What exactly Is A Rodent Again?
call for a quote today
One question we at Rapid Rodent Removal is What exactly is a Rodent? Its A Good question, the name atleast comes from the Latin rodere meaning "to gnaw") are mammals of the order Rodentia. Rodents which are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws, They use their sharp incisors to gnaw food, excavate burrows, and defend themselves. Most eat seeds or other plant material, but some have more varied diets.
About 40% of all mammal species are rodents; they are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica. They are the most diversified mammalian order and live in a variety of terrestrial habitats, including human-made environments, most notably your attic if you’re reading this.
The Myomorpha, such as the brown rat, have enlarged temporalis muscles, making them able to chew powerfully with their molars. That means they do sound like monster in your attic.From Wiki
The suborder Myomorpha contains 1,137 species of mouse-like rodents, nearly a quarter of all mammal species. Included are mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, lemmings, and voles. They are grouped according to the structure of their jaws and molar teeth. Both their medial and lateral masseter muscles are displaced forward, making them adept at gnawing. The medial masseter muscle goes through the eye socket, a feature unique among mammals. Myomorphs are found worldwide (apart from Antarctica) in almost all land habitats. They are usually nocturnal seed-eaters.
Not All Rodents are Nocturnal
They Live in my Attic How can they see up there its so dark, and small. The rodent page on Wikipidea has alot of great information ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodent ) and touches on this very question.
Rodents, like all placental mammals except primates, have just two types of light receptive cones in their retina, a short wavelength "blue-UV" type and a middle wavelength "green" type. They are therefore classified as dichromats; however, they are visually sensitive into the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum and therefore can see light that humans can not. The functions of this UV sensitivity are not always clear. In degus, for example, the belly reflects more UV light than the back. Therefore, when a degu stands up on its hind legs, which it does when alarmed, it exposes its belly to other degus and ultraviolet vision may serve a purpose in communicating the alarm. When it stands on all fours, its low UV-reflectance back could help make the degu less visible to predators. Ultraviolet light is abundant during the day but not at night. There is a large increase in the ratio of ultraviolet to visible light in the morning and evening twilight hours. Many rodents are active during twilight hours (crepuscular activity), and UV-sensitivity would be advantageous at these times. Ultraviolet reflectivity is of dubious value for nocturnal rodents.
It goes even further to tell you about the social behavior in the rodent kingdom.
Rodents exhibit a wide range of types of social behavior ranging from the mammalian caste system of the naked mole-rat, the extensive "town" of the colonial prairie dog, through family groups to the independent, solitary life of the edible dormouse. Adult dormice may have overlapping feeding ranges, but they live in individual nests and feed separately, coming together briefly in the breeding season to mate. The pocket gopher is also a solitary animal outside the breeding season, each individual digging a complex tunnel system and maintaining a territory.
Larger rodents tend to live in family units where parents and their offspring live together until the young disperse. Beavers live in extended family units typically with a pair of adults, this year's kits, the previous year's offspring, and sometimes older young. Brown rats usually live in small colonies with up to six females sharing a burrow and one male defending a territory around the burrow. At high population densities, this system breaks down and males show a hierarchical system of dominance with overlapping ranges. Female offspring remain in the colony while male young disperse. The prairie vole is monogamous and forms a lifelong pair bond. Outside the breeding season, prairie voles live in close proximity with others in small colonies. A male is not aggressive towards other males until he has mated, after which time he defends a territory, a female, and a nest against other males. The pair huddles together, grooms one another, and shares nesting and pup-raising responsibilities.
Among the most social of rodents are the ground squirrels, which typically form colonies based on female kinship, with males dispersing after weaning and becoming nomadic as adults. Cooperation in ground squirrels varies between species and typically includes making alarm calls, defending territories, sharing food, protecting nesting areas, and preventing infanticide. The black-tailed prairie dog forms large towns that may cover many hectares. The burrows do not interconnect, but are excavated and occupied by territorial family groups known as coteries. A coterie often consists of an adult male, three or four adult females, several nonbreeding yearlings, and the current year's offspring. Individuals within coteries are friendly with each other, but hostile towards outsiders.
Perhaps the most extreme examples of colonial behavior in rodents are the eusocial naked mole rat and Damaraland mole rat. The naked mole rat lives completely underground and can form colonies of up to 80 individuals. Only one female and up to three males in the colony reproduce, while the rest of the members are smaller and sterile, and function as workers. Some individuals are of intermediate size. They help with the rearing of the young and can take the place of a reproductive if one dies. The Damaraland mole rat is characterized by having a single reproductively active male and female in a colony where the remaining animals are not truly sterile, but become fertile only if they establish a colony of their own.
Since we’re on the topic of it, and the reason that most of you reading this have or have had a rodent infestation, some of the sounds in your attic, is probably them plotting against you.
Nepotistic species such as house mice rely on urine, feces and glandular secretions to recognize their kin.
Rodents use scent marking in many social contexts including inter- and intra-species communication, the marking of trails and the establishment of territories. Their urine provides genetic information about individuals including the species, the sex and individual identity, and metabolic information on dominance, reproductive status and health. Compounds derived from the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are bound to several urinary proteins. The odor of a predator depresses scent-marking behavior.
Rodents are able to recognize close relatives by smell and this allows them to show nepotism (preferential behavior toward their kin) and also avoid inbreeding. This kin recognition is by olfactory cues from urine, feces and glandular secretions. The main assessment may involve the MHC, where the degree of relatedness of two individuals is correlated to the MHC genes they have in common. In non-kin communication, where more permanent odor markers are required, as at territorial borders, then non-volatile major urinary proteins (MUPs), which function as pheromone transporters, may also be used. MUPs may also signal individual identity, with each male house mouse (Mus musculus) excreting urine containing about a dozen genetically encoded MUPs.
House mice deposit urine, which contains pheromones, for territorial marking, individual and group recognition, and social organization. This can occur in a range of ways:
- The Bruce effect: Pheromones from strange adult males cause females to terminate their pregnancies
- The Whitten effect: Pheromones from familiar males cause synchronous estrus in a female population
- The Vandenbergh effect: Pheromones from mature male house mice cause an early induction of the first estrous cycle in prepubertal female mice
- The Lee–Boot effect: Pheromones from mature females cause the suppression or prolongation of oestrous cycles of other female house mice (and other rodents) when they are housed in groups and isolated from males
- Pheromones from males or from pregnant or lactating females can speed up or retard sexual maturation in juvenile females
- Territorial beavers and red squirrels investigate and become familiar with the scents of their neighbors and respond less aggressively to intrusions by them than to those made by non-territorial "floaters" or strangers. This is known as the "dear enemy effect".
While there is nothing overly special to cause the rodents to choose your yard or house other than nature, remember there is no predation in your attic to control the population, and when left unchecked or treated, sooner or later larger wildlife problems will occur. Call now to set up an appointment, we can handle your issue, or we dont know rat removal.
Recognizing a Rodent Infestation
Its impossible without some magic glasses to tell you how many rodents are living in your attic or walls, our general rule of thumb is if you have rodent activity in most of your attic we approach it as an infestation.There are many indicators of rodent activity we look for when we perform property inspections, below are some of the more common we see. If you see these throughout your attic, where your likely to have a rat infestation. These same signs can be applied to crawl spaces as well. We also recommend you read about the health risk of living with rodents, so you understand what your dealing with.
Droppings - Usually, the first clue of a serious rodent problem is their droppings on the kitchen counter, in kitchen drawers and cabinets, or in the pantry. Look for mouse droppings in utility closets, attics, garages and basements. Mouse droppings are smooth with pointed ends, and are 1/8-inch to ¼-inch long. Rat droppings are pellet-shaped, blunt at both ends, about the size of an olive pit, and shiny black. They soon fade to gray-white. Droppings are randomly scattered, but normally close to rodent runways, feeding areas, or near shelter. click here to read our blog to help you identify rodent feces.
Tracks - Rodent tracks can be observed in mud, dust or bare dirt. Often, rodent tails also leave a mark. In the house, mouse tracks can be seen on dusty surfaces. You can also check for mouse tracks by dusting suspected areas with a light coating of unscented talcum powder or chalk dust. Wait a day and then shine a flashlight across the area. If there are small tracks in the powder, mice have been there.
Gnawing - Rats must chew continuously to wear down their incisor teeth. Look for holes in walls or ceilings, and trails in crawl spaces, behind or under cupboards, counters, bathtubs, shower stalls, or near hot water heaters or furnaces.
Burrows - Burrows can be found along ditches, walls, or fences, and under buildings, rubbish, low vegetation, woodpiles or concrete slabs.
Runways - Rats follow the same routes as they make their rounds foraging for food each night. In doing so, they leave 2-inch wide runways in the dirt or grass, usually next to buildings or fences.
Grease marks - Greasy rub marks are caused by a rat's oily fur repeatedly coming in contact with walls or entrance holes.
Urine stains - Urine stains are more easily observable under a black light.
Nests - Mouse nests can be found in utility closets, attics, garages, and basements. They are usually made of cloth or shredded paper, lined with finely shredded material.
Partially eaten food - Mice leave behind partially eaten food. While rats eat most of the food they find, even they leave telltale signs, like shells or other finding.
Live or dead rodents - People usually see mice only when they have been sitting stock still, such as when reading or watching television. Rats are nocturnal, but in areas having large rat populations some low ranked rats will forage during the day, because they have been denied access to food at night. If you see rats during the day, it is a sign of a substantial infestation.
Sounds - While you may not be able to see them, you can probably hear rodents moving after dark. If your pet paws at a wall or cabinet it may be trying to get at a lurking rodent.
Odors - Often you can smell rodent urine or their musky odor, especially in a poorly ventilated room
Just keep in mind, all of these signs may appear in the same areas, or they may be found in separate areas, but finding them in the same or separate areas does not lesson the underlying problem plaguing your house. Rodents breed quickly, and population control is a must in reestablishing rodent control on your property.
What You Need To Know About The ZIKA VIRUS!!!
With mosquito “season” right around the corner (and let’s be honest ya’ll, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen mosquitos every month this year due to the weird weather we’ve been having here in Texas), let’s talk about a topic I’m sure everyone is getting nervous about if your familiar with Zika keep reading or visit our Mosquito Control page for more information on prevention and treatment:
The Zika Virus. This year’s version of the West Nile scare, sweeping across America! Hide your kids! Hide your wife! It’s going to find you!
Let’s take a breath and examine what Zika virus actually is, what it does to you, and where it is found.
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquitos (what Are those insects good for?!). The virus causes fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes in those infected with it. That doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Not really, but surely for all the scary whispers about it the symptoms get much worse from here and lead to death, right? Wrong* (unless you’re pregnant… keep reading!). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Rarely, (RARELY people!) a more severe infection will require hospitalization to treat the symptoms. And treatment for the virus? Just treat those symptoms! Tylenol for the fever, sleep a lot (Finally! An excuse to stay in bed all day!), drink lots of fluids to help prevent dehydration (which is one of the issues they would treat in the hospital with IV fluids if it gets bad enough!), and that’s pretty much it. Avoid getting (more!) mosquito bites within the first week of being infected because the virus is still in your blood and those greedy little mosquitos will suck that infected blood back up and infect other people with it.
Before we dive in to pregnancy, let’s talk about prevention. There are no vaccines so prevention is as “simple” as Avoid Those Mosquitos! But let’s be honest here, if you are one of those unlucky types who attract mosquitos like a dollar buffet (meeeeee), this simple prevention measure becomes a lot more complicated! Measures to avoid mosquitos usually involve avoiding outdoors during dawn and dusk, but the mosquitos that carry Zika are the kind that get you midday. Soooooo, stay indoors, use a lot of repellent (it’s even safe to use when you are pregnant or nursing according to the CDC), wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, treat your clothes with permethrin (this remains effective even after several washes!). For children, do all the above and then maybe put some mosquito netting over their stroller/car seat/ crib. Don’t use repellent on babies younger than 2 months though, and avoid hands, eyes, and mouth. To get their precious little faces, apply the repellent to your hands and then gently rub on the child’s face. Another good way to prevent mosquito bites is to help decrease the number of mosquitos in your area by eliminating breeding areas. This involves eliminating standing water on your property, changing water in bird baths weekly, clearing leaves and twigs from eaves, storm and roof gutters, removing dense brush and weeds, turning over compost regularly, and throwing away raked leaf piles immediately. While you’re at it, you could get a mosquito misting system installed on your property or get a one-time spray for a special occasion to help protect your guests! (a little shameless advertising for one of our services! Click here to go to our Mosquito Control page or give us a call to discuss a mosquito control plan that's right for you at (469) 609-7287)
Okay, pregnancy. In Brazil, pregnant mothers infected with Zika virus have had babies with microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes (the CDC said that last vague, slightly infuriating phrase. What do you mean “other poor pregnancy outcomes?!” is what I’m thinking, but ya know, the CDC can do whatever it wants). Microcephaly is a condition in which the baby has a smaller head compared with other babies of the same age and sex. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t mean that your sweet baby will just look a little odd. Microcephaly usually occurs because the brain did not grow and develop properly in utero. Other problems linked to microcephaly include: seizures, developmental delays, problems with movement and balance, feeding problems, hearing loss, and vision problems. After the CDC states that pregnant women can have babies with microcephaly when infected with Zika virus, it says HOWEVER. “However, additional studies are needed to further characterize this relationship”.
Of course, all of the above assumes that Zika virus makes it to North America (there are currently no locally transmitted Zika cases, only ones diagnosed in people returning from trips to other countries) OR that you are traveling to an area where the infection is known to be. “Where are those places???” you may be thinking… Well, here’s a helpful list! Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands, and in May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil. It has now spread through most of South America and into Central America, including Mexico.
Let’s recap. For Most people, Zika virus is going to be an annoying week of fever, rash, red eyes, and joint pain during which you need lots of sleep, lots of liquids, and lots of Tylenol. For Some, the symptoms will be bad enough to need hospitalization (mostly to treat more extreme dehydration or fevers). For Pregnant women, there is a chance your baby will be born with microcephaly or “other poor pregnancy outcomes”, though no one knows the percentage of chance or the reason Zika and microcephaly seem to be linked. Prevention involves the basic measures taken to prevent mosquito bites, as there is no vaccine currently. As of the writing of this article, you are probably going to have to travel to Brazil or Mexico or Africa to get Zika virus, although it’s already at the border so it may make it to us this year.
While Zika virus is certainly a terrifying prospect to expecting moms, for the rest of us it isn’t quite as terrifying as the whispers would have us believe. Be safe, be smart, and stay informed. Knowledge is power.
Have rodents invaded your Dallas, TX yard? Gophers, moles and voles can wreak havoc on your yard by damaging your garden and leaving unsightly mounds or tracks on the lawn; not to mention, they can negatively impact your yard’s irrigation and watering systems, too. With the right measures in place, you can prevent rodents from ruining your yard. Contact the rodent control specialists from Rapid Rodent Removal Company serving all of Dallas. We can properly assess the situation and offer our assistance. Call us today at (469) 609-RATS!
All rodents pose a risk to your health. Last year’s increase in rodents demonstrates that it’s never too early to worry about the potential risks and health issues that rodent feces contains. If you’re noticing rodent tracks of any sort, it’s important that you seek a rodent control specialists who can better assess your homes’ health. Contact us today at (469) 609-7287!