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What’s That Rodent in My Kitchen?

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rat on a counter by a pot

When approaching fall, we like to get ready for the holidays as well as the prospect of winter closing in on us. However, several homeowners fail to think about some of the negative things that tend to happen in the fall—one of those things being: invasions from rodent pests. Much like we prepare for the winter chill, many rodents are also preparing themselves by seeking out a warm shelter that provides them with an easily accessible food source. More often than not, your home fits the requirements for a cozy winter shelter.

Kitchens play a crucial role in the satisfaction of a homeowner. It’s the place you prepare your food, store your food, and keep your dining ware. it’s only natural that you don’t want a rodent scrounging around in the area you do your cooking. Thus, when you spot one on your kitchen floor or in your cabinets, it is best to quickly identify what rodent it is so you can take appropriate measures to protect your home. The big three that invade homes during the fall are house mice, Norway rats, and roof rats.

House mice are probably the ones most commonly found in homes because they partially depend on humans for their survival. A house mouse can be identified by their small size and light gray or brown bodies with large ears, small eyes, and long tail. These rodents typically don’t grow bigger than about 3 ¾ inches long, but don’t be fooled by their small size. And, if you see one, you can bet there are more. Mice breed rapidly, meaning you could have a full-blown infestation before you realize they are there. Mice can squeeze into spaces as small as a dime and they like to invade homes by taking advantage of cracks in walls, foundations, and door or window frames.

Norway rats are the rodent any homeowner would dread seeing in their kitchen. Growing up to about 12 inches in just body length, and another 8 inches added by their tail, Norway rats can be an incredibly frightening rodent to spot in your kitchen. Other than being large and frightening, you can also pick out these rodents from others by their distinctive shaggy brown fur, blunted nose, and small ears. Norway rats will often find ways into homes through rips in window screens and cracks or gaps in the exterior of your home, if these areas are not sealed properly.

Roof rats are often confused with Norway rats because of their similar size and body coloring, but there are a few characteristics that set them apart. In contrast with Norway rats, roof rats are slightly smaller and have a lighter, more agile build. Additionally, they tend to have a black or dark brown coloring with a lighter gray underbelly, and usually, have pointier noses and larger ears. Roof rats are great climbers and they often invade homes from damaged or loose areas on the roof, hence their name.

Each of these rodents is dangerous to your health and the sanitary properties of your kitchen. Some threats they pose include contaminating food and food-preparation areas with bacteria, urine, and feces, damaging structural components of your home and kitchen by chewing on wiring, piping, and furniture, and bringing in parasitic pests such as fleas and ticks.

Any food touched by a rodent is not safe to eat and should be thrown out, and contaminated surfaces need to be thoroughly cleaned. However, if you don’t want to deal with constantly worrying about rodents invading your kitchen, contacting a pest control expert is the best thing you can do. Aiken Pest Control offers several different pest control options for both residential areas and businesses alike. Rodents can be difficult and dangerous to get rid of on your own, but with Aiken, you won’t have to lift a finger. We will take all the necessary measures to ensure your home or business is free of pests. Contact Aiken Pest Control today to learn more about each service we offer, or to schedule a free inspection!


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