Rodent Appearance

They’re all mammals with bodies covered with hair, they have tails, they give birth to living young (no eggs) and nurse those young. However, the main thing rodents have in common is the specialized structure of their teeth and jaws and their well-developed ability to gnaw. 

Pest Rodent Behavior

Most rodents have a small body size covered in fur with a cylindrical shape and short limbs. Rodents have a well-developed sense of smell, hearing, and touch, which help them navigate their environment and detect predators.

Many rodents are considered pests due to their ability to infest homes and crops, and spread diseases. The pest rodents found in and around structures are sometimes referred to as “commensal rodents.” 

Rodents have a high metabolism and require frequent access to food and water to sustain their energy levels. They are primarily herbivores, although some species are omnivores and may also consume insects or other animals.

Most rodents are social animals and live in groups or colonies, although some species are solitary. Rodents are known for their quick reproduction rates, with short gestation periods and large litter sizes.

Most Common Rodents

  • Mice
  • Rats 
  • Squirrels
  • Voles
  • Gophers
  • Chipmunks
  • Beaver
  • Muskrat

What Damage Do Rodents Cause?

To keep their large teeth at reasonable lengths, rodents must constantly gnaw. This behavior can lead to structural damage to homes, as well as increase the risk of electrical shorts and fires. Mice and rats, tear up insulation for their nests, and burrowing rodents damage lawns, fields, and irrigation systems.

Not only do rodents constantly need to chew, but they also breed often. Squirrels breed twice per year with the potential to have almost 20 offspring each year while mice/rats can breed up to 10 times per year and have the potential to have well over 100 offspring per year.

Rodents also carry a plethora of diseases, including leptospirosis, Hantavirus, plague, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and tularemia. Finally, they contaminate food and gnaw entrance holes in the exterior of buildings, which allows other pests to gain access to homes, as well.

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

  1. Droppings: One of the most obvious signs of a rodent infestation is finding rodent droppings in and around your home. These droppings are typically small and dark in color.
  2. Gnaw marks: Rodents have a constant need to gnaw on objects to keep their teeth trimmed, so you may notice gnaw marks on furniture, walls, baseboards, and food containers.
  3. Nesting materials: Rodents will often use shredded materials such as paper, fabric, and insulation to build nests in hidden areas of your home.
  4. Greasy smudges or tracks: Rodents have oily fur that can leave greasy smudges or tracks along walls and baseboards as they navigate through your home.
  5. Sighting of live or dead rodents: Seeing live rodents scurrying around your home or finding dead rodents may indicate a larger infestation.
  6. Unusual noises: Rodents are active primarily at night, so you may hear scratching, squeaking, or rustling noises coming from walls, ceilings, or attics.
  7. Food or pet food disappearing: Rodents are known for scavenging for food, so you may notice that food items in your pantry or pet food are disappearing or have