It seems rodents are common all over the place. So, rodents in Virginia are no big surprise. The fact is, locating and counting them is a complex undertaking. In this article, we will focus on the rodents of Virginia. But here is what World Atlas has to say about just the rat population of the world:
“Believed to be the most populous mammal, rats are found in almost all continents. Billions of them are on the planet with China believed to have more than two billion rats…There are more than 64 types of rats with an average size of between 9 and 12 inches long excluding the tail though some species can grow to over 30 inches.”
That is right, BILLIONS. With more than 64 types, we have identified the more common rats and mice you may see in Virginia. Why would we do that? Well, to know the rodent you have located in your attic or on your property, one needs to know a little about each type. That way, they can be dealt with according to type, size, and habits.
James River Pest Solutions removes rodents like rats and mice from Virginia homes.
Common Mice in Virginia
All rodents have a pair of top and bottom front incisors that continually grow. And mice fit the bill as one of the rodents of Virginia. The four most common are House Mice, White-footed Mice, Field Mice, and Deer Mice.
This most common mouse is small and thin, with a long tail, large ears, and small round eyes. Their ears and tails are covered in fur that is colored grayish brown to brown or black. But the worst part about a house mouse infestation is that they multiply very quickly. And they only need ¼ of an inch to get into your home.
While the white-footed mouse does have white feet, they also have larger hind legs and a bi-colored tail. These mice prefer to live in forests and brush. In a city, you would find them in grassy or weeded areas. The most critical thing about these mice is that they are carriers of the ticks that transmit Lyme-Disease.
Field mice are gray or brown with a white underbelly and feet. They have short tails and are found chiefly in fields. They are a more commonly seen mouse, and they can climb, jump, swim, and chew their way into just about any structure found in and around your home.
Deer mice have short little legs, and their tails have a sharp color contrast from one end to the other. Both their ears and tail are covered in fur, and they are swift runners. They are called deer mice due to the coloring that resembles a deer.
The Rats in Virginia
Of course, rats are rodents. They have the signature teeth that constantly need to be filed down. In Virginia, there are Norway Rats and Roof Rats. Both can cause significant problems if they get into your Virginia home.
Norway rats are the big-bodied rats found where people live, in urban areas mostly. You may hear them called ship rats or black rats. Additionally, they are a burrowing rat that prefers to live outside. But, if the opportunity and the right circumstances arise, they will gladly take up space in your home. These rats are more active at night but will come out in the day when food is present. Their fur is brown with black strands and a light belly. They have a blunt nose, small eyes, and ears, and their tail is bi-colored.
Roof rats are the more often sighted rats of Virginia’s homes. Their coat is black and brown with some gray hair and a light belly. And these rats have pointed noses with large ears and eyes. Roof rats’ bodies are long and thin, making them able to get into almost anywhere they want.
The Dangers of the Rodents of Virginia
Have you heard scratching or chewing noises coming from the ceiling or walls? Unfortunately, you may have a rodent problem. So, can they create dangers when in your home other than being dirty and creeping you out? In fact, there are many reasons rodents are dangerous if living in your home.
- Rodents bring in from the outdoors all sorts of ticks, fleas, lice, mites, and other parasites. And each of these can make your family and your pets sick.
- They make holes in your walls, siding, and roofing just to gain entry to your home.
- Rats and squirrels cause a significant amount of damage to insulation and building materials in your walls and the attic. Mice do the same but on a much smaller scale.
- All rodents chew wires to file their teeth and use them for nesting supplies. What’s worse, damaged wires may lead to fires in your home.
- The holes they make in the home may allow water into the house, creating the possibility for mold and mildew.
- In the attic, they will leave their excrement wherever they please. In addition, if they decide to urinate in one area, it will eventually seep through the ceiling, leaving an odorous yellow-brown stain.
- If they get into your pantry, they will contaminate the foods they can tear open. And they make a big mess too.
And then there are the diseases they carry. Infections like Lyme disease, hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, plague, and tularemia can spread to humans and their pets through their droppings, urine, and saliva.
Preventing the Rodents of Virginia
So many homeowners who keep their houses relatively clean wonder how they could have a rodent issue. The fact is, rodents are creatures of opportunity and will enter anywhere food, water, and shelter are available. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to have a dirty home for rodents to want to come in. Here is what we suggest to prevent the rodents of Virginia from coming into the house.
- When cleaning, glance for droppings indicating mice or rats in the house. If you see any, you will want to remove all pheromones left by the critters and call your local pest elimination company.
- Inspect doors and windows for broken seals periodically and get them repaired or replaced. And remember, they can fit in the tiniest of places.
- Install screens on windows and doors that you enjoy keeping open.
- Seal any cracks in the exterior of the house and where the roof meets the walls.
- Place a fine-mesh screen overall vent openings, gutter downspouts, and the chimney of the house.
- Keep your pantry safe by storing dry goods in canisters with lids that seal shut.
- Secure garbage can lids and keep them inside the garage as much as possible.
- Inspect sheds, attics, and basements often for evidence of activity.
- Keep the yard trimmed, free of overgrowth and bushes cut back from the home.
Eliminating the Rodents of Virginia
When you hire a professional pest control company to help you get rid of the problem, you get more than an extra set of hands. As soon as you notice the rodents in your yard, or see one in your home, contact your local experts. They will provide the following services.
- Inspectors will assess the situation and determine the methods that will be necessary for rodent control.
- They will bring the proper safety gear, tools, traps, and products to use to rid your home of rodents for good.
- Your pest control techs will locate all points of entry and get them sealed up.
- Additionally, when the rodents are gone, the technician will clean, sanitize, and deodorize any nested areas.
And if you are in the areas of Metro Richmond, Glen Allen, and Central VA, then James River Pest Solutions is the pest control company for you. Contact our friendly staff as soon as you see evidence of rodents in or around your home.