RODENTS
     

Rats and mice in and around our homes, buildings and work places are of a great concern. They are known to chew on, and damage, various materials within these dwellings. Damages to wiring, PVC plumbing lines, sheet rock, and wood materials are commonly reported results of their chewing habits.

In addition to the damaging effects these creatures inflict on dwellings, they can also effect the health of our families by way of the many Rodent-Borne Diseases they carry.

The two most common species of Rats that we see, almost exclusively in our region, are the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.

The most common species of mouse that we see is the House Mouse. An additional species, the White-Footed Deer Mouse is becoming an increasing concern due to the Hantavirus it carries.

This web site is intended to provide you with some of the information and education, into these particular species, which are the very creatures which invade our living and working spaces. Please contact LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC. if you would like to speak with one of our technicians or would like to set up an appointment for treatment.

(*5)Norway Rat: The Norway Rat is also called the Brown Rat, Dump Rat, Barn Rat, Sewer Rat, Gray Rat or Wharf Rat. It is slightly larger and stockier than its cousin the Roof Rat.

Facts:
Gestation - 23 days
6 -12 pups per litter
4 - 7 litters per year
Droppings are approximately ¾" (19mm) in length and are blunt at the ends.

Identification: Blunt muzzle, short ears, small eyes, slightly larger and stockier than its cousin the Roof Rat. Adults average about 1 pound. Their course fur is usually brownish or reddish gray in color with whitish gray underbelly.

Habitat: Rats live in close association with people. Although they can climb, Norway Rats tend to inhabit the lower floors and crawl space areas of buildings. However they are often found to be present in attic areas.
Exterior habitats are underground burrows, in heavy vegetation, around ponds and garbage dumps, and other locations where suitable water, food, and shelter are present.
Once they enter a dwelling, they nest in walls, under cabinets & appliances, in attic and crawl space insulation and other warm protected areas.

Treatment: Inspection, sanitation, exclusion of access points, among other factors, are all key elements of a successful Rodent Treatment Program. LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC. addresses all of these issues, when performing a treatment, to assure you that your homes and businesses are free of these unhealthy and potentially damaging creatures. For additional information please contact us at 253-503-1100.

(*5)Roof Rat: The Roof Rat is known as Black Rat or Ship Rat. It is somewhat smaller than the Norway Rat and is a more agile climber.

Facts:
Gestation - 22 days
6 -8 pups per litter
4 - 7 litters per year
Droppings are approximately ½" (13mm) in length and are pointed at the ends.

Identification: Pointed muzzle, prominent ears, large eyes. Smaller in size than the Norway Rat. It has several color phases, but those in Washington State tend to be black or slate-gray with a slender body.

Habitat: Roof Rats are more aerial than Norway Rats in habitat selection. They often live in trees, attics, walls, beams, or vine covered fences. Landscaped residential or industrial areas provide good habitat, as does vegetation on riverbanks and streams. Roof Rats frequently enter buildings from the roof or from an access near utility lines which they use to travel from area to area. They are often found living in the second floors of warehouses where Norway Rats have occupied the first floor. They occasionally live in sewer systems.

Treatment: Inspection, sanitation, exclusion of access points, among other factors, are all key elements of a successful Rodent Treatment Program. LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC. addresses all of these issues, when performing a treatment, to assure you that your homes and businesses are free of these unhealthy and potentially damaging creatures. For additional information please contact us at 253-503-1100.

(*5)House Mouse: The House Mouse is considered among the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States. Not only are they found in houses, but in other structures as well. They are the most common mammals, in cities, next to humans.

Facts:
Gestation - 19 days
5 - 6 pups per litter
up to 8 litters per year
Droppings are approximately ¼" (6mm) in length and have pointed ends.

Identification: The House Mouse is a small, slender, dusky gray rodent with a slightly pointed nose and small black protruding eyes, large scantily haired ears and a nearly hairless tail with obvious scale rings.
Size is approximately 2" to 3" long. Including the tail, they range from 4" to 6" long.

Habitat: House mice live in and around homes, farms, and commercial establishments, as well as in open fields and agriculture lands. At times, they can be found living far from human settlement, particularly where climates are moderate. The onset of the cold weather each fall, in temperate regions, causes mice to move into structures in search of shelter and food.

Treatment: Inspection, sanitation, exclusion of access points, among other factors, are all key elements of a successful Rodent Treatment Program. LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC. addresses all of these issues, when performing a treatment, to assure you that your homes and businesses are free of these unhealthy and potentially damaging creatures. For additional information please contact us at 253-503-1100.

(*5)White-Footed Deer Mouse: One of the most common mice found in agriculture and forest areas is the Deer Mouse. It is the primary carrier of the virus that causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.

Facts:
Gestation - 19 days
Up to 8 pups per litter - usually 3 to 5
2 - 4 litters per year

Identification: The White-Footed Deer Mouse has white feet, usually white undersides, and a brownish upper surface which will turn grayish in the winter. The tail is relatively long, usually as long as the body and head. They also have large eyes and ears. They are generally larger than the House Mouse.
The tail has short hairs, bi-colored on top, matching the body color. The underside is white.
Size is approximately 2 ¼" to 3 7/8" in length. 4 1/8" to 8 3/7" with the tail.

Habitat: The Deer Mouse occupies nearly every type of habitat, within its range, from forest to grasslands. It is the most widely distributed and abundant mammal in North America. Their nests are generally found underground. Nesting materials consist of stems, twigs, leaves, roots, grasses, and other fibrous materials and may also be lined with fur, feathers, or shredded cloth. Sometimes Deer Mice nest in above ground sites such as hollow logs or fence posts, or in unoccupied buildings.

Treatment: Inspection, sanitation, exclusion of access points, among other factors, are all key elements of a successful Rodent Treatment Program. LIND PEST CONTROL & INSPECTION SERVICES, INC. addresses all of these issues, when performing a treatment, to assure you that your homes and businesses are free of these unhealthy and potentially damaging creatures. For additional information please contact us at 253-503-1100.

(*5)Rodent-Borne Diseases
Rats and mice spread a number of diseases; directly, by contamination of human food with their urine or feces, or indirectly, by rodent fleas and mites.

HANTAVIRUS PULMONARY SYNDROME (HPS): causes a newly described (1993) disease. HPS is a form of adult respiratory disease syndrome which can be fatal (45%). HPS is spread by infected deer mice through their urine, saliva, feces, and nesting materials. Human infection may occur when people breathe air contaminated by deer mouse droppings and urine or objects they have touched, eaten or lived in. The virus can become airborne when a nest is disturbed or when someone sweeps up dry droppings. Avoid all wild rodents. Deer mice (main carrier) can carry and shed the virus without appearing sick. They live primarily in rural areas, and exposure may occur in homes, outbuildings, or outdoors.

RAT-BITE FEVER: causative agent, Streptobacillus moniliformis. The bacteria that cause rat-bite fever are found on the teeth and gums of many rats and are transferred from rat to humans by the bite of the rat. The most frequently occurring rat-bite fever in the United States is called Haverhill fever. It is similar to rat-bite fever of the Orient called sodoku (caused by Spirillum minus).

LEPTOSPIROSIS (Weil's disease): causative agent, Leptospira spp., primarily L. icterohemorrhagiae. Leptospirosis is a mild to severe infection that is seldom fatal. Human cases of the disease result from direct or indirect contact with infected urine of rodents and of certain other animals. The spirochetes, which are found in water or on food, may enter through mucous membranes or minute cuts or abrasions of the skin. Thus, Weil's disease is often found in sailors, miners, sewer workers, fish or poultry dealers, and slaughterhouse workers. In a recent study in Hawaii, Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice were found to have high L. icterohemorrhagiae carrier rates.

SALMONELLOSIS: causative agent, Salmonella spp. Salmonellosis, which is generally classed as food poisoning, is a common disease of world-wide distribution. It is an acute gastroenteritis produced by members of the Salmonella group of bacteria pathogenic to humans and other animals. Bacteria are spread in various ways, one being through food contaminated with rat or mouse feces containing Salmonella organisms.

TRICHINOSIS: causative agent, Trichinella spiralis. Trichinosis results from an infection of the intestines and muscles by larvae and cysts of Trichinella spiralis. Humans, hogs, and rodents may develop the disease from eating infected pork that is raw or insufficiently cooked. In addition, research has shown that hogs experimentally fed trichina-infected feces of rats and mice readily become infected. This indicates that rodents may play an important role in spreading trichinosis to hogs fed on garbage containing infected rat feces. Such interchange of organisms may significantly help maintain the rodent-swine-human cycle of this disease.

PLAGUE: causative agent, Yersenia pestis. Plague is the "Black Death" that once killed millions of people in Europe, Asia, and Africa. No serious outbreaks of plague have occurred in the United States since 1924. However, a reservoir of the disease exists in wild rodents of the western states, where the bacteria are transmitted from one rodent to another and sometimes to humans by the bite of rodent fleas. There is always the danger that domestic rodents will become infected, and that they, in turn, will carry the infection to human population centers. The disease is generally fatal to the rat and the flea, and the death rate in untreated human cases is extremely high. Fleas carrying the plague organisms have been taken from trapped rats in Tacoma as recently as the mid-1970s. They have also been found frequently in eastern Washington in the fleas of wild rodents.

Other Diseases

A number of other diseases of less frequent occurrence are associated with domestic rodents. Among them are toxoplasmosis, listeriosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, murine typhus fever, and rickettsialpox.



TREATMENTS
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House Mouse


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Deer Mouse


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Roof Rat


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Norway Rat