A source for information on rats
Probably the most vilified
of household pests due to its sheer size and eewww-factor, rodents have become a big problem for homeowners. The
constant construction in Florida minimizes the rodents’ natural habitat and maximizes one’s chances of encountering
the bared yellow teeth of a mouse or rat in the middle of the night. Unlike smaller pests that can be dispensed
with a solid swat of a shoe, rodents are a little more difficult to get rid of and require professional pest
control to find the area of entry and take the necessary steps to eradicate these mangy mammals.
Although mice and rats are usually associated with big overpopulated cities, Florida has its share of these
nuisance pests, with the Norway rat, Roof rat (fruit or citrus rat) and House Mouse being the most prevalent.
Rodentia make up the single largest group of mammals on earth and are found native on all continents except
Anartica; there are about 1,500 living rodent species (out of about 4,000 living mammals overall. Mice and rats
prefer to live above ground, and prefer hidden places such as attics or behind walls and appliances.
The typical house mouse weighs less than an ounce. They can fit thru a ¼” crack; if your home or business has any
small openings, eventually mice will find their way in. House mice eat many types of food but prefer seeds and
grain. A single mouse can't eat a whole lot, but because of their habit of nibbling on many foods, discarding
partially eaten items, and defecating everywhere, mice destroy considerably more food than they consume. Mice are
primarily nocturnal, they can dig, they chew like all rodents do, and they can produce a tremendous number of
Rats are typically identified by their short fur, pointed snouts, large ears, and long tails. Although roof rats
can grow up to 9”, tail included, the Norway rat can grow to twice that size. Rodents are primarily nocturnal
creatures, but have poor vision and are thought to be colorblind. They rely on their keen senses of smell, hearing
and highly specialized senses of touch and balance to survive. Their teeth grow continuously which cause them to
constantly gnaw on various surfaces in order to wear them down.
Aside from the disease-carrying aspects of rodents, the damage most associated with rats and mice comes from
chewed-through wires, pipes, screens and roofing and other household materials. Most rats can fit through a hole
the size of a quarter. Pest control for rodents usually consists of baited traps placed by a professional, and
requires strategic methods so the traps can be retrieved. A rat or mouse that has been killed by a trap can cause a
terrible odor that affects the entire house.
Since mice and rats inhabit some of the filthiest places on earth, it’s no wonder that they harbor many diseases.
Humans can contract rodent-borne diseases through bites directly from rodents or from ticks, mites or fleas that
live on an infected rodent. Rats are also known to snack on left out food and water, and they can contaminate your
home with their urine and droppings. These pests often live for less than a year but breed in large quantities,
which makes it important to use extermination methods if you sense a rodent has invaded your home. You may
eliminate the matriarch but her siblings are ready and willing to take over the contamination and structural damage
they are infamous for.
We do not make consistent use of poison for rat control. Poison is simply
not a permanent rat solution. It will not kill 100% of the rats and worst of all; it leaves dead rats and
mice in the walls, which cause tremendous odor. We use integrated pest management, which means that we trap
existing animals, and most importantly, identify and seal up (with steel) all of the areas where rats and
mice enter. This is without a doubt the best approach. I see pest control companies charging constant monthly
fees to spread some poison outside the building. That is absolutely lazy and completely ineffective. If you
want the job done right, with a PERMANENT solution, give us a call.
Florida Rat info: The most common nuisance rats are the Norway rat, also known as the Brown Rat, and the
Black Rat, also known as the Roof Rat. Down here in Florida, the Roof Rat dominates. Many Orlando residents refer
to them as Fruit Rats or Citrus Rats. Rats are commonly associated with urban areas, but in Florida, they survive
in the wild just fine. They will go wherever they can find food and shelter, and that often includes buildings.
Although they may look large, they need only a tiny hole (the size of a quarter) to fit through. Roof rats will
consume many different types of plant and animal foods such as insects, fruits, grains, pet food that has been left
outdoors, and almost any food in your house. They also contaminate food with their urine and feces. Rats are
well-known carriers of many different diseases, and it has been reported that rats bite more than fifteen thousand
people per year including the very young, and old. Rats are primarily nocturnal. Roof rats tend to live most of
their lives high off the ground, and they love to live in attics. Even though they often live for less than a year,
they can breed in large quantities.
Florida Mouse info: The typical house mouse weighs less than an ounce. It can fit in a crack of only a
quarter inch. They can and do get everywhere. If your house has food and has any small openings, eventually mice
will find their way in. House mice eat many types of food but prefer seeds and grain. They do not hesitate to
sample new foods, sampling many kinds of items in their environment. A single mouse can't eat a whole lot, but
because of their habit of nibbling on many foods, discarding partially eaten items, and defecating everywhere, mice
destroy considerably more food than they consume. Mice are primarily nocturnal, they can dig, they chew like all
rodents do, and they can produce a tremendous number of offspring. Mice are very rare throughout most parts of
Florida. Most of the "mouse calls" we get are actually sightings of small young Roof Rats.
Nuisance concerns: They chew. They eat your food. They leave poop everywhere, often severely
contaminating an attic with their droppings and urine. They can also spread diseases. Some examples of diseases
that can be spread by rats & mice are Salmonellosis (acute food poisoning), Rickettsia Pox, Hantavirus (via
droppings), tapeworm, infectious jaundice, and tularemia. They scamper through your attic and walls, keeping you
awake at night, and they often chew their way through drywall and enter the building to contaminate food and leave
droppings. They like to chew and gnaw everything, and will often chew on electrical wires, creating a fire hazard.
Our Florida Rodent Control system will prevent these problems that rats cause, and keep them out