Rodents are mammals belonging to the Rodentia family. Most non-flying mammals are rodents: there are about 1,500 living rodent species (out of about 4,000 living mammals overall). They like gnawing which can lead to a lot of damage as they tend to chew on almost everything. They’re nocturnal hence will often come out at night to get along with what they know best but not all of them are nocturnal as they can be spotted during the day.Rodents are quite destructive and can bring about a lot of damage as well as health concerns as they’re known to be carriers of disease causing bacteria and viruses. It is therefore necessary to get rid of them before they go wild on your house and turn everything upside down while chewing on everything they can. The ultimate guide on how to control rodents is a step-by-step guide which keeps you in the know about rodents and how to handle a rodent infestation.
Classifications of Rodents
The rodentia family makes up the largest order of mammals. With over 4,000 species of this critters, they are distributed across the world in various habitats ranging from deserts, forests to freshwater shores and even in attics. Rodents are usually classified into three different subgroups depending on their genetic composition and physical appearance. This three groups are;
- Squirrel-like rodents (sciuromorpha) – they include rodents such as squirrels, marmots, woodchuck, chipmunks, prairie dog, beavers, kangaroo rats and gophers.
- Mouse-like rodents (myomorpha) – this subgroup comprises of rodents like the mouse and rat species including hamsters, gerbils, voles, lemmings, dormouse jerboa and muskrat.
- Porcupine-like rodents (hystricomorpha) – the largest group of the rodentia family. It includes the porcupine, agouti, chinchillas, guinea pigs, capybaras and nutria.
Know more details about Types of Rodent; click- Types of Rodent
Characteristics of Rodents
Rodents are fury mammals with large chisel-shaped incisors which are continuously growing over the years. The incisors have a hard enamel on the front surface and a soft dentin on the back surface. They also have a gap between the front and cheek teeth which allows them to gnaw on various material and even on hard substances such as wood. They’re adapted to burrowing, gliding, jumping and running as well as climbing and swimming as most have dexterous forepaws with sharp claws.
Rodents are herbivores which means they do not pose a threat to other animals as they mostly feed on grass, grains or nuts depending with their type and species. They are usually black, gray, brown or white in color or a mixture of either with fur covering their small bodies which can either be dull and bristly or sleek and glossy while others have big fury tails and others don’t. They will live in groups known as colonies, either high up above ion trees or down below in burrows.
Life Cycle of Rodents
Rodent are mammals hence will reproduce through sexual intercourse between the male and the female giving rise to new offspring. Those with short gestation period will give birth severally in a year to a number of critters while those with long gestation period will give birth to fewer critters. The rodents will nurse their offspring until they’re fully developed and can take care of themselves.
To know more about about Life Cycle of Rodent; click Rodent life cycle
Are Rabbits Rodents?
Rabbits were once part of the rodentia family because of their large chisel-shaped incisors. However, their anatomy is quite different from this order of mammals. Rabbits are now mammals of the Lagomorpha family since their DNA has made them be placed in an order of their own.
Find out more about rabbits being rodents or not in this link; are rabbits rodents
Rodent droppings are probably the most obvious thing to help you identify rodent infestation. They prefer warm dark areas where people don’t access as much such as the attic or basement within the house. You may note noises coming from those areas however, to ensure that your assumptions are correct you need to first investigate to ensure that there really are rodents in your house. They usually come in through holes especially the small-bodied rats or mice while the large ones such as ***squirrels*** will build up nests on trees outside your home or getting inside through roofs.
How To Get Rid Of Rodents
It might be not too easy to control or handle wild rodent. They have a kind of large teeth and capable of transmitting bacteria, virus and diseases through their saliva, faces and urine. If you ever locate any rodent in your home, it is best to call a pest management professional. But, at initial stages, you can apply some DIY Home Remedies for getting rid of rodent.
Rodent Control Guide
- Small bodied rodents e.g. mice and rats will use small holes to gain access into your home.
- Seal up any available holes around and within your house. Apply caulk or putty stripping and close up holes completely if possible.
- Go ahead and get rid of any rodent already inhabiting your home. Use snap traps, glue traps or live traps to capture the rodents.
- Implement some rodent repelling methods such as soaking rags in ammonia and placing them in areas where rodents are likely to infest.
- Alternatively, use some pest repellent oils or herbs to drive away the rats from your house.
- You can also look into buying a cat and which can feast on the rat or rather scare it away.
How to Use Snap Traps to Get Rid of Rodents
- Snap traps are designed to kill rodents fast and effectively.
- Select a position or area where the rodents are likely to pass by or have been hiding.
- Place a bait on the specific area on the trap and set it up according to the instruction dictated on the manual.
- This ensures that when the rodent reaches for the bait, it will trip on the trap causing it to close fully on the rodent causing its death rather than just injuring it.
- Check on the trap as often as possible and if there are any trapped rodents, properly dispose them off in a plastic bag and throw it out in a secured bin.
- In case you find a wounded rodent, kill it immediately and dispose it off accordingly.
- Clean up the trap using a disinfectant and reapply the trap to catch more rodents.
NB: always wear some gloves when disposing off the dead rodents to avoid any kind of infections.
Get rid of rodents naturally with peppermint
- Peppermint smell is a pleasant deterrent to rodents and will work efficiently.
- You can apply peppermint oil on wood, around the basement floors and in the attic and any other places the rodents are attracted to.
- If not, place some peppermint plant leaves in a sachet and hang them up in infested areas.
- Finally, you can create a homemade peppermint repellent to spray around the affected areas.
- Mix two drops of peppermint oil to a cup of water and mix thoroughly.
- Pour it into a spray bottle and squirt on the infested areas.
- Reapply as often as twice or thrice a week until the rodents have completely disappeared.