive on a relatively poor diet of 3-4 grams of food per day and can survive without daily access to water .They also damage structures and property, and transmit diseases such as swine dysentery among many others.
Detecting Infestations for House Mice:
These rodents can be spotted along the walls or scurrying back to their nesting grounds.A similar pattern of most rodents is their ability to chew on a range of items. Inspect for teeth and gnaw marks along walls, food packaged items, and other related areas. These rodents are also known for their squeaking in hours of the evening. They can be heard scratching and running across surfaces.
A house mouse can leave behind black droppings or small pellets found anywhere the intruder has roamed. On average, a pellet is about 3 to 6mm long and typically rod shopped embedded with hair. Additionally, a pattern of foot prints of a four-five toed print signal a mouse is present. They also build nests characterized by soft materials also containing their pellets.
Identifying Deer Mice :
Deer mice are named after their similarity to the grayish-brown coloration of deer fur. Their bellies whiten gradually at the belly and legs and their bicolored tail distinguishes them from other rodents. A deer mouse is round and slender with a length that ranges from 7- 10 cm with a pointed nose and black beady eyes. Their ears are large with little fur covering them.
A deer mouse prefers the outdoors and will seek shelter in areas such as tree logs, bushes, wooded areas, and away from humans preferring attics.Deer mice are not common in urban and residential areas unless large or numerous park fields are nearby. However, in the winter deer mice do enter homes in search of warmth. They create their nests of fur, seed, and weeds promoting comfortable settings for offspring. A typical litter contains 3-5 individuals, but can reach as far as eight. They typically live 2-24 months, but can reach to 8 years confined.
Detecting Infestations of Deer Mice:
Like most rodents, deer mice damage furniture, clothing, paper, or other materials they find suitable for their nests. Nests, pellets, and other signs left by deer mice are similar to those of house mice. However, deer mice have a greater tendency to hoard food supplies such as acorns, seeds, or nuts than do house mice. This may help in the identification of the species of mouse responsible for the observed damage.
Deer mice pose a threat of also transmitting diseases. Diseases are transmitted when coming in contact with carcasses or breathing in urine droplets of infected deer mice.
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