Rodents such as mice and rats invade Florida homes for shelter and food. They will feed on all the food they can find and contaminate even more of it with their hair, urine, and feces.
Additionally, most rodents carry many harmful diseases, including Murine typhus, Leptospirosis, bacterial food poisoning, rabies, rat bite fever, and Bubonic plague. They could even cause a fire in your home by chewing on electrical wires!
Fortunately, you can handle a rodent infestation by first identifying when you have a rodent problem.
Keep reading as this article will help you recognize a rodent infestation in your Florida home.
Common House Rodents In Florida
The first step to keeping rodents away from your home is learning the different types that can invade your house. Generally, three types of rodents pester Florida homeowners. They are discussed below:
- House Mice
House mice prefer living outdoors in open fields. However, they migrate into enclosed structures like furniture and cabinets during the cold seasons. They mostly feed on grain but can eat other different kinds of foods. Generally, they are gray or brown with a tail longer than their head and body combined.
- Norway Rats
Norway rats are the most common pest invaders along Florida’s sea coasts and canals. They prefer to reside in dirty areas, especially where poorly stored garbage can be found. Norway rats are reddish-brown or gray animals with a blunt muzzle and shaggy fur. Their tails are as long as their body and head combined.
- Roof Rats
These black to light brown colored animals are the most common rodent invaders in Florida homes. They are mostly found in palm trees or ornamental shrubbery, but also in the upper parts of a building such as the roof and attic. Roof rats naturally feed on fruits, grains, and vegetables, but they consume at least 1/2 to 1 ounce of food per day from different food sources.
Where Do Rodents Enter Homes?
Most homeowners in Florida didn’t usually recognize when rodents entered their homes until it was too late. Rats will usually invade a home when they access through holes and cracks in walls, foundations, and floats. The rodents can fit through these tiny cracks and holes due to their small size.
Additionally, rodents can find their way into your house through gaps in your ceiling or windows. If drainage pipes are poorly sealed, rats will go through bathtub drains or kitchen sinks. They may come through sewer lines or openings around oven gas lines and plumbing systems.
Fortunately, you can prevent rodents from invading your home by sealing all holes, cracks, and openings with cement or metal. Ensure to enclose all foods in metal or glass containers fully and properly close all your windows and doors. Carefully dispose of all food remains in designated trash locations.
For severe cases of rodent invasion, it is advisable to seek professional help from a pest and wildlife control company such as Wildlife Troopers in South Florida.
What Attracts Rodents To Your House?
Food and shelter are the two main things that could cause a rodent infestation of your home. Rodents naturally seek out food and warm places and adapt better in cluttered and unclean places, especially poorly disposed of garbage.
Some factors that could bring rodents into your home are:
Food: Rodents, especially rats, like to feed on milk, soap, meat, fur, and vegetables. Hence, they are likely to find their way into your home if you leave food exposed and unattended.
Warmth: Rodents are mammals and warm-blooded animals. Thus, their instinct is to search for a warm place to live during a cold season. This means any old boxes, attics full of clothes, discarded blankets, etc.
Indoor Plants: Rats normally are attracted to nut trees as well as fruit plants growing indoors.
Pipes: Rats require water daily and will try and seek out any nearby sources of water. Expect some furry visitors if you have any draining pipes in your home.
What Are The Signs Of A Rodent Infestation?
In most cases, you will notice rodents in your home after the damage has been done. This is especially true if you don’t know what to look for when identifying an infestation.
To help protect your home, below are some common signs of rodent invasion in a house:
Droppings: Rodent droppings are the most common and easiest-to-spot indication of rodent infestation. They normally appear as tiny, dark brown droppings with pointy ends.
Chew Marks: Small chew marks on cardboard and wood indicate a rodent infestation.
Rotting Odor: This is the smell noticed when a rodent dies and starts to decompose.
Musky Odor: A rodent invasion usually follows a musky odor that intensifies over time.
Odd Pet Behavior: If your dog or cat starts acting erratically, like scratching at walls, it is probably because of the presence of rodents in your home.
Holes: Rodents, especially rats and mice, like making tiny openings in thin materials and walls to make ways for them to enter the house.
Tracks: Small rodent foot tracks are among the common rodent invasion indicators.
Noise: Scratching, scampering, and gnawing noises could indicate the presence of rodents in your home. These noises are mostly heard inside walls, attics, and ceilings.
Rodents can create havoc in your home. If you don’t carry out rodent control in a timely manner, then it creates a big problem for you, your family, as well as the house.
In case you encounter a rodent issue, instead of trying to handle the infestation all by yourself, request the services of an expert to take care of it safely and efficiently. Contact Wildlife Troopers today for more information and a free quote.