What are rodents? Rodents are small gnawing animals from the order Rodentia. They are characterized by two pairs of incisors that grow continually throughout their lives, comprise a large portion of total mammalian species, and exist almost everywhere in the world excluding Antarctica.
Common pet species that are examples of rodents include guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, mice, and fancy rats, but there are also many wild rodent species that are much more bothersome and more dangerous than their domestic cousins. Wild mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, and nutria are just a few of the wild species of rodent that can cause problems.
The most significant effect that rodents have on humans is the spread of disease. In the fourteenth century, rats greatly helped to facilitate the spread of fleas that were infected with the bubonic plague, also known as The Black Death. The result of this plague was the death of 25-50% of the entire European population; and this is not just a morbid footnote in history either!
Even today the small rat and smaller mouse continue to spread disease. Indirectly, these pests and other rodents still act as vectors for infected parasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks. According to the Center for Disease Control, more direct risks include Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Salmonellosis, Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome, and Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis; diseases that are spread by the feces, urine, and bites from rodents.
Many wild rodent species have a severely damaging effect on crops. Not only do they directly destroy crops due to consumption, but they also contaminate stored crops via their urine, feces, and fur. Costs in damage can sneak up just as quickly as the rodents that inhabited the crops in the first place.
The impacts of wild rodents does not stop at health concerns and crop damage, they are also responsible for property damage. Mice and rats have been known to chew through wiring in homes and cause fires; and chipmunks can damage house foundations, gardens, and lawns with their burrows. These are just some of the damages that can be caused by rodents that reside on your property.
If you have a rodent problem, want to take preventative measures to safe-guard your property, or simply need more information; please feel free to contact us today.