Rodent Identification

What are rodents?

Rodents make up the largest groups of mammals, with over 1,500 species of these prolific breeders living worldwide. Almost anywhere you turn, you are probably close to a mouse, rat, or another type of rodent. Because they've adapted to living in both rural and urban areas, rodents can become a problem in any home or business. Widely distributed across the United States and Florida, roof rats have thin, light bodies. Smooth dark brown or black fur covers their body, and light-colored fur covers their underbelly. Their scaly tail is longer than their body, and they have a pointed looking nose.

roof rat in the grass

Two of the most problematic rodents living in the West Palm Beach area are the Norway rat and roof rat. The Norway rat is a larger species than the roof rat. Brown fur with black hair scattered throughout covers the dense, heavy body of the Norway rat. Their belly is lighter in color than the rest of their body, and they have a blunt nose and black eyes that protrude from their head.

Are rodents dangerous?

Because they typically contaminate more food than they consume; rats, mice, and other rodents cause a lot of food waste and economic loss. In addition, they spread diseases that make us ill, like leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and salmonellosis. Fleas and ticks live on the backs of rodents, and, when introduced onto our properties by rodents, the parasites will find a way onto you or your pets to feed and spread disease.

Rodents are constantly chewing and damaging items around our homes to help wear down their continually growing front incisors. Rodents chew through and damage drywall, wires, pipes, clothing, furniture, flooring, and more with their sharp teeth. They are also responsible for causing fires and water damage inside homes and businesses. Rats are well known for using walls and furniture to guide them from the nest to food source, leaving behind dirty, grease marks.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Rodents live all around us, moving onto and taking advantage of any food or shelter a property offers them. In Florida, rodents are problematic throughout the year, feeding on vegetables from gardens, fruit from our fruit trees, and food scraps from trash cans and compost bins. Pet food bowls, outdoor eating areas, and bird feeders also attract rodents.

Rodents typically live outside but move indoors to take advantage of the temperature-controlled environment our homes and businesses provide them. They move inside in the summer to escape the heat and in the winter to escape cooler temperatures.

If rodents have found a way inside of your home, you may notice the following signs:

  • Mice or rats in your home, usually scurrying across a floor
  • Rodent droppings on the floor, in cabinets, or drawers
  • Grease marks on walls or furniture
  • A strong, unpleasant musty odor somewhere in your home
  • Sounds of scratching or running noises behind walls or above ceilings
  • Your cat or dog paying attention to certain areas of your home or randomly becoming upset

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents live outside, usually in areas providing them with lots of cover. Rodents are prey animals and therefore need to stay well hidden from hungry predators. Outside, they hide in dense vegetation, tree hollows, tall grass, garden areas, and yard clutter. Inside, rodents hide and nest in ducts, attics, closets, cabinets, storage boxes, basements, and behind walls and appliances.

Roof rats are found in the largest numbers and are most problematic for people during the citrus season (Sept-March) when their favorite food source (fruit) is plentiful. Orchards and yards with fruit trees are very susceptible to roof rat infestations. Roof rats are agile climbers and often enter homes along the roofline.

Norway rats are burrowers and nest under building foundations. Preferring to live near a water source, you'll find them near canals, seaports, ponds, and pools. Norway rats are poor climbers and nest in the lower levels of structures or basements.

How do I get rid of rodents?

Protect your property from the dangers and damage that rodents cause with the help of the Florida pest professionals at Empire Pest Defense. Through detailed inspections, interior and exterior treatments, and on-going services, we will get rodents out and keep them out!

We are a local company with a deep commitment to our community and to providing our customers with top-notch services to eliminate pests. Our highly trained technicians know the pests that live in our area of Florida and how to guard residential and commercial properties from the problems they cause. Reach out today and learn more about our effective rodent control services!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

Avoid problems with rodents with the help of the professionals at Empire Pest Defense, our effective pest control solutions, and our practical prevention tips:

  • Place locking lids on trash cans and compost bins.
  • Empty trash cans in your home daily and regularly remove trash from your property.
  • Keep rodents from contaminating food sources by keeping pantry items in hard-sided containers with airtight lids.
  • Store fruits, vegetables, and other like items in the fridge, not out in the open on counters.
  • Remove overgrown vegetation and unnecessary debris from your yard.
  • Maintain gardens and regularly harvest fruit from fruit trees.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home and seal any spaces you find in its exterior walls or foundation, place caps on chimneys, and chew-proof covers over vents.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.


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