It is common to see rodents in West Chester yards. Squirrels are very common in our area and they are active during the day. Fortunately, they don't commonly enter our homes. That's the good news. Sadly, we have several rodents that you won't see in your yard because they lurk in the darkness and explore your property at night. These night dwellers often find their way inside homes and businesses. Today, we'll tell you what rodents you can expect to find in your home, how they impact your health, and how to get rid of rodents without creating even more of a health issue. We'll also share with you some simple-to-follow steps to reduce the number of rodents on your property. For guidance on a specific rodent control issue, remember that Masters Touch Pest Solutions is available to help. We provide smart, science-based solutions for rodent pest control in West Chester. We'll diagnose your problem and give you the data you need to make the best choice for you. With that said, let's dig in and talk about the common rodent pests in West Chester.

rat outside near rocks
mouse on wood

Common Rodent Species: Identifying Different Types Of Rodents

There are a variety of rodents in West Chester that cause trouble for property owners. Even squirrels can step over the line and decide that living in your attic is a pretty good idea. Some rodents only create issues outdoors. They never invade homes. We call these lawn rodents because they generally damage lawns and landscaping. One common lawn rodent to watch out for is the vole. We're not going to focus on lawn pests today, but we have other articles on that topic, if you're interested. The rodents we are looking at today are the few species that readily enter homes.

Let's start with one rodent that can act like a lawn rodent. It's called a Norway rat. It digs in the ground and can create tunnels in your yard. But it may not stay in your yard. These resourceful ground rodents can leave their outdoor burrows and take up residence in your walls. If you catch a glimpse of a brown rodent at dawn or dusk, look closely to see if it is a Norway rat. They are notorious pests.

We have one other rat species in our area that likes to enter homes and nest in attic spaces. It is called a roof rat. It does not prefer to dig tunnels in the ground. In nature, it lives in tree holes, hollow logs, and sometimes caves. It is hard to catch these rats on your property because they are entirely black, which helps them blend into the darkness. Since they are nocturnal by nature, you're not likely to catch a daytime sighting of one of these black rats.

Rats aren't the only rodents that enter West Chester homes. In fact, they're not even the worst rodents that invade man-made structures. Mice hold the gold medal for structure infestation. Why? It has to do with three important factors: They survive on crumbs, reproduce like crazy, and move quietly. If you're thinking, "Are mice quiet?" the answer is a resounding yes. That's why "Quiet as a mouse" is a common saying. Don't expect to hear these rodents bumping and scratching in your walls or attic. If you do hear them, you might want to thank those mice for alerting you to their presence.

We have one last rodent to consider. We'll call it our honorable mention. As home-invading, night-dwelling rodent pests go, deer mice aren't bad. They tend to get into sheds, barns, and other yard structures. It isn't common to find deer mice inside homes. But there is a downside to having a deer mouse infestation in your home. Deer mice are a vector for Hantavirus. Let's turn our attention to this and other potential health concerns related to rodent infestations.   

Rodent Dangers: Health Risks And Property Damage

West Chester residents vary in their opinions of just how much of a threat rodents are to health and property. If you believe rodents aren't a big deal, you may not take appropriate measures to keep them out of your home. Here are a few facts to help you understand the nature of the threat.

  • The greatest threat a rodent presents is the risk of a house fire. Even the tiniest of mice can cut a wire with its teeth and spark a fire. How likely is this? We can't say. It depends on the conditions within your walls.
  • Rodents are furry animals, and as furry animals, they pick ticks up when crawling around outdoors. As they go in and out of your home, they can introduce ticks in large numbers. If the wrong ticks find their way indoors, they can present a serious health risk. Ticks are known to spread harmful diseases such as ehrlichiosis, tularemia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease.
  • Rodents leave their waste material as they explore. Their droppings are a source of contamination and some rodents, like the deer mouse, are a serious disease risk. Droppings get old, turn to powder, and become dust in the air. When inhaled, respiratory issues can result. If Hantavirus is present, it can lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome which is potentially life-threatening.
  • Rodents climb in unsanitary places. The most common are trash receptacles and sewers. As they move about inside your home, they can leave invisible, disease-causing microorganisms picked up in the unsanitary places they've explored. 
  • The holes rodents chew can allow moisture into your home, and moisture can lead to secondary issues, such as mold. If black mold takes root, it can have health implications.

While not all rodents are a serious threat and the health risks are related to the conditions present around and inside your home, it is best to address rodents using effective control measures as soon as possible. The danger will only increase as the number of rats and mice increase. 

Professional Rodent Control: The Safe Way To Remove An Infestation

There are many ways to correct a rodent problem. Some can add to the health risks. There are many unfortunate tales of DIY rodent control gone wrong. From baits that caused rodents to die inside walls, which created a terrible smell, to children and pets getting exposed to improperly placed baits.

Most of the time, DIY rodent control fails without any direct consequences. When this happens, rats and mice just continue to do what they were already doing—all of the things we mentioned above. So, why does DIY rodent control often fail? One word: knowledge. It takes knowledge to know what to use, where to use it, how much to use, how to apply products in a way that will outsmart rodents, and how to apply a complete strategy. We could write an article on each of these.

When a professional applies rodent control, your technician will use many of the products you might use, only professional-grade versions of them. So, instead of a bait station that children can tamper with, a professional will use a locked container that is tamper-resistant. And, when applying control products, your technician will use a field-tested strategy that will get complete results. Most of all, no undue harm is done to the rats or mice. They are dispatched quickly when the correct products and proper procedures are used.   

When you're having trouble with the common rodents of West Chester, it is time to call Masters Touch Pest Solutions. Our pest management professionals use Advanced Integrated Pest Management, the gold standard in eco-friendly, science-based pest control. Contact us today for immediate assistance.

Rodent Prevention Tips: How To Keep Your Property Rodent-Free

Once you've had a professional apply professional-grade rodent control, what is next? While some homeowners continue with rodent surveillance and year-round pest control, some choose to learn how to get rid of rodents in the yard with sanitation, yard work, home repairs, and other general maintenance. Here are some examples:

  • Keeping bagged trash inside covered trash receptacles helps to trap the scent of food in and keep rodents out.
  • Keeping trash receptacles washed will further reduce rodent-attracting smells.
  • Raking nuts up and storing them in a sealed container—and also refraining from feeding the squirrels—removes a much sought-after food source.
  • Removing bird feeders or installing them on poles that rats and mice (and squirrels) can't climb gets rid of another common food source.
  • Picking up yard clutter makes it harder for rats and mice to get around on your property.
  • Applying fencing material around your back deck or the base of your shed can keep rodents out.
  • Applying expanding foam around pipes, window frames, door frames, wire conduits, and other exterior penetrations helps to prevent entry.
  • Replacing weatherstripping and door sweeps as needed, removes tiny gaps that rodents will want to gnaw on and make larger.
  • Trimming tree branches and applying guards on plumbing, wire conduits, and power lines removes common routes rodents take to enter structures.

When you roll your sleeves up and apply the necessary maintenance to deter rats and mice (or the occasional squirrel), you may have no more trouble with rodents. But, of course, when rodents don't take no for an answer, Masters Touch Pest Solutions is always available to help you with rodent control in West Chester. Reach out to us anytime.


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