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The Truth About: Rodents in Your Home

August 17, 2017

mouse hiding in corner of kitchen

The roof rat and the Norway rat are the two most common types of rodents you will see in your home. And why do rodents follow people? Because they need the same three essentials to survive: food, water, and shelter.

The roof rat is a nocturnal rodent that is usually found in dark, elevated areas such as attics or garages. It can be brown or black in color and is smaller in size than the Norway rat. Even though they usually consume foods like fruits and nuts, they are omnivorous and will feed on anything readily available. Roof rats will chew on more than just food. They will gnaw on wood, wiring and have been known to cause electrical fires.  

The Norway rat is primarily active at night as they begin to search for food and water. The Norway rat is large and can have a brown or gray color. When compared to the roof rat, the Norway rat has scaly, hairless tails and ears. These rats like to nest underground and can cause damage to the property of the home as they try to tunnel themselves inside. The Norway rat is also omnivorous and will eat anything available to them.

Rats can leave many signs of infestation. The biggest sign, and most common, is the droppings left behind. The roof rats will leave behind droppings with pointed ends, and the Norway rat will leave behind droppings with a capsule end. Since both rats are nocturnal and most of their activity occurs during the night, you may hear noises around your home after you lay your head down to go to sleep. Other signs can include damaged food packaging like cereal boxes, bread, and dog food. Rats will leave behind gnaw marks on drywall, wood, and wiring. They can also leave behind grease stains along the edges of walls. The darker the stain, the more activity the rat.

These rodents not only cause damage inside the home but also pose serious health issues. Both rodents can spread disease through their urine, droppings and bites. They may have been bitten by ticks or fleas and can carry diseases such as hantavirus and salmonella. Their droppings and hair can also be a source of allergens and aggravate asthma or allergies.

To prevent rodents from entering your home, there are a few precautionary actions that will help remove the rodent’s three necessities. Make sure that all garbage cans are secured with a lid and are taken out on a regular basis. Don’t let it pile up! Use sealed containers for foods like cereal or dog food. It will also be beneficial to check for leaks inside and outside of the home. Be sure that dryer vents and windows have covers. Landscaping maintenance and removing wood piles or tree limbs hanging over the home will make the area less attractive.

The most effective way to rid your home of rodents is to contact a professional. Call Nozzle Nolen for a free inspection today. Our experts will find the best solution for you!


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