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Rodent Identification

What are rodents?

a mouse on bread

Rodents mammals and are prolific breeders. More than 1,500 species live throughout the world. Many species of rodents live well away from people, while others have learned to live near us, becoming common unwanted visitors in our yards and sometimes our homes.

If you see rodents or signs of rodent activity on your Ventura Country property, you are most likely dealing with roof rats, meadow mice, or moles. All three of these species are common invaders of our yards, homes, and commercial properties.

Roof rats have a slim build and dark fur. Their thick, hairless tails are longer than their bodies, and they have pointed noses. These rodents are agile and excellent climbers.

Meadow mice or voles are small rodents with small ears mostly hidden by their fur. They also have a short fur-covered tail and a rounded nose. Covering the stocky, round body is dense black or brown fur.

Moles have small, stocky bodies covered in dense, dark brown, or black velvety fur. They also are equipped with large front feet and rounded claws they use to tunnel through the ground. They have little eyes, poor vision, and ears without external openings. These rodents spend most of their lives underground.

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Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are one of the most common invaders into our homes and businesses, so common that it is easy to overlook that having them on your property is dangerous.

There are many health risks associated with rodents. On their backs, rodents carry a variety of parasites, including fleas and ticks, which spread diseases to people and animals, including Lyme disease.

Rodents carry on their bodies and in their saliva and excrement a variety of bacteria and pathogens that can make people sick. Rodents such as roof rats are dangerous and spread salmonella, rat-bite fever, and murine typhus.

Rodents and their sharp, front teeth that grow throughout their lives can cause damage to our homes and belongings. They will use their teeth to gnaw on walls, floors, furniture, cabinets, and more. Their teeth allow them to easily create holes in food packaging, boxes, and other storage containers. Wires, pipes, and cables are also subject to damage by rodents and their chisel-like front teeth.

Garden pests like moles cause even more damage by creating trails and dirt mounds in your yard. They form these unsightly piles of dirt while foraging underground for food. Their presence causes unsightly damage to lawns, makes mowing difficult, and causes trip and fall hazards.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

As our habitats have expanded, we have taken over a lot of space, space that we share with many animals, including rodents. Over time, rodents have learned they can obtain food and shelter from our yards, and when necessary, our homes.

These mammals can squeeze their bodies through the tiniest spaces. Rodents typically move inside searching for food or when the weather outside becomes too harsh; both cold and extremely hot weather can drive rodents into our temperature-controlled homes.

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