A few years ago, pest control professionals, entomologists, and other experts carried out a nationwide study to determine which metropolitan areas in the US see the greatest amount of reported issues with rat pests. It may not surprise some to learn that Houston made the list as the twentieth most rat infested city in the country during 2017, indicating that rat pest complaints in the city increased from the previous year. It is well known that rodents are abundant and particularly large in size within large metropolitan areas, and since Houston is the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the US, rodent pest issues are to be expected in the city. Unfortunately, rodents are more than just a nuisance, as multiple species of rats and mice in all metropolitan areas of the country are well known for inflicting property damage and spreading disease to humans. The most common rodent pests that invade Houston homes include roof rats, Norway rats, house mice and deer mice.
Rodents frequently invade homes where they use their super-sharp incisors to gnaw through food containers, plaster walls, floors, structural wood, pipes, cables, and electrical wiring, which sometimes results in short circuits, blackouts and even house fires. Rodents carry bloodscuking fleas and mites, they congregate in dumpsters, sewers and other filthy areas where they acquire a variety of disease-causing microorganisms, and they leave pathogen-rich excrement throughout homes. Numerous studies have demonstrated that rodents contaminate indoor food sources with many strains of bacteria that lead to disease, including Salmonella and E. coli.
Norway rats and house mice contaminate every food source they encounter with urine, feces and saliva, and all of these bodily products are rich in pathogens. Deer mice, which often invade Houston homes to escape disagreeable weather conditions, are well known for transmitting Hantavirus to humans. Roof rats frequently invade homes in response to heavy rainfall and floodwaters, and they are experts at gaining access into attic spaces where they damage insulation and other structural materials. Since house mice only need a dime-sized hole to enter structures, while Norway rats and roof rats can squeeze through quarter-sized holes, sealing cracks, crevices and other potential entry points on the exterior walls of homes will go a long way to prevent rodent infestations.
Have you ever experienced rodent pest issues within your home?