Rodents are a broad category of small, furry mammals, and a lot of them can be considered as pests.
Rodents are so classified because of their large front teeth that are primarily used for gnawing. In California, many of these rodents live in the wilderness, integrating naturally into the local ecosystem. Others, like guinea pigs and hamsters, are kept as house pets.
And then you have the more bothersome rodents: those living near urban areas or farms, making pests of themselves by sneaking into our food supplies, damaging lawns and gardens, and in some really serious cases, infesting homes and other buildings.
Which Rodents Are Considered Pests?
For the typical California household, the most common rodent pests would include:
- Mice; specifically, the common house mouse. But voles (meadow mice) and deer mice also fall in this category.
- Rats; specifically, the Norway rat and the roof rat
- Other garden rodents like gophers, groundhogs, and squirrels, and maybe even the occasional badger
Note: other common backyard critters like moles, raccoons, opossums, and skunks are often mistaken as rodents. Each of them, however, belong to a different mammalian family.
Of all the rodents mentioned, mice and rats are two of the most troublesome pests as far as most households go.
Both mice and rats consume and contaminate human food (as well as food for pets and livestock), damage and destroy property, and acts as vectors for the transmission of diseases in many cases.
What’s The Difference Between Mice and Rats?
For most people, there’s not much of a difference. A full-grown house mouse looks about the same as a young Norway rat.
Rats and mice, after all, fall in the same rodent category, with only minor cosmetic differences.
Probably the easiest way to distinguish mice from rats is through their behavior.
Mice typically tend to be bolder and more adventurous compared to rats. They’re more likely to be curious and explore, and are therefore a bit harder trap.
Mice make homes out of hard-to-access areas of your home, such as attics, or spaces in between walls.
Rats, on the other hand, are typically more fearful and cautious, preferring to inhabit lower levels of a given structure, such as a basement, a crawlspace, or dark areas close to your drainage system.
What Kind of Damage Can They Cause?
Both rats and mice can cause some serious damage to your house, usually gnawing on various structures, wires, and cables in your home that might lead to fire hazards.
Rats and mice also both actively seek out food. Mice have weaker teeth, so food properly stored in glass, metal, or a hard plastic material should be enough to keep them away.
Rats, however, are notoriously tough and tenacious and have been known to gnaw through aluminum, wood, thin glass, and even sheet metal and cinder blocks.
Beyond all the gnawing and sneaking into our food supplies, rats and mice are also dangerous as vectors of diseases. They can transmit bacteria and other pathogens, which can cause illness among pets, babies, little children, and even adults.
When Should I Call Pest Control To Help Get Rid of Rats and Mice?
As soon as you’ve noticed some activity—little rodents scurrying about, food packages chewed up, frayed wires, and so on, calling pest control is the best thing you can do.
Professional pest control services can help you assess just how bad the rodent problem is at home, and they can present you with several options to help control the troublesome rat or mouse population for you.
Rocklin Pest Control provides general pest control, covering rodents and most other insects and small creatures. Consultations are always free, and there’s a variety of service options to meet your budget and unique requirements.
Get in touch with the Rocklin Pest Control team today at (916) 250-0008.