Forty percent of animals in the United States are classified as rodents. They are defined by a pair of sharp teeth which must be kept short by continually chewing on wood, seeds, and plants.
In pest control terms, we refer specifically to mice, rats, squirrels, and gophers as the primary rodent pests. These rodents are notorious for destroying a property by gnawing on wood, plants and trees. They also destroy properties with their nesting habits, making their homes in trees and underground. Rodent’s success as a pest is mostly due to their small size, their hardiness, their short breeding cycles, and their capability to eat a very wide variety of foods. Rodents will also eat a wide variety of human food or pet food.
Rodents are active wherever droppings, fresh gnawing and tracks are noticed. Their nests are made from shredded paper or other material and are often found in sheltered locations. Most rodents have an unpleasant, musky odor that identifies their presence. They are excellent climbers and can scale any rough vertical surface. They will also run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up 13 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. Some rodents, like mice, can slip through a crack as small as 1/8th inch wide.
Common rodent pests include:
- Brown rat
- Deer mouse
- Eastern gray squirrel
- Ground squirrel
- House mouse
- Norway rat
- Pocket gopher
- Roof rat
- Tree squirrel
Sometimes mistakenly referred to as “flying rodents” or “flying rats”, the forelimbs of the bat are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammal; naturally capable of sustaining flight. There are approximately 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represents almost twenty percent of all (classified) mammal species; in the world.
Most bats are nocturnal, and are primarily active at twilight. They occupy the daylight hours grooming, sleeping, and resting, while at night they emerge to hunt; thus avoiding competition with birds. Bats will rarely fly in the rain, as it interferes with their echo location, and makes it difficult to locate food.
Although the eyes of most bat species are small and poorly developed, none of them are blind. To compensate for their poor sight, bats have a hightened sense of smell and hearing. Using their incredible senses, these nocturnal mammals will travel large distances (nearly 800 km), tracking and searching for food.
Found throughout most of the world, bats perform important ecological roles, such as pollinator flowers, distributor of fruit seeds and provider of natural pest control services. In fact, many tropical plant species rely entirely on bats, for the distribution of their seeds.