Rodent Identification & Prevention

What are rodents?

Rodents are mammals that fall into the order of Rodentia. Underneath this order, rodents are further classified into Myomorpha, used to refer to mouse-like rodents such as rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils. From there, rats and mice are separated into the family of Muridae; Muridae is one of the largest families of mammals, with over 1300 different species included in the classification. Both rats and mice are known for their tremendous gnawing ability and role as common yet dangerous pests.


Rats belong to the genus Rattus and consist of several subspecies. Still, the most commonly encountered ones are the black rat (Rattus rattus, also called the roof rat) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus, also called the Norway rat). Black rats have grey-brown or black coats and are expert climbers, while brown rats have lighter brown fur, long scaly tails, and prefer to live closer to the ground, such as in crawl spaces or burrows.


Similar to rats, you may encounter a few different types of mice, including the house mouse and the deer mouse. The house mouse is small, not growing larger than four inches in length. They typically have a dusty grey or grey-brown coat. On the other hand, deer mice can grow up to four inches in length with their tail adding another two to five inches. They will have a greyish to red coloration on their coat.

rat in the grass

Where do rodents live?

Rodents are highly adaptable, and no matter whether they live in the wild or live around your home or business, they can find somewhere to hunker down. For instance, you may find mice and rats living in yard debris or overgrown foliage, in holes in the ground, under sheds or patios, in crawl spaces, basements, and attics, or in garages or the walls of your property. They will make sure they locate themselves near easy access to food sources (such as your trash or stored food items) and water in order to thrive. Proactively removing the factors that attract rodents is essential in preventing infestations.

Are rodents dangerous?

Though most people know rodents are unhygienic, they may not know how dangerous rodent infestations can be. These pests bring health risks in the form of disease transmission. You can pick up illnesses such as hantavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tularemia, or salmonella through direct contact with a rodent, contaminated food or surfaces, or interaction with rodent droppings. Mouse droppings will also dry up and become airborne, spreading the risk of illness around your property.

Additionally, rodents are dangerous to the integrity of your property in Rockville, MD. This pest gnaws constantly and can damage stored items, internal structures, and electrical wiring. The more serious your rodent infestation, the more costly and widespread the repairs are likely to be.

How can I get rid of a rodent infestation?

To get rid of rodent infestations, you can follow some of the rodent prevention steps below.

  • Seal up cracks around windows, doors, and the foundation that rodents may use to get inside
  • Declutter storage areas often to reduce hiding spots
  • Use airtight containers in pantries and food storage areas
  • Dispose of trash promptly and use trash cans with lids when possible
  • Always store leftover food properly
  • Refrain from leaving out dirty dishes or ignoring food and drink spills, as the aroma attracts rodents

If you struggle with rodent infestations despite following these prevention tips, contact Womack Pest Control right away. Only professionals can safely and completely remove your rodent problem.

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