Tag Archives: gnawing

A TALE OF TWO RATS and a MOUSE.

A rat is a rat but not a mouse or a mole or a shrew! But they are all rodents. The two most prolific rats that we, in Southern California, deal with, in our urban settings, are the Roof/Tree or Black rat , which inhabits mostly suburban communities, and the Norway/Sewer or Brown rat, in industrial areas and inner-city communities.

rat-and-mouse-comparison-chartNorway rats have thick bodies with bristly brown fur with some black hairs with  lighter bellies of grey, off white, or yellow). Their tail is thick, scaled and shorter than the body.

Roof Rats have slender bodies, soft, thick fur in shades of brown and black. Their bellies tend to be lighter in color and their tails are long, hairless and slender.

The House Mouse is  dusty gray/brown with a cream-colored belly. Their bodies are compact, tails long and sparsely furred, eyes and ears quite large.

Identifying the type of household invader is important when planning an effective control strategy. Understanding their individual behaviors will help with the selection of a rodent control solution that will control future infestation.  For instance: nesting behavior varies. Roof rats typically nest above ground in attics, trees, or dense vegetation in urban/suburban areas. Norway rats nest outdoors in burrows deep in the ground or in lower areas of buildings (ex. basements) in mostly industrial areas and inner-city communities.

Depending on size for identification can be misleading.

Juvenile Roof Rat
Juvenile Roof Rat

Juvenile rats are often mistaken for adult mice.  A juvenile rat has larger feet and a larger head compared to its’ body length than a mouse. Rat tails are hairless and scaled where mouse tails are long with some hair/fur.

No matter which of these pests you may have invading your space, it is imperative to get rid of them fast! They all carry and spread diseases and have been known to trigger allergies and asthma in humans.  They are not pets! They are dirty, wild animals and they will wreck-havoc in your home.  Corkys Pest Control’s Rat Control Service and Mouse Control Service are effective in controlling these pests and our Clean-up Services, help protect homes and families from the unhealthy conditions these pests spread throughout our living spaces.

Here is an interesting fact about Rats and rodents in general:

Rats belong to the family Muridae, the largest of all mammalian families, within the Order of Rodentia, which includes gophers, mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, porcupines and chipmunks.  Why are all these varied rodent species grouped together?  It’s the specialized teeth they use frat-chewig-wireor gnawing.

Gnawing is a critical activity, but it is not a way to obtain nourishment directly.  Rats don’t ingest what they gnaw. Gnawing is for excavating small holes and crevices into larger ones, providing rats with access into areas where food, water and or shelter can be found.  So, the smaller than a dime, space around the water pipe outside is an excellent opportunity, for a rat.

Successful gnawing depends on 2 things – (A) how hard the teeth are and (B) how strong the jaws are.Rat yelling Rodent teeth have a special dental enamel consisting of a mineral called calcium hydroxyapatite embedded in collagen – extremely strong. The design of the rat skull and leverage points of the jaw muscles enable the rat to exert an incredible force compared to its body size – 12 tons per square inch. In comparison, a great white shark can only exert 2 tons on a good day and crocodiles manage about 1.5 tons.rat-at-dentist-1_k2puy3y6fb6ohq-5csefw With all this going for them, there is one big drawback to their teeth.  The two front teeth will keep growing unless they are worn down by the act of gnawing.  If they don’t gnaw, they die, as their teeth will grow right into and through their mouths, making eating impossible, effectively starving them or worse, into their brains.  Not a good way to go.

 

Rats and Mice, Fall’s Most Unwanted.

Fall (and continuing through winter) is the time of year that nearly all of the rat infestations occur, according to a survey from the NPMA (National Pest Managemroof-ratent Association).

 

With daytime and overnight temperatures falling, animals go into overwintering mode and for them this means leaving the landscape for warmer places which can provide food and water and a safer environment in which to have and raise their young. Your home is at the top of their list!

Rats (and mice) are our most frequent unwanted visitors, this time of year.mouse-brown

Besides being disgusting, noisy and destructive, rats and mice can contaminate food, spread diseases, bring on allergies and even invite their friends; fleas, ticks and lice into your home.  Rats, especially, have been known to damage property by chewing through drywall, insulation, and electrical wiring (including vehicle wiring).  So, if you park your car outside, don’t forget to check under the hood frequently.

Prevent rats and mice from making your house their home by:

  • Removing yard debris and trash. Always look for places you think rats might like to live such as wood- piles and thick ground covers. Take time to thin out the vegetation and move firewood away from the home. Frequently restacking the wood will also discourage rodents from the area.
  • Keeping trash cans tightly closed. rat-in-trash-bag-2
  • Storing pet food or bird seed in metal cans with secure lids.
  • Picking up fallen fruit. (Don’t feed the rats!)
  • Bringing in pet bowls and bird feeders at night when rodents are the most active.
  • Keeping your home in good repair. Check for openings where rodents can get in. Remember that a mouse can squeeze through a hole as small as a dime, and rats can enter through quarter-sized holes. Covering the openings with metal, concrete or mesh wool or copper mesh wool will stop them from getting in.

Rats and mice are sneaky, determined  creatures, so if they’ve gotten past your best defenses, it’s time to call in the professionals.   

rat-at-dentist-1_k2puy3y6fb6ohq-5csefwhttps://youtu.be/km2Vnk4cE70

Fun Fact:

Rats and mice have a need to gnaw. 

Rats and mice gnaw to take care of their teeth.  Their front teeth constantly grow and without gnawing and chewing to reduce the size of their choppers, the teeth would grow right out of their mouths until they would be unable to eat therefore starving to death or the bottom incisors would poke through the roof of the mouth stabbing into the brain. Not a good way to go!

It’s Rodent “Beware-ness” week: “Batten Down the Hatches”!

Fall is a time of change.  The weather is cooling, leaves are falling, plants and animals are going into overwintering mode and for animals this means heading out of the landscape for safer, warmer places, like inside your home, inside your car or inside your BBQ (not to mention inside pool equipment cabinets).

 

The most frequent unwanted visitors, this time of year, are Mice and Rats.mice-on-cornRat yelling

 

Besides being disgusting, noisy and destructive, rats and mice can contaminate food, spread diseases, bring on allergies and even invite their friends; fleas, ticks and lice into your home.  Rats, especially, have been known to greatly damage property by chewing through drywall, insulation, and electrical wiring (including vehicle wiring).  If you park your car outside, don’t forget to check under the hood frequently.

Prevent rats and mice from making your house their home by:

  • Removing yard debris and trash. Always look for places you think rats might like to live such as wood piles and thick ground covers. Take time to thin out the vegetation and move firewood away from the home. Frequently restacking the wood will also discourage rodents from the area.
  • Keeping trash cans tightly closed. rat-in-trach
  • Storing pet food or bird seed in metal cans with secure lids.
  • Picking up fallen fruit. (Don’t feed the rats!)
  • Bringing in pet bowls and bird feeders at night when rodents are the most active.
  • Keeping your home in good repair. Check for openings where rodents can get in. Remember that a mouse can squeeze through a hole as rat_pipesmall as a dime, and rats can enter through quarter-sized holes. Covering the openings with metal, concrete or mesh wool or copper mesh wool will stop them from getting in.

Rats and mice are sneaky, determined  creatures, so if they’ve gotten past your best defensive line, it’s time to call in the professionals.  

Fun Fact:

Rats and mice have a need to gnaw. rat-at-dentist-1_k2puy3y6fb6ohq-5csefw

They’re not looking to add wiring or building materials to their diet, they are doing what they need to do to promote good dental health.  Yes, rats gnaw to take care of their teeth.  Their front teeth constantly grow and without gnawing and chewing to reduce the size of their choppers, the teeth would grow right out of their mouths until they would be unable to eat therefore starving to death or the bottom incisors would poke through the roof of the mouth stabbing into the brain. Not a good way to go.