Despite Mickey Mouse being the iconic mascot of many children’s favorite company, no one likes to see an uninvited mouse in their home. Seeing one scurrying across a kitchen floor can cause a housewife (or househusband) to shriek like few other things will.
Rodents like mice belong to the group Rodentia, a word derived from the Latin rodere—which means “to gnaw.” Rodentia is the largest order of mammals, comprising 2,277 species (more than 40% of all mammals).
Rodents tend to have sharp incisors. And not only are they sharp, but these teeth never stop growing. This means rodents need to continuously bite into wood or other hard materials to help trim their teeth down—which is why they are so notorious for breaking into our pantries.
The term “rodent” can refer to rats, mice, squirrels, beavers, guinea pigs, porcupines, and hamsters—none of which you’d like to see in your home (unless they’re a pet!). Rodents can carry and transmit a number of serious diseases, so it’s important to contact a professional to handle any rodent infestation.
However, rodents do serve important functions in nature, including dispersing seeds and acting as prey for many different species. Being fellow mammals, rodents share much of our DNA. And since they reproduce so quickly and in such large numbers (and do so all-year-round), they are widely used in medical research as model organisms—we wouldn’t have made nearly as much progress in medicine without them!
To prevent a rodent infestation, make sure food is sealed and put away, and wash dishes and silverware as soon as you’re done using them. Rodents are capable of fitting through tiny spaces that may appear to be far too small for them—a mouse, for example, can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. So it helps to seal-up any holes that are larger than a quarter of an inch across, and to install weather strips at the base of any exterior doors.
If you have a rodent problem, the best thing to do is to let it be our problem. Give us a call so you can rest easy!
Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodent
Source 2: http://www.orkin.com/rodents/