Rodent Control In Wheaton, MD
Although there are many different types of rodents, the ones that are the most likely to invade homes and businesses in the Wheaton area are rats and mice. Both mice and rats are hardy animals who thrive in a variety of environments and have even gained a foothold on some of the islands near Antarctica, having stowed away on the earliest ships to visit the continent. Similarly, the common house mouse, as well as black rats and brown rats, arrived in America aboard the ships of early explorers and settlers, spreading to every state within a relatively short period of time.
What Makes Rodents So Successful?
Rats and mice are considered to be two of the most successful mammals living in the world today. They are incredibly adaptable to changes in food supplies, weather, and shelter. Both types of rodents can fit through spaces much smaller than their size would indicate, so they are able to take advantage of even a tiny gap to invade a building to find shelter or food.
Unlike some animals that only breed once or twice a year, rats and mice breed throughout the year; a female mouse or rat can produce litters of up to 12 pups after a gestation period of three to four weeks. These pups will themselves reach maturity in a matter of weeks and begin producing their own offspring. Within a year, a single female can be responsible for as many as 2,000 descendants.
Mice and rats are opportunistic feeders, able to make a meal from virtually any source although mice tend to prefer grains, vegetables, and fruits. They will eat pet food left in a feeding dish or scrounge through the garbage can for scraps. If necessary, they will gnaw through plastic or cardboard to reach the food contained within.
Risks Posed by Rats and Mice
According to the Centers for Disease Control, mice and rats are known to spread more than 35 diseases. Some diseases are spread when humans come into contact with a rodent’s saliva, urine or feces, but fleas, ticks or mites that have fed on an infected rat or mouse can spread disease when they bite a human. At least two diseases — hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and lymphocytic choriomeningitis — can infect humans who breathe dust contaminated with dried rodent feces or urine. Other diseases spread directly or indirectly by rodents include bubonic plague, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, typhus and hemorrhagic fever.
In addition to the health risks posed by rodents, mice and rats can cause physical damage a structure and its contents. Since the front teeth of rats and mice grow continuously, they are driven to gnaw in order to keep their teeth worn down as well as sharp. They may chew on insulation, books, wood, paintings, clothing, documents, packing materials or virtually any other item that attracts their interest. They also spread their feces and urine on furniture, counters, food containers, floor coverings, appliances, dishes, papers and other surfaces, which can cause stains to develop as well as contaminate the surfaces.
Finding Effective Rodent Control
Controlling rodents requires identifying the specific type of rat or mouse that has invaded your structure, understanding its unique behaviors, finding its access points and crafting a safe, effective method of eradication. At Capitol Pest, we have been helping residential and commercial customers deal with their rodent problems since 1936. If you need pest control services in Wheaton, contact us today to learn why we have earned an exceptional reputation in our industry.