• Jon Stoddard

Cooler Weather and Rodents


Typically in Florida we do not face nearly as much cooler weather as we would up north. But as we prepare for family gatherings and the holidays we do not put much thought to what goes on outside in the way of rodents. Not only do we overlook the fact that these furry creatures will be seeking warmth with the possibility of becoming your new roommate, we overlook or never even consider the danger they can pose when they do so. Rats typically in Florida are found in two varieties, the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat.


Roof Rats


Roof rats in adult form are 12-14 inches long and are very agile. They have a sleek muscular athletic build and tend to be dark grey to blackish in color with a lighter gray tone on the underbelly. this species also has a pointed nose with a large tail in comparison to its head and body.

Typically the roof rat will nest in upper locations like an attic of a home. this is partly why it has adopted its name. Once inside they typically will cause damage to insulation, duct work, electrical wires etc. They also can vector many diseases and contaminate air quality which we will discuss at a later time.


Norway Rats


The Norway rat is the other species we commonly have here in Florida. This rodent has a tendency to be a little more full bodied and larger in size. They have smaller head, larger ears, and tend to prefer to be close to water locations such as canals, dunes, sewers, vegetation near rivers, boat docks etc. For this reason, when a homeowner typically encounters these pests, they find them under a homes crawlspace , or passing up to living areas of the home from pipes or access points. just like the roof rat, this rodent will also gnaw, cause damage, and pose health risks which will also be discussed in further.



Signs of Rodent Infestations


When rodents enter a home or business, they will show signs in your home. Some may be obvious right away, some could be hidden and present themselves for quite some time. If you think you may have a rodent concern, it is important to pay attention to these signs.

Noises, rodents are a dusk and dawn type of creature. They will typically make noise to some degree such as unfamiliar noise in an attic, gnawing or chewing, and foot traffic noises on certain types of counters or flooring.


Droppings, droppings will appear that of small banana shaped droppings or spindle shaped depending on the type of rodent. Most times the droppings will be found in the attic on insulation, cupboards, cabinetry, drawers, and under the sink or stove.


Chewing, rodents love to gnaw, they will chew food, packages, wires, walls, plants, flowers, the list can go on and on. The important think to remember is be alert of things you may notice being chewed that had not previously showed any signs.


Urine, Rodent droppings can be spotted with the use of a black-light. Using one of these type of lights n the dark will fluoresce the markings of rodents. Rodents have uncontrollable bladders, they will urinate were ever whenever. Overtime, the urine buildup will cause smells throughout certain materials and will take on a distinct stale smell.


Trail marks, Rodents are not the cleanest of the guests. They travel close to wall locations and try to move in the path of being least noticed. For this reason, over time, you will notice grease marks or dirty marks on the paths they use to travel. These are typically on baseboards or corner locations on the walls of your home.



Health Risks of Rodents

Roof rats, Norway rats and mice can carry a multitude of diseases, parasites, bacteria, viruses and pathogens. These pose extreme health risks to humans, pets, family members and children.  Rodent feces and urine will contamination counters, dishes, cabinetry, etc. Rats also may spread diseases to humans through parasites that have been feeding on rodents. Fleas, ticks and mites are commonly associated with rodents.

Rodents will also bite! If cornered, rodents will defend themselves at all costs. A bite from a rodent can lead to numerous infections from bacteria, staff, hantavirus etc.

Rodents can also cause health risks in the way of fire! Believe it or not, it is very possible. Rodents gnaw all of the time. Many times when rodents get into an attic, they will gnaw at wires. Chewing wires can cause short circuits ultimately causing fires. This cause be as simple as small fires to as drastic as loosing your home.



Homeowner Tips to be Rodent Free

Although it may be impossible to completely rodent free, many homeowner tips and practices can help. Here are some of the main ones.


Rodent Exclusion, Seal entry holes inside and on the exterior of the home to keep rodents out. Typically repairs done with hardware cloth, tin snips, staple guns, steel wool etc will work for small locations. Anything requiring a hammer and nails should be handled by a handyman or contractor depending upon the severity of the job.


Exterior maintenance, Keep garbage can lids closed tightly. The garbage cans should also be kept away from the structure if feasible. It is also important to keep trees and shrubbery back from touching the home. This can create easy travel paths for rodents. Also, DO NOT feed stray animals or birds. Many properties that experience rodent concerns are directly from, or indirectly from the feeding of wild birds, cats etc. Bird feeders drop seeds which will readily be scavenged by rats. Stray cats who feed on food provided by neighbors, homeowners etc. will also cause rodent populations to flourish. Many times people think they are being kind, and even though they may be, doing these acts can cause a significant rodent problem for themselves or neighbors.



Rodent Control

Rodent control is best by utilizing the rodent exclusion and homeowner tips noted above along with employing a pest control company. Many times it is best for pest control practices to be handled by those that specialize in rodents and rats. Typically at Imperial Pest Prevention, we will try to exclude all small locations that we notice on a property. If we happen to see locations that may be in need of more serious repairs (roof damage etc.) we will try to inform the homeowner of these areas so they can be addressed.

We address each and every property different depending upon the needs. Some rodent control services can be handled by just sealing certain locations, some require rodent baiting and trapping services, and others may require a combination of all. The important thing to remember is that if you suspect rodents or any sort, to call a pest control professional like Imperial Pest Prevention. It is much easier and less expensive to address rodent concerns quickly before they become extremely costly. Imperial Pest Prevention has been providing pest control, lawn spraying, termite control, termite WDO inspections, Tent Fumigation, and rodent control services to the greater Daytona beach area for years. We proudly offer all of our pest control services to Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Oak Hill, Deland, Orange City, Deltona, Debary, Sanford, Orlando and St. Augustine.

Call Imperial Pest Prevention at 386-956-9506 for a free quote, or Book Online.







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