Rodents make up the most numerous group of mammals, with 2277 species, accounting for 41% of the known mammals. They are a very diverse group in both size and habitat, ranging from the South American capybara weighing up to 66kg, to the Baluchistan pygmy jerboa, the female adults of which weigh less than 4gm.
Types of Rodents
Rodents are found on every continent except Antarctica. They live in a wide range of different habitats from snow-covered tundra to hot deserts. Some species of rodent are also the common invaders of the human environment:
Capybaras (but not rabbits, hares and shrews).
Characteristics of Rodents
The distinguishing feature of rodents is a pair of continuously growing, incisor teeth in their upper and lower jaw. These teeth grow throughout the life of the rodent so it must continuously wear them down to prevent them becoming too long.
Rodents are known to be the following, depending on their species:
They use a variety of different methods of locomotion including quadrupedal walking, running, climbing, bipedal hopping, swimming and gliding. Some are nocturnal and some are diurnal. Rodents tend to be social animals, living in small to very large colonies. They also have the ability to breed rapidly in favourable conditions, which is one of the reasons why they are such a concern when you have an infestation in your home or business.
The majority of rodents are herbivores, feeding on seeds, nuts, roots, tubers, stems, leaves, flowers and fruit. Some are omnivores, eating meat such as insects opportunistically and a small number are carnivores.
Rodents are not just pests, they have been used throughout history for food, fur, and more recently as pets and laboratory animals. Guinea pigs were a major meat source for the Incas, while dormice were a delicacy of the Romans, who kept them in special pots and enclosures. Many cultures around the world still eat wild rodents because they are readily available sources of meat.
How to Get Rid of Rats
A rat elimination program usually consists of sanitation and rat removal. Sanitation will help eliminate the food and water sources rats are using to survive, which also helps in the prevention process. Rat removal methods will vary depending on the personal preferences of the structure owner and their individual level of infestation.
Sanitation is the single most important measure of control in getting rid of a rat problem. Rats must have access to a ready supply of food and water to thrive and harborage to nest.
To reduce rat populations, try the following sanitation measures:
Store any bulk food items in large metal containers with tight fitting lids, rather than bags or boxes that can easily be gnawed through.
Keep dog food or other pet food stored in a Rubbermaid container overnight.
Remove clutter such as paper and cardboard that rats might use to build their nests
Remove grass clippings and yard debris near structure
Trim up shrubs and bushes so they do not touch your home and so you can see beneath them
Store firewood away from structure
Pick up fruit and nuts that fall from trees
After you have followed the sanitation measures outlined above you can start the rat removal process. There are several methods available for both indoor and outdoor rat control and you should choose the method(s) that best fits your needs and preferences.
Glue traps, snap traps and live catch traps
Products needed : selected trap, bait for trap
Trapping is the preferred method of indoor control. There are several advantages to using traps for rat removal indoors. Trapping does not require the use of rat poisons indoors. Trapping does allow you to know if a rat has been trapped so that you can can be sure your efforts are working. And last, trapping allows you to remove the carcass to avoid bad odors and secondary insect infestations from decaying carcasses.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Rid of Mice
You may think getting rid of mice isn’t a huge priority. How much harm could they truly cause? Unfortunately, the answer is a lot. Mice may appear to be all cute and cuddly… but don’t be fooled! They can cause some serious destruction to your home and health. This is why hiring a professional pest control company will benefit you greatly.
ARE MICE REALLY A THREAT? I’M NOT CONVINCED.
The short answer is absolutely. Mice are known as nibblers, meaning they’ll put anything and everything in their mouth, even electrical wires. In fact, experts have found that nearly a quarter of house fires can be traced back to damage caused by a rodent. Although they’re small, their teeth are mighty and can puncture wood, plastic, vinyl, aluminum and even concrete if not cured properly.
Not only are they destructive, but they’re also a threat to your health. It’s estimated that rodents invade nearly 21 million homes in the U.S. every winter, and we’re not talking gifted pet mice during the holidays. A wild mouse infestation can cause way more than just a headache for families. Exposure to their droppings, urine, and saliva can cause serious illnesses such as hantavirus, bubonic plague, and salmonellosis. Their destruction combined with being carriers of the infectious disease makes these little critters a major cause for concern.
EASY STEPS FOR GETTING RID OF MICE
There are a lot of homeowners out there who like to take matters into their own hands. You’re not required to use a professional rodent exterminator, but if you decide not to we want to make sure that you have the information you need. We’ve outlined 5 easy steps for getting rid of mice and making sure they stay gone.
Find and Eliminate All Entry Points
The first step in getting rid of mice is figuring out where they initially came from. They most likely squeezed under cracks in doors, holes in insulation, unsealed basement windows, pipes, or any other dime-sized opening. These obnoxious little critters are equal parts crafty and determined. If there’s a will there’s a way and they certainly have a will.
How to Get Rid of Rodents
When you have unwanted visitors in your home such as rats or mice, there are some steps you can take before calling in professional rodent control. The first thing to do is to read our guide to getting rid of rodents.
Choose a Method
There are many kinds of rodent control available and they fall roughly into the following three groups: snap traps, which use spring-loaded bars to kill mice or rats; cage traps that tunnel the rodent in and then capture it; and poison bait, which will kill the rodent after it eats it. Snap traps are commonly used to kill mice and rats within homes. For best results these traps should be set flush to walls, with the trigger plates facing the wall.
Rodents generally travel with their bodies against the wall for protection. Cage traps capture live prey and are used when the homeowner does not want to harm the rodent. To avoid re-infestation, mice may be freed 500 metres from the house, but rats must be released at least 3,000 metres away so they do not find their way home.
Poison traps, pellets and bait should not be used within the house because the rodent may eat the poison and then die in wall cavities or under floor boards, creating unpleasant odours. The control devices picture
Set the Trap
If you have selected a snap or cage trap, you will need to set it up correctly for best results. Mice are quite curious and will approach a new trap and easily get caught. Rats however are more cautious and will not approach anything new. Consequently, rat traps should be left without any bait for at least a couple of days until the rats are fully familiar with the trap. Then the trap is baited and the rat will be caught
Mouse and rat behaviour
The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), the house mouse (Mus musculus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) have long lived in proximity to humans. But that’s no reason to tolerate their presence if they get too close to us!
Rats and mice both belong to the family Muridae, and have spread from Central Asia to nearly every part of the world. They were likely introduced (involuntarily) to North America by European colonists. The house mouse is small, reaching no more than 30 g in weight
It is recognizable by its large ears, long tail, brown back and grey belly. The deer mouse, which is more common in rural areas, has brown-white fur with a white underside and feet, and its tail is as long as its body. The brown rat, also known as the sewer rat or Norway rat, has a stocky body and can weigh up to 450 g (1 lb).
In the fall, mice and rats seeking warmth and food are attracted to barns and other farm buildings, warehouses, landfills, houses, etc. These rodents will then be active in those locations all winter long, since they do not hibernate.
Are mice and rats useful or bothersome?
Some rats (specially bred strains of brown rats) and mice (albino house mice) are used in laboratories for scientific research.
Both rats and mice are popular as pets, alongside gerbils, chinchillas and other small rodents.
In the wild, both types of rodent are prey for several species of mammals and raptors.