Rodents

What types of rodents are common in South Carolina?

Rodents are very common home-invading pests and can cause some serious problems when they find their way inside. In our area, there are many different rodent species that can be found living, breeding, feeding and invading properties in the area of Lexington, Columbia, and Midland of South Carolina. Some helpful information about the most common rodents found in South Carolina as well as some useful prevention tips and professional advice on dealing with rodent infestations is listed below!

House Mice

small house mouse sitting next to household electrical wires

The house mouse is a common home invader. These mice enter homes or businesses any time of year, though they actively begin seeking warm, safe shelter when the weather cools in the late fall.
 
House mice have small, slender bodies that grow to between 2 ½ and 3 ¾ of an inch in length, with their tail adding another 3 to 4 inches to their total length. Their tails and large ears are covered in a light layer of soft, velvety fur and they have small, dark eyes. The color of their fur can vary from grayish-brown, dark gray, or black in color. Their underbelly is always lighter in color than their body, usually a tan or whitish color.

Norway Rats

large norway rat resting on a tree root outside a local home

Norway Rats have heavy, dense bodies and are not very agile. They are not great climbers and typically enter homes and other buildings on the ground floor. Norway Rats have blunt noses, small round ears, and bulging, small black eyes. Their shaggy fur is brown or gray in color; their underbellies are lighter gray or white in color. Norway Rats have bodies that grow to about 9 ½ inches in length, with their bi-colored tails adding another 6 to 8 inches.

Roof Rats

roof rat sitting on a book shelf at a local retail business

Unlike Norway rats, roof rats have thin, light bodies. They are excellent climbers, and typically enter homes and other buildings from the roof. Roof rats are darker in color than Norway rats. They are usually dark brown or black in color with gray-colored hairs sprinkled throughout. Their bellies are  lighter in color. Roof rats can grow to between 6 and 8 inches in length, and their long, scaly tail adds 6 to 8 more inches to their total body length. Roof rats can also be identified by their pointed noses, large ears, and large, dark-colored eyes.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents are dangerous to people and our property for several different reasons:

  • They contaminate food sources and the surfaces of a home with their urine, feces, and saliva.

  • Mice and rats spread a wide variety of diseases including Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCM), Hantavirus, Dysentery, and Leptospirosis.

  • Rodents spread bacteria like Salmonellosis, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Mice and rats can introduce parasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks. 

  • They can damage our property. Rodents constantly chew on objects to prevent their continuously growing front incisors from overgrowing. When they do so inside our homes, they often chew through and damage furniture, clothing, flooring, drywall, insulation, pictures, walls, and more. Invading rodents can even cause fires by chewing through live wires.

  • Rodents sometimes cause water damage by chewing through pipes.

 How do rodents get in your home?

Rodents can find their way into homes and other buildings while foraging for food, water, and shelter. They can squeeze their way in through holes found along the roof line, at roof intersections, or even down through the chimney. Rodents can also shimmy through spaces found in the foundation, underneath exterior doors, or spaces found around windows.
 
Torn window or door screens, spaces found around utilities, and gaps around air-conditioners also provide perfect entry points for rodents as well. Once indoors, they are typically found living in attics, basements, inside wall voids, behind large appliances, and inside or behind storage boxes.

 How do you prevent rodents? 

Rodents are very common household pests. The following tips can help to prevent problems with rodents inside your South Carolina home:

  • Inspect the exterior of your home and seal any openings found in the exterior of your home no matter how small they may be; a mouse can squeeze their way inside through a space the size of a dime.

  • Trim back tree limbs, shrubs and bushes back away from the exterior of your home.

  • Make sure that all outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting lids on them.

  • Place garden areas, wood piles, and compost piles a distance away from the exterior of your home.

  • Pick-up pet food between feedings.

  • Inside, make sure to keep all food either in the refrigerator or in air-tight containers with locking lids.

  • Keep the clutter throughout your home to a minimum.

How do you get rid of rodents?

The best way to get rid of rodents is NOT to run to your local, big box store and pick up piles of traps, baits, and other DIY rodent control solutions. DIY rodent control can not only be dangerous due to the improper placement of baits and traps or improper usage of control products, but is also typically ineffective.
 
To eliminate rodents and keep them from returning, you must have a deep understanding of rodent behavior and know how, where, and why they enter homes and other buildings. To completely eliminate a rodent infestation from your home, the best option is to contact a rodent control professional. A professional will provide accurate identification and inspection services as well as treatment solutions and follow-ups. They will get to the root of the rodent infestation, completely eliminate them, and preventing their return.
 
The Original Bugman Pest Elimination, Inc. offers highly-effective rodent control services throughout our South Carolina service area. Our Quarterly Home Protection Plan works to solve problems you may be experiencing with rodents and other common pests. Reach out to us to learn more about our rodent control services!

 
 

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