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Rodents

There are 3 common rodents invasive to Florida residents and businesses. Annually they are responsible for billions of dollars in damage in the united states. They contaminate/damage food and structures; they cause major health risks, transmits disease, and even responsible for house fires by chewing through wires that have led to death. Rodents are responsible for the bubonic plague, the most devastating plague man has ever seen, even almost leading to the extinction of mankind. As technology advances, we have developed many methods to control the population of rodents. Our government, scientist and pest control specialist work to minimize the rodent population that exists, to ensure the survival of mankind.

House mouse

Appearance:

They are between 5-8 inches long, slender and weighs up to 1oz. Their smooth fur ranges in color from a light brown to almost black. They have a pointed nose with large ears and a large dark semi-naked tail the size of its head and body combined.

Droppings:
Their droppings are a ¼ inch long and pointed. One mouse could produce 40-100 per night.

Life-cycle:

On average they live up to 2 years or more under optimum conditions and could breed all year under the right conditions. Within the 2-year lifespan, the female could have 6-10 litters having 2-13 pups per litter with the average being between 5-6 pups.

Requirements:

They consume about 10% of their body weight daily and will drink up to 1-2cc of water if available, but can gain water from foods they consume. The average home range is about 12-30 feet from the nest. Cereals and grains are a preferred food source, but they will eat whatever is available. They are fond of sweet liquids. 

 

Abilities:

Fast, they have been clocked at 12 feet per second; they have a long jump of 2 feet and a vertical jump of 13 inches and could withstand a fall from 8 feet without being injured. They have a superior sense of smell, taste, touch, and hearing to make up for their poor-color blind eyesight. There can smell the slightest contamination in food at less than 1 parts per million (<1PPM) and avoid feed on that product. Their sense of hearing is so defined, they could hear sonic and ultrasonic waves. They are great swimmers. Their teeth continuously grow and they must keep gnawing things to keep them worn down. They could bite 6 times per second and at a force of 7000psi.

 

Diseases transmitted and vectored:

Rat Bite Fever, Salmonellosis, Hantavirus, LCM and Rickettsial Pox.

Roof Rat

Appearance:

They can be up to 16 inches long, slender and weighs between 5-9 ounces. Their smooth fur ranges in color from grey to black with a lighter underbelly. They have a pointed nose, large eyes, large ears, and a large dark tail longer than its head and body combined.

Droppings:

Their droppings are a ½ inch long and pointed and could be spindled shaped. One rat could produce 20-50 dropping and secrete ½ ounce of urine per night.

Life-cycle:

On average they live up to 6 months in the wild and can live for a year in structures. Within their lifespan, the female could have 3-6 litters having 6-12 pups per litter with the average being between 5-6 pups.

Requirements:

They consume about 10% of their body weight daily and need to drink up to 1-2 ounces of water a day.  The average home range is about 100 feet from the nest and prefers to nest high in rafters. Fruits and vegetables are a preferred food source, but they will eat whatever is available. Even resort to cannibalism if an adequate food supply isn’t present.

Abilities

Extremely good climbers, they have a long jump of 4.1 feet and a vertical jump of 2 feet. They have a superior sense of smell, taste, touch, and hearing to make up for their poor-color blind eyesight. They can smell the slightest contamination in food at less than 1 parts per million (<1PPM) and avoid feed on that product. Their sense of hearing is so defined, they could hear sonic and ultrasonic waves. They are great swimmers. Their teeth continuously grow. They could bite 6 times per second and at a force of 7000 psi, the chisel-like action when their teeth gnash together keeps them worn and sharp.

Neophobic:

Rats are neophobic (the fear of new object) so traps and rodenticide baits may go untouched till it becomes familiar to them.

Diseases transmitted and vectored​:

Plague, Murine Typhus, Scrub Typhus, Salmonellosis, Rat Bite Fever, and Leptospirosis.

Norway Rat

Appearance:

They can be up to 16 inches long, slender and weighs between 7-18 ounces. Their shaggy fur ranges in color but they are (normally) greyish brown. They have a blunt nose, small eyes, small ears, and their tail is dark above and pale underneath and are shorter than its head and body combined.

 

Droppings:

Their droppings are a ¾ inch long and blunt (giving them a capsule shape). One rat could produce 20-50 dropping and secrete ½ ounce of urine per night.

 

Life-cycle:

On average they live up to 6 months in the wild and can live for a year in structures. Within their lifespan, the female could have 3-6 litters having 6-12 pups per litter with the average being between 5-6 pups.

Requirements:

They consume about 10% of their body weight daily and need to drink up to 1-2 ounces of water a day.  The average home range is about 100 feet from the nest and prefers to stay at ground level. Cereal, grains, fish, and meats are a preferred food source, but they will eat whatever is available. Even resort to cannibalism if an adequate food supply isn’t present.

Abilities

Extremely good climbers, they have a long jump of 2.9 feet and a vertical jump of 2. They have a superior sense of smell, taste, touch, and hearing to make up for their poor-color blind eyesight. They can smell the slightest contamination in food at less than 1 parts per million (<1PPM) and avoid feed on that product. Their sense of hearing is so defined, they could hear sonic and ultrasonic waves. They are great swimmers. Their teeth continuously grow, they could bite 6 times per second and at a force of 7000 psi, the chisel-like action keeps their teeth gnash together keeps them worn and sharp.

Neophobic:

Rats are neophobic (the fear of new object) so traps and rodenticide baits may go untouched till it becomes familiar to them.

Diseases transmitted and vectored​:

Plague, Murine Typhus, Scrub Typhus, Salmonellosis, Rat Bite Fever, and Leptospirosis.

Inspecting for Rodents

  • Physical- live or dead rodent

  • Dropping– fresh will be soft, old will be hard. The color of droppings will vary by what they are consuming and might be a good indicator of their food source.

  • Urine mark- can be seen under a black light, rodents urinate while moving and leave a thin stream of droplets.

  • Odor- rodents have a distinct odor which could persist for long periods of time.

  • Gnawing- rat gnaws markings are 3.5-4mm in width and mice are 1-2mm.

  • Tracks- rats and mice have four toes on the front and 5 toes on the back, they drag their tails and leave a drag line between the footprints.

  • Grease mark- oily rub marks from their fur can be found within points they travel.

  • Sounds- scratching, fighting, digging, gnawing, giving birth, walking or running and high pitch squeaks could be a good sign of activity.

  • Burrow- Norway rats nest by burrowing into the soil, their burrows are about 3 inches in diameter, cover up the burrows and return the next day if the burrow is open again, activity is still active.

Rodent Control

Sanitation:

Remove food, water and nesting material that may be attractive to them.

 

Exclusion:
Seal all potential entrance and exit points.


Glue boards:

Only catches juvenile rodent and (rarely) catch adults, they work well with multiple and proper placements of snap traps and devices. 


Snap traps and multi-catch devices:
Very effective in eliminating infestations with multiple and proper placements.


Baits:
There are different baits and they kill in a different manner. Anticoagulants being the preferred product. Rats have become resistant to warfarin, which is a first-generation anticoagulant and took up to 10 consecutive days of feeding to be effective. Second generation anticoagulant baits work against warfarin resistant rats and require only a couple feeding but could still take up to 10 days to work.

For questions, more information, or to set up an appointment, contact one of our friendly knowledgeable staff members by phone (941) 585-0414 and they will be more than happy to help you.