Possums and House Mice and Rats, Oh My!

Possums and House Mice and Rats, Oh My!

rodents_1Some people may think these furry critters are cute and cuddly, but when they’re infesting your home, they are anything but. Today we’re talking about three common rodent pests you can find in North Texas and what you can do about them.

House Mice

Did you know that the word “mouse” is derived from the Sanskrit verb meaning “to steal”? These furry creatures have been living up to this reputation for thousands of years, and today, you can find this kind of mouse almost every region of the world. In fact, in most parts of the world, the house mouse is the #1 rodent pest.

Although they prefer grains and cereals, these mice will eat almost anything, including other house mice. It really depends on the food that is readily available, and if they’re able to find a solid source of food, they won’t travel far away unless their circumstances change. You have quite a few options when it comes to dealing with these rodents, and one of our technicians can help you determine the best option for you and your home.

Roof Rats

This creature is known by many names, including black rat, house rat, and ship rat. These rats first arrived in the United States back in the 15th century and can be found along the West Coast and in Southern states from Texas to Virginia. Unlike the ground-dwelling Norway rat, which can be found almost everywhere in the States, the roof rat prefers dwelling in roofs and treetops. Because of this, the roof rat is less dependent on human foods than the Norway rat. But that doesn’t mean the roof rat is a good houseguest. These rodents pose another threat: gnawing damage.

The word “rodent” is from the Latin word meaning “to gnaw.” Rats need to gnaw in order to file down their incisors (their four long front teeth), and they’ll chomp on anything from electrical wiring to wooden beams. Like when dealing with mice, you have lots of options on how to deal with roof rats, and different solutions work better for different situations.

Opossums

You’ll be able to find these creatures in crawlspaces beneath buildings, like underneath porches, or in the attics of houses. If you truly want to protect your house from these creatures, “opossum-proofing” your house is your best option. That means locating the holes where they’re getting into the house and sealing those openings off when the opossums are gone. To get the opossums out in the first place, live trapping is very effective when you use the proper bait.

Opossums are “true omnivores” and will eat anything they can, from small mammals and mushrooms to garbage and vegetables. In fact, that’s one reason you’ll see them by the road so often—they’re trying to feed on roadkill. Uncovered trash cans or trash bags left on the side of the road are easy targets for food, so placing your trash in a covered container will help lower your chances of their meddling with them and making a mess you’ll have to clean up later.

If rodent pests have found a way into your home, Western Exterminating can help get them out (and if we can’t do it, we’ll know someone who can). Give us a call today at 817-834-3121 to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained technicians!

Sources:

Mallis, Arnold. (1997). Handbook of Pest Control (8th ed.).

Tags:
, ,