Rodents have plagued homeowners since, well, homes could be owned. Rodents, specifically rats and mice, are called commensal, which is a way of saying they’ve evolved to live alongside humans. They consider your Dallas home to be an ideal place to live, and they don’t mind having to share it. This doesn’t sound too bad until you realize rodents are more than just an annoyance: they can be downright dangerous. Which ones do you have to look out for? We’ve put together our top three dangerous types of rodents found in Dallas.
1. Norway Rats
The Norway rat is commonly referred to as a brown rat. They’re easily identified by their brown color, long naked tail, and stocky bodies. Norway rats are heavy, which means they’re likely to infest a ground-level space. They like to burrow and make nests in soft material, such as cardboard boxes used for storage. Like any other type of rodent, they want to be left alone as much as possible, which makes them tricky to catch. If you see a Norway rat, you’ve likely got a pretty severe problem because they feel secure enough to come out while you’re around. Norway rats are known to be aggressive when threatened, so stumbling upon a nest could get you bitten. Their bites, like the bites of other Dallas rodents, can carry diseases like a rat-bite fever. Even if you escape it, their feces and urine could easily contaminate your food or water with salmonella, leptospirosis, or other diseases. The best thing to do to prevent this rodent from making your home theirs is to regularly turn over storage areas, and keep your home clean. Without a place to nest, they’ll move on to the next one.
2. House Mice
The common house mouse is a pest found throughout the Dallas area. This rodent is pretty cute, usually less than three inches long with a short, round body. Don’t let the cuteness fool you! Like their rat cousins, house mice are known to carry diseases. They’re outdoor animals who sometimes find their way indoors; this does not mean they’re cuddly or safe to be around. The biggest problem with house mice is their breeding habits. Rodents are breeding machines, and a pair of house mice can churn out up to 14 babies every 21 days. Their nests have upwards of a few dozen mice, which makes it crucial to completely eradicate the problem at the source rather than trying to get rid of one or two mice. As with most pest control methods, it’s easier to prevent them from entering than to try to get rid of them once they have entered. Seal off all external cracks, like door frames, windows, and foundation cracks, which could allow a mouse to enter through. As house mice like to make their outdoor nests in grassy areas. It’s best to keep your grass cut low and your foliage maintained. If the rodent doesn’t feel secure, it won’t hang around!
3. Roof Rats
As their name implies, roof rats are the rodent most likely to be found near your roof. These rodents came to America on imported palm trees and have never left. Their light, lean bodies allow for incredible jumps, and they can scurry over just about anything, such as wood beams. Nothing is too high for the roof rat, so they’re more than happy to make their homes in your attic’s insulation. Roof rats are dangerous not just for the diseases they carry, but also for their destructive nature. Similar to house mice and Norway rat cousins, roof rats’ teeth continue growing indefinitely. To counteract this, they chew on just about everything. They can tear through your homes’ insulation, walls, structural beams, and more.
If you suspect you have any of these three rodents in your Dallas home, you need to call a trusted pest control professional. We can help humanely eradicate the problem. For more common pest and other related pest tips, please contact Integrity Termite & Pest Services Inc.