rodent in kitchen

Before we discuss the problems rodents can cause, it is important to understand which rodents we are talking about. The classification known as Rodentia consists of many rodents you may be familiar with as many of them are pest animals when they come into our yards such as gophers, chipmunks, groundhogs, and more. However, the rodents we'll be focusing on in this article are the two most common rodents that find their way into Tennessee homes and businesses.

Of all rodents in our area, mice and rats are the worst. These rodents can create many issues as they search for food and establish burrows and nests on our properties. They damage our trees, invade our garden areas, feed on our fruits and vegetables, and damage our flowers, landscaping, turfgrass, and more. And these are definitely issues that need to be addressed. But it’s when these rodents find their way inside that the real problems begin.

Mice and rats present many of the same problems. Let's cover those first. When these rodents find their way into Tennessee homes and businesses, they can:

  • Damage wood. Rodents have powerful jaws and strong, continually-growing teeth, which they use to chew through wood. The holes they create can allow heat to escape and increase energy costs and heating bills. Those holes can also allow rainwater to get in and cause moisture issues including water damage, wood decay, and mold problems.

  • Damage insulation, sheetrock, and personal belongings. As they search for materials to create their nests, mice and rats often damage items in our homes, especially in our attics. To create their nests, these rodents often use insulation, paper, cloth, and other similar materials. This will have them tearing up your insulation, ripping wallpaper off your walls, chewing on your furniture, ripping apart books, chewing holes in your clothing to get what they need.

  • Damage your home or business. As rodents chew through sheetrock and other building materials, they can inadvertently sever wires. If the wires chewed are live, this can cause a fire to spark. This can lead to a loss of property and potentially the loss of human life.

  • Ruin keepsakes. Rodents have many reasons for chewing into stored cardboard boxes. When they do, they can damage the items inside by chewing through them or by staining them with their urine and feces. This may be a valuable keepsake like a wedding dress passed down from generation to generation or an important photo album.

  • Destroy furniture. Not only do mice and rats use the material from furniture to create nests they also nest inside items of furniture themselves. If you have a couch or loveseat stored in your attic space, rodents can damage these items when they chew their way inside to create their nests.

  • Spread harmful bacteria. Mice and rats are disgusting animals that sleep in their own feces and urine. They also tend to spend time in unsanitary places like dumpsters. For these reasons, they are linked to the spread of several types of bacteria including E. coli, Salmonella, and more.

  • Spread diseases. Mice and rats leave feces and urine behind everywhere they go. This can expose cooking surfaces, dishes, silverware, cutting boards, and food items to harmful bacteria and disease. Mice and rats are linked to the spread of several human pathogens and are known to spread several diseases including Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, bubonic plague, and more.

  • Spread parasites. There are many ectoparasites that require mammals to carry them into man-made structures, and rodents make the perfect vehicle. Rodent infestations usually go hand-in-hand with infestations of fleas, ticks, lice, and other parasitic pests. And some of these parasites bring with them a long list of diseases of their own. Ticks, in particular, can spread dangerous diseases that have lifelong health implications.

  • Create unwanted noises. While rodents usually keep quiet when they find their way into our homes, they can sometimes get into a wall void near our sleeping areas and make noises as we are going to sleep. This is because mice and rats are waking up and becoming active at the same time as we are going to bed.

  • Frighten people. Some people are very afraid of rats and mice. In a home environment, this can cause uneasiness and a loss of sleep, and in a work environment, it can scare away employees and customers.

When rodents invade homes and businesses, they can create major problems, but you don't have to let them! At Russell’s Pest Control, our licensed and certified pest professionals have a strong track record of eliminating rodent infestations and keeping rodents out of homes and businesses. Reach out to us today for a free evaluation of your property and receive professional guidance on how to manage those rodent pests properly. Letting rodents roam around in your home or business is just not worth it!



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