A rodent is a type of mammal characterized by large incisors on the upper and lower jaws. In California and in the field of pest control, most people will think of a mouse or rat when asked to identify a rodent. Rodents can be a pernicious and pervasive pest because they are relatively large, reproduce quickly, target food supplies, and carry many diseases that affect people. A rodent is characterized by its teeth, and people should be wary of being bitten. Many rats and mice carry potent diseases such as rat-bite fever, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and Lassa fever. Any and all bites need to receive professional medical attention immediately, and a dead rodent must be handled with gloves. In Escondido, the most common rodents are the Norway rat, the roof rat, and the common house and deer mouse.
The Norway and roof rats are two introduced rodent species that reproduce quickly and spread disease. Their teeth are extremely strong, and some rats can even bite through piping and construction materials in search of food. These rats range in color from brown to black to gray, and they have long scaly tails which form roughly half of their body. Each rodent is between 12-20in. long and nocturnal, meaning they will wander around at night to find food. Rats are a rodent filled with disease, partially from their bite and partially from the fleas which come with them. Rats will hunt for food in groups and have been observed returning to the same food source until it runs out. They are voracious eaters and will feast on most of the same foods that humans do. If a property owner sees a rat, they should not approach it and certainly should not handle it without protective gloves.
The second most common rodent in California is the mouse, specifically the house and deer mouse. These mice are much smaller than rats and typically measure between 6-8in. long, including their tails. They have large ears, small beady eyes, and fur which ranges between brown, white, and gray. Mice reproduce even faster than rats and have between 24-72 pups each year. Mice are also nocturnal and will search for food at night, although they typically eat at sundown and sunup. Like rats, mice are a rodent which carry many diseases and should not be handled without gloves. If a property owner sees one, they should avoid touching it and should call a pest control company. Mice primarily eat cereal grains, but will eat other foods if they find them. Home and business owners should be wary of open packages if they think they have a rodent infestation.
Rodent infestations are dangerous because rodents reproduce quickly and carry diseases that can harm and even kill humans. Their feces and teeth are unclean and dangerous, and property owners should avoid contact with rodents if possible. Home and business owners who suspect they have a rodent infestation should call a pest control professional immediately to discuss treatment options and receive a full inspection of the property.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!