Rodents are a year-round pest for New Yorkers, but during the colder months of the year, you may see an increase in activity as mice and rats look for warm places to nest for winter.
Rodents are known to cause significant damage to New York residences by chewing through walls and wires, leaving droppings behind, and carrying diseases like salmonella and hantavirus, to name a couple. If you have rodents in your home, it’s important to deal with them as soon as possible, as they become more difficult to eliminate when left untreated.
Here are three critters to watch for.
House mice are the most common type of rodent found in New York homes. They are usually a brown or gray color, and their size ranges from five to eleven inches long with a tail that is about three times as long. Their bodies have hairless patches, except for their feet, which have fur on top. House mice do not have true fur, but longer hairs that protect them from the cold weather in wintertime.
House mice live primarily in open areas where there is sufficient food supply and shelter; however, they will also occupy basements and attics if these places provide protection from predators such as cats and dogs. The presence of mouse droppings, especially in the kitchen cupboards, pantry, behind appliances, and even on the counters, may indicate a mouse infestation.
Norway rats are the most common rat found in New York homes, and are social pests who often nest near one another; if you have one group of Norway rats burrowing near your home, there’s likely even more nearby. They are brown or gray, with long tails and small ears. Norway rats are nocturnal and have a strong, musky odor that can be detected by humans from the urine and droppings they leave behind. They are commonly found in sewers and basements, but they can live in any environment where there is food and water available.
Gnaw marks, capsule-shaped droppings, greasy rub marks along baseboards, and damaged food products are tell-tale signs you could have a rat problem in the house.
Deer mice are brownish in color and have long tails and large ears. They are often found outdoors in wooded areas such as log piles, but they can also be seen in and around residential New York homes when temperatures take a dive. Of all rodents, deer mice are the most common transmitters of hantavirus, which is a group of viruses spread by rodents’ urine that can cause serious kidney, blood, and respiratory issues.
Signs of deer mice typically include scurrying sounds, especially at night, droppings, gnaw marks on food packages, stashes of food like berries and nuts, and nesting areas.
Knock Out Your Rodent Problem This Fall
Don’t let mice and rats invade your home this fall. If you are seeing any signs of rodent activity, call (800) 244-PEST to schedule an estimate for your home as soon as possible.