Common Rodents Found in Florida
Just the thought of rodents conjures images of the lights coming on and rats scurrying away from a big mess that they’ve made on the kitchen counter. Or a dark, dingy attic, filled with creepy mice. Few of us like rodents and with good reason. Rats are carriers of several diseases, including eosinophilic meningitis and leptospirosis. And in Florida, we have an abundance of them, which makes rat control in Tampa, FL so important.
MORE ABOUT THE THREAT RATS POSE TO PEOPLE
When rats and other rodents enter your home they tend to use a portion of the space they inhabit as a latrine. A number of diseases can be spread through their feces, including the ones mentioned above as well as salmonella. Spores from their feces can get into ventilation systems, spreading it throughout your home. Rats and rodents can also chew electrical wires causing house fires.
COMMON TYPES OF RODENTS
There are a number of rodents indigenous to Florida, including several species of rats, mice and squirrels. For this discussion, we will focus on two types of rats and one mouse that can be found in your home.
When you find a rat in your home, oftentimes, it’s a roof rat (also known as a fruit rat.) These dark-colored rats are typically 5-8 inches in length with smooth fur. They have tendency to enter your home through the roof, which is where they usually build their nests. Roof rats typically feed on fruit and nuts, but will eat most anything. They are nocturnal creatures, preferring to hide during daylight hours.
Norway rats are larger (6-9 inches long) and more aggressive than roof rats. They have a brown or gray color. They are typically found near the water, but can easily make their way into your home for food. They also make their home in crawl spaces and basements. These rats don’t focus on one particular food and eat what humans eat.
House mice are most commonly found in homes and typically found scurrying in your walls. They have a brown or gray color and are 5-7 inches in length. They are nocturnal animals that feed on the same foods that humans eat in many cases. Their teeth continuously grow, which leads them to gnaw on wires and wood, causing great damage to your home.