While Mississippi has mild winters compared to the national average, cold weather can drive rodents indoors when temps go down. Across the country, rodents find shelter in an estimated 21 millions homes. Rodents can cause property damage and spread disease and ought to be taken seriously. Here are a few types of rodents that can affect the Mississippi Gulf Coast area.
Found throughout the country, deer mice are common in rural areas. While rarely a problem in residential neighborhoods, they can move indoors during inclement or cold weather. While people may not encounter them often at home, deer mice are the most common carrier of the Hantavirus, which is primarily transmitted via dust particles contaminated with saliva, feces or urine of infected mice. The easiest identifying marker for deer mice is their bicolored tail in half brown, half white. Avoid storing store pet food or birdseed in garages and storage sheds, which can attract mice.
As per their name, house mice usually nest in dark, secluded area within structures, such as houses and buildings. Beware that, as excellent climbers, they can jump up to a foot high, and cause property damage by chewing through materials like wires — which can cause electrical fires — and can contaminate stored food and spread diseases like tapeworms, Salmonella and even the plague via fleas. As house mice hide in clutter, keep storage areas clean and boxes off the floor, as well as sealing food in rodent-proof containers.
Contrary to their name, Norway Rats are found throughout the U.S. Mostly nocturnal, they often burrow in garbage piles or under concrete slabs. They often enter homes in fall when exterior food sources become scarce; once inside, they nest in attics, basements or abandoned homes. They can cause significant property damage by gnawing through materials such as plastic and lead pipes to obtain food and water, and also carry diseases such as plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis, in addition to bringing fleas and mites into your home. Inspect your home on a regular basis for signs of infestation, including grease rub marks caused by rats’ oily fur, gnaw marks, droppings and damaged food goods.
Roof rats are common to coastal states and the southern regions of the U.S. They live in colonies and offer nest in upper parts of structures or trees, and are best known for helping spread the plague — through their fleas — as well as typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis and salmonellosis. Ensure fruit that falls from trees on your property is cleaned up to avoid attracting roof rats, as well as sealing your garbage in securable receptacles.
If you suspect an infestation, contact us immediately. Rodents multiply quickly and can become an issue just as fast. Contact us, today!