Rodent Rundown: Keeping These Dangerous Pests Away From Your Kittitas County Property

We live in a beautiful part of the country. Mount Daniel majestically rises to the sky, the Manastash Ridge lines our horizon along with the Wenatchee mountains, and we get to enjoy a variety of trees, green lawns, and the Yakima River. Of course, wildlife and rodents live among the beautiful features surrounding us, and sometimes they can be a problem for homeowners. 

No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night and stumble into the kitchen to get a glass of water and encounter rodents. We don't need the stress of a rodent scurrying from behind a cabinet in the kitchen. Once you see rodents in your house, you cannot relax because you wonder where they are inside the house. 

Secure pest control in Kittitas County from Prosite when rodents invade your house. We protect your home from rodent damage and guard your family against the health hazards they bring into your house. Our licensed technicians know all the signs of a rodent infestation, and they have the tools, training, and experience to remove rodents from your property. 

We regularly educate our technicians so they are up-to-date on the latest technologies and rodent control methods. Because we believe education is necessary to win the war against rodents, we wrote this article to help you so you can take steps to stop rodents from potentially harming your home and family. So please keep reading.

Common Rodent Species: Identifying Different Types Of Rodents

We previously mentioned that our area is full of rodents and wildlife, so what is the difference? Wildlife is a classification we use for animals that avoid human contact and will not live around people unless they are domesticated. Squirrels, chipmunks, voles, beavers, and other rodents are also wildlife, but rats and mice are not because they will share space with humans. However, there is another question we need to answer: What is a rodent?

Rodents are mammals with a pair of upper and lower constantly growing incisor teeth. These teeth have a hard enamel coating on the front and soft dentine on the backside. Because the teeth never stop growing, rodents must gnaw on nearby objects to keep them trim. This chewing creates a razor's edge between the enamel and the dentine, which allows them to chew through wood, thin metals, plastics, roots, nuts, and glass. 

Rats and mice are the two types of rodents in Kittitas County that do not mind living around humans. Here is a list of rodents that invade Kittitas County homes:

  • Deer mice
  • House mice
  • White-footed mice
  • Norway rats
  • Roof rats
  • Wood rats

As you can see, three mice and three rat species are problematic for homeowners in our area. We will briefly describe each one so you can identify the rodents in your home.

Deer mice have brown fur on top with a white belly and feet on their 5 to 8-inch bodies. It is tempting to argue that all mice look alike, but each species has at least one distinguishing feature, and the bicolored tail (brown at the top and white at the bottom) is how you can tell if you see deer mice in your house. Deer mice usually enter homes, sheds, and garages to shelter from our cold, snowy winters.

Not including the tail, the dusty grey body of house mice is 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches long. These mice have a cream-colored belly, large ears, and a pointed muzzle. Of the mice on our list of common rodents in Kittitas County, this species is the most prolific breeder.

As the name suggests, white-footed mice have white feet, but so do deer mice. How can you distinguish between the two species? To differentiate these species look for the white-footed mice to have larger hind legs than deer mice, with blurred brown and white tail fur, so the break between the colors is not sharp.

Rats have longer bodies and tails than mice. Norway rats, also known as street and sewer rats, have 7 to 9 1/2-inch plump brown bodies with black hairs interspersed throughout; a grey or white belly, blunt muzzle, small eyes and ears, and a tail that is an additional 7 to 9 inches long. When they invade homes, they live in basements and lower floors.

As the name suggests, roof rats prefer to live in attics and upper levels of houses in Kittitas County. This species has a slightly shorter body (6 to 8 inches) plus a scaly 6 to 8-inch tail. Their topside has the same colors as Norway rats, but their bellies can be white, grey, or black. Roof rats have large ears and eyes and slender bodies.

Wood rats, also known as pack or trade rats, are similar in size to Norway rats, but their tail has fur as opposed to the scaly tail of Norway rats. Wood rats live longer than other rat species (about three to four years).

We understand if you cannot remember the details about the rodents you see running across the floor, which is why Prosite provides rodent control in Kittitas County. Our experienced technicians know the traits of the rodents infesting the homes in our area.

Rodent Dangers: Health Risks And Property Damage

Rodents don’t care where they forage for food. They often scrounge for organic plant and animal materials in sewers, drains, compost piles, and trash. Since these areas have rotting foods, they promote the growth of bacteria and viruses, making them a breeding ground for parasitic worms, fleas, ticks, mice, and lice. 

As rodents travel through these unsanitary areas, the disease-causing organisms stick to their oily fur and feet. Also, parasitic insects and arachnids like fleas and ticks attach themselves to rodents and hide in their coat. 

Rodents forage at night, and due to their poor eyesight, they bump into items as they move through the house. They leave pathogen-rich grease marks when they rub against walls, appliances, and cabinets. Also, rodents defecate, urinate, and deposit bacteria and viruses on countertops, inside drawers, utensils, and food packaging material. They also transfer pathogens through their saliva when they chew on plastics, glass, thin metals, furniture, and even concrete as they shorten their teeth.

Rodents not only spread disease, but their hitchhikers also spread infections throughout the house. When fleas and ticks enjoy a blood meal from an infected host, they can pass on the disease-causing organisms when they bite a new host.

These diseases rodents, fleas, and ticks spread are too numerous to list in this brief article, but here are a few of the common ones: leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tularemia, salmonellosis, cowpox virus, trichinosis, hantavirus, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Because rodents chew on nearby items to sharpen and shorten their incisor teeth, when they are in a house, they cause damage to furniture, floors, walls, and appliances. Norway rats often create two to three-inch holes in walls and floors, and roof rats expand existing holes in aluminum, vinyl, and wood siding to enter the attic.

Rodents sometimes create nests in wall voids and behind appliances. Following their instinct to gnaw, they chew on the wiring exposing wires to each other and moisture from the rodent's fur. Short circuits and fire can result from rodents around wiring.

Prosite stops rodents in walls, attics, and throughout the house from destroying your home. We protect your family's health by eliminating rodents in your Kittitas house.

Rodent Prevention Tips: How to Keep Your Property Rodent-Free

Although rodents and wildlife are with us, we do not need to share our houses with them. Rodents are necessary to the ecosystem outside our homes, but not inside them. When you have a rodent infestation, you need to partner with Prosite to end the current problem, but after we remove the pests, you should implement these rodent prevention tips:

  • Remove rotting fruit and animal feces from the property
  • Prune trees and shrubs away from the structure
  • Eliminate junk, wood and leaf piles, and other debris from the yard
  • Elevate firewood piles and relocate them 20 feet from the house
  • Provide proper drainage to gutters, ditches, and low-lying areas
  • Seal gaps and cracks larger than a pencil using steel wool
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors
  • Cover the attic and crawl space vents with 1/4 wire mesh
  • Fix holes in window and door screens
  • Repair leaking plumbing in the home

These tips and rodent control from Prosite will keep the rodents in Washington State from moving onto your property and infesting your Kittitas County home.

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