Rodent Identification & Prevention

rat in the tall grass

What are rodents?

Rodents are mammals, and the two most common types of rodents invading our homes and businesses while searching for food and shelter are mice and rats. Both seem to know that people and our property offer them things they need - food, water, and shelter. All rodents, including mice and rats, have front incisors that grow continuously throughout their life. These sharp front incisors allow these pests to cause a lot of damage in and around our homes.

Mice are smaller than rats, with bodies growing between two and four inches in length. They have a triangular-shaped nose and large ears compared to the size of their head. A light layer of hair covers their tail.

Rats, on the other hand, grow much larger than mice. Their body alone can reach up to nine inches in length. They have a rounded or blunt-shaped nose. Compared to their body size, the rat’s ears are smaller than the mouse’s. The rat’s tail is long, thick, scaly, and hairless.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents cause lots of problems for people and damage structures, causing them to be dangerous pests. Rodents spread bacteria, disease-causing pathogens, and parasites that make people ill. Also, having them living inside your home leads to a lot of stress and sleepless nights.

In order to stop their teeth from overgrowing, rodents constantly chew. The damage rodents cause inside our homes because of their chewing habits can be quite significant. They will damage:

  • Wires
  • Pipes
  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Boxes, books, pictures

Rodents have high metabolisms and are constantly in search of food. Chewing through food packaging and contaminating food and surfaces with bacteria is another concern when rodents live inside your home.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Many things attract rodents to your property and cause them to become a problem for you and your family. Listed below are some of the most common reasons why rodents have moved onto your property.

  • They have discovered reliable food sources either inside or outside your home like open trash cans, leftover food or crumbs, gardens, pet food, or compost areas.
  • There are lots of shelter spots for these animals to hide in like tall grass, overgrown shrubs or bushes, woodpiles, brush piles, and fallen trees.
  • They've found easy access into your home to take advantage of the food and shelter it provides. Mice only need a space the diameter of a pencil to enter. Rats only need a space the width of a quarter to fit through!

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents are nocturnal animals and stay hidden during the day. Their shy nature also makes them want to stay away from people and heavily trafficked areas. If you see mice or rats out and about during the day, it is an indicator of a large infestation.

When rodents move indoors to either forage for food or escape harsh weather, they nest in quiet, secluded areas. They like to nest behind walls, under floors, in attics and basements, and behind large appliances. The backs of closets and cabinets and inside storage boxes are some of their other favorite nesting spots. Since rodents build their nests out of sight, it is usually the musty smell that develops near the nesting site that alerts homeowners to a rodent problem.

Other signs of a rodent infestation include:

  • Dark, rice-shaped droppings on floors, in drawers, or in cabinets

  • Holes gnawed in walls, flooring, rugs, boxes, and other containers

  • Oily streaks of dirt on walls or furniture that rats leave as a trail due to their poor eyesight 

  • Running or scratching noises behind walls or above ceilings at night when rodents are most active

How do I get rid of rodents?

The smartest way to eliminate rodents and other pests from your property is to partner with the professionals at Smart Pest Control. We deliver pest control services in Costa Mesa that are comprehensive and detailed, making sure we get to the root of your pest problem and solve it completely.

To learn more about how our locally owned company will protect your property from pests, reach out to Smart Pest Control today. We can work together to ensure your Costa Mesa home or business becomes and stays free of pests, we guarantee it! Call today to learn more about our rodent control solutions in Costa Mesa!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

The professionals at Smart Pest Control can help you prevent problems with rodents and other pests. In addition, use the following tips to help prevent future problems with rodents.

  • Place tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins to limit a rodent’s ability to forage for food on your property.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food and remove bird feeders from your property. Rodents love to feed on pet food and bird seed.
  • Keep the kitchen, eating areas, and pantry areas clean and free of crumbs.
  • Never leave food out on counters that are not in containers with airtight lids. Cupcakes sitting on a platter look cute but are prone to rodents nibbling on them!
  • Store fruits and vegetables in the fridge.
  • Clean up your yard and remove any debris or clutter where rodents can hide.
  • Cut back tree branches, overgrown shrubs, and bushes away from the outside of your home.
  • Use strong materials to seal up holes in the foundation and exterior walls of your home. Rodents have strong, sharp teeth, so using things like metal and steel wool is most effective.

Schedule Your Free Inspection

Complete the form below to schedule your no obligation inspection

Recent Blog Articles

Read more

Why Are There So Many Ants In My Orange County Home?

There are over 700 species of ants in the U.S. with some of them being found in Orange County homes. Keeping them out of your home can seem like a big task...

Read more

The Answers To Your Questions About Orange County's Mosquitoes

In Orange County, mosquitoes are a fact of life. They're always around and are annoying since they feed on your blood by biting you.

Read All Articles