We do what we can to stay safe. We install locks, alarms, and video surveillance systems in our homes. We check the exterior doors before bed to ensure they are locked. When we snuggle into our beds, we want to feel secure.
One thing that can disrupt our sense of security is rodents. Despite having locked doors, alarms, and video cameras, these critters seem to find ways into our homes. It is disconcerting to lay in bed and hear scratching in the walls or underneath the floor. It is embarrassing when a rat or mouse runs from behind a kitchen cabinet.
You probably found this article because rodents are in your house, and you want them out. While you may not know about the problems they can cause, intuitively, you know they need to be gone. The first step for rodent removal begins by securing the Ventura County pest control experts from Ventura Pest Control. Our family-owned company has removed rodents from Ventura County homes for over 60 years. During the decades, our commitment to quality customer service and fair pricing has enabled us to become the oldest, largest, independent pest control company in Ventura County. As one client stated, "You wow your customers with our extraordinarily friendly, professional, and competitively priced services!"
We believe in the power of education; therefore, we provide information in this brief article to help you identify the rodents in your house, understand the health risks, and learn ways to keep them out. So, please keep reading.
Common Rodent Species: Identifying Different Types Of Rodents
At the core level, rodents are furry, four-legged creatures with two ears, two eyes, and a tail. They are warm-blooded mammals who give birth and, except for five mammal species outside the United States, do not lay eggs. This description could describe your family dog or cat, so how are rodents different?
A pair of upper and lower incisor teeth sets rodents apart from other mammals. These teeth grow constantly and require the animal to gnaw on objects to keep them from becoming unmanageable. The teeth have a soft dentine backside and a hard frontside enamel, and where these two substances meet forms a razor's edge. In the wild, rodents use their long incisor teeth to chew through roots, small trees, wood, and nuts; inside a home, they gnaw on thin aluminum, plastic, glass, furniture, and concrete.
Most rodents are wild animals that avoid humans, but some do not mind humans and practically depend on us for survival. The rodents that are problematic for Ventura County homeowners are a mixture of both, such as:
- Roof rats
- House mice
- Meadow mice
Let's look at each one in greater detail to help you determine what rodent species are on your property.
Types of rodents that don't mind living around humans are called commensal rodents, and rats and mice are prime examples. Although there are many rat species, roof rats are the ones that cause many Ventura County issues. The top side of a roof rat consists of brown hairs with black hairs intermixed, and its belly has white, grey, or black fur. Because roof rats are expert and active climbers, they have a slender 6 to 8-inch body (not including the 6 to 8-inch scaly tail). Roof rats, also known as black or ship rats, tend to live in the upper areas of a home.
Although our list has two mice on it, there is a vast difference between the two related species. House mice invade homes, while meadow mice, also known as voles, invade the yard. House mice have a 2 1/2 inch to 3 3/4 inch round dusty grey body with a cream-colored underside. They also have pointed ears and a pointed muzzle. Because this species is the most prolific, they are problematic for many Ventura County homeowners.
Meadow mice or voles are not commensal rodents but live in the ground outside homes. These chunky 5 to 7-inch rodents have short legs and, unlike house mice and roof rats, they possess short tails. They have dense chestnut-brown fur interspersed with black hairs on the top and dark grey on the underside.
Although technically not a rodent, moles are placed in the same category as voles because they create tunnels throughout the yard. Voles excavate highways on the property surface, but moles dig beneath the grass. Moles have a similar body length as voles but with a few distinguishing features. The first is the protruding, hairless snout that extends about a 1/2 inch beyond the mouth; the second is the outsized paddle-like front feet.
Whether you have moles, voles, mice, or rats in your Ventura County home, Ventura Pest Control provides the rodent control you need for your home.
Rodent Dangers: Health Risks And Property Damage
Because rats and mice are comfortable living alongside humans, they bring more health risks to homeowners than voles or moles. Roof rats and house mice forage in the trash, compost piles, sewers, drains, and other unsanitary areas. As they move through these bacteria-filled locations, pathogens on the surface stick to their oily fur. Also, as they eat plant and animal organic material in these areas, they ingest the disease-causing organisms.
Rodents are active at night. They usually do not have good eyesight but use their whiskers and other senses to guide them through the house. Because they cannot see well, they bump into objects leaving oily pathogen-filled grease marks. Also, bacteria stuck to their feet transfers to eating and cooking surfaces, exposed foods, and other items as they walk through the home. As they move through the house, they defecate and leave rod-shaped disease-infested droppings. Finally, when they gnaw at food packaging and other items, they deposit tainted saliva that can spread disease-causing organisms to people.
Leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tularemia, and salmonellosis are bacterial-based illnesses spread by roof rats. House mice distribute the pathogens that cause the same diseases. Jaundice and cowpox virus are viral infections disseminated by roof rats, and house mice can spread the virus causing lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM). Trichinosis, a roundworm infection, can be caused by roof rats.
Dried feces from roof rats and house mice may trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks when the particles become airborne and inhaled. Furthermore, roof rats, house mice, and other California rodents carry fleas and ticks into the home. These insects spread the same diseases and parasitic worms to household members and pets.
In addition to transmitting diseases and triggering allergic reactions, rodents damage property. Rats and mice chew on wiring inside walls and appliances and cause short circuits and fires. These rodents also damage furniture, store containers, walls, and floors. Outside, the tunnels of voles and moles destroy the aesthetics of the lawn and create fall hazards. They also chew through roots killing plants and shrubbery around the home.
The trained service technicians from Ventura Pest Control know how to stop a rodent infestation on your property. We will inspect your property to determine which type of rodent is causing damage to your exterior or interior.
Rodent Exclusion Tips: Safeguard Your Property From Infestations
Because rodents can cause damage to your house and health, you need to do all you can to keep them away from your property. Once the service technicians from Ventura Pest Control remove the initial infestation, here are some rodent prevention tips to deter them from returning:
- Cover the attic and crawlspace vents with 1/4 wire mesh
- Install a spark arrester over the chimney opening
- Seal gaps between incoming pipes and wires using steel wool
- Close cracks and openings in the foundation and along the roofline
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors
- Repair holes in window and door screens
- Close gaps between the siding and masonry and frames
Roof rats can enter through holes no larger than a quarter, and house mice need only a dime-sized opening. In addition to these tips to keep rodents out of the house, prune back tree branches and shrubs to prevent them from accessing the roof and upper levels.
Although voles and moles do not typically enter homes, you can exclude them from the property by installing hardware cloth or sheet metal 12 inches below the surface around the perimeter or in specific locations (i.e., gardens and landscaping).
When a service technician from Ventura Pest Control inspects your property, we can provide additional exclusion ideas for your location.
Professional Rodent Control: The Safe Way To Remove An Infestation
When you need rodent control in Ventura County, look no further than Ventura Pest Control. We will thoroughly investigate your property for signs of a rodent infestation. Once we determine the rodent type, entry points, attractants, and hot spots, we will develop a custom strategy that targets the offending animal. We use baits, snares, and pheromone glue traps to remove the rodents from your house. After we complete our exclusion work, we install barcoded monitoring stations, which you can track through a secure login, to ensure rodents are not attempting to return to the property.
Contact us today to learn about our rodent control services and guarantees and get a free quote.