Rodents are mammals that are recognizable by a set of continuously growing incisors. They are common in all parts of the world and are generally smaller sized, furred and quick breeders. They are warm blooded and quite adaptable. Nearly all species of rodent require constant gnawing to control their constantly growing teeth. Rodents are characterized by being difficult to completely exterminate from a dwelling due to their rapidly reproducing abilities and their ability to get into a home or food store on their own without having to depend on exploiting pre-existing weaknesses.
Rodents are invaluable to an ecosystem because of their rapid breeding population, which provides an easy source of prey animals for a great many species. They also disperse seeds for plants. Rodents are also used by humans in a variety of testing capacities, as pets and also as food animals for other domesticated species. Many rodents are small, such as mice and rats, but there are several species that are quite large, such as the capybara. Rodents are, however, also responsible for the spread of disease, as in the case of the Black Plague and for the destruction of agricultural crops and household stores.
Signs of Infestation
A rodent infestation can be identified most easily by the presence of fecal matter in the home, like the characteristic pellets produced by rats and mice that can be found in the vicinity of food stores. Other signs can be the presence of gnawing, which is necessary for all rodents to control their continuously growing teeth. Rodents infestations are signified by the chewed corners of boxes, bags or containers in the home. Even if the food is put in a sealed container a determined rodent, unlike an insect is perfectly capable of opening a container on their own through use of gnawing. Other signs of infestation can be finding nests in the spaces behind walls, in undisturbed storage areas or in clothing containers. As well as finding nests, some home owners have been alerted to an infestation by the sound of rodents behind the walls, scurrying or even the squeaking of nests of babies.
Rodents thrive in a wide variety of environments. They are enormously versatile, able to live in everything from sewers to forests. Their highly capable nature means that not only can they live practically anywhere, they have adapted to human habitations with a vigorous ability. Rodents are some of the world’s most invasive species, rats and mice alone accounting for the extermination of several indigenous species in the areas where they have traveled with the humans. In the home, rodents prefer to make their dens in the undisturbed or inaccessible areas of the house.
Rodents are capable of consuming just about any organic material, and are the consummate example of adaptable omnivores. Almost all rodents eats plant matter and are particularly partial to seeds and nuts (as in the case of squirrels), but some species will eat other animals, mainly insects.
Treatment and Prevention
The main method of exterminating a rodent population in the home or the food storage areas of a farm is trapping, poison and preventative measures. Rodents can cause significant property damage if they are not stopped at the earliest signs of infestation. While it is not possible to make a home completely airtight, an careful examination of the interior and exterior of a home will enable an exterminator to plug up all obvious entrance points for invasion. While it is possible for rodents to chew through a great many types of airtight containers in the pursuit of food, enclosing all possible food-stuff in these containers will prevent easy access for an inquisitive, unwelcome guest.