Rodent Identification Guide

What are rodents?

Rodents are mammals whose species are diverse in appearance, size, behaviors, and feeding habits. Most of the world’s rodents live outside and away from people, but many species have become a major pest inside residential and commercial properties.

Despite the vast differences between species, one physical feature links all rodents together: a single pair of upper and lower front teeth or incisors. These teeth grow throughout their life and have a layer of enamel on the front side, but not on the backside. The lack of enamel on the backside of the teeth allows rodents to sharpen the teeth into a chisel they use for gnawing and chewing. A rodent’s chewing abilities are well-known and one of the reasons they are so destructive. When beavers chew on a tree outside, they are not problematic, but when a mice chew through your home’s electrical wires, they become dangerous and unwanted pests.

rat outside

Unfortunately, rodents have adapted to urban development by learning to live with people. Norway rats, house mice, and field mice are examples of rodents that often find their way into our Massachusetts homes.

Are rodents dangerous?

Health risks introduced by rodents into our homes and businesses is a major cause for concern. As rodents travel outside through garbage piles, sewers, and decaying vegetation, they come into contact with a lot of bacteria and disease-causing pathogens. After finding a way into your home, rodents contaminate food and surfaces with things that will make you and your family ill. Salmonella, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and tularemia are all spread by rodents. These critters also introduce parasites onto properties that spread their own list of diseases to people and pets.

As if the spread of disease and contamination our food isn't enough, rodents cause other problems living in or near our homes. They feed on and damage vegetables in our gardens, make entrances into our homes, and leave behind trails of urine and excrement. A rodent’s sharp teeth allow them to damage wires, cables, drywall, pipes, flooring, trim, furniture, and cabinets after moving into our homes.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Rodents want to live near us because they have learned that food and shelter are available wherever there are people. The more access there is to food and shelter, the more likely rodents will feel comfortable moving onto your property. Rodents have an excellent sense of smell, and food odors from trash cans, gardens, pet food bowls, and grill areas attract these pests to yards and other outdoor spaces.

Where will I find rodents?

Rodents are active year-round; when the weather is warm, they prefer to live outside, but they seek indoor shelter to protect them from cold weather. When winter rolls around, if you have rodents already residing on your property, your home will likely become their winter retreat. However, rodents are a year-round threat as they will move into our homes any time of the year, searching for food or a safe place to build a nest.

After moving inside, rodents move to dark, quiet areas of the home. Norway rats are poor climbers, so they usually move inside at ground level and invade basement areas and crawl spaces. Field mice and house mice are good climbers and move inside through cracks or crevices they discover in the foundation, exterior walls, or roof. Mice build nests behind appliances and cabinets, in wall voids, closets, attics, and basements.

The nocturnal nature of rodents makes identifying a rodent infestation difficult as they are most active when we are sleeping. As soon as you notice a problem with rodents, reach out to Assurance Pest Solutions for fast help ridding your property of these unwanted visitors!

How do I get rid of rodents?

At Assurance Pest Solutions, we have the solution to your rodent problems. Whether the infestation is big or small, we will work with you to solve it! We remove rodents from properties and provide the exclusion work needed to stop them from returning. Our locally owned and operated company has over 41 years of experience in the industry, and we offer our customers prompt and reliable rodent control solutions.

To learn more about working with our knowledgeable staff to solve your Massachusetts property’s rodent problems, reach out to Assurance Pest Solutions today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

If you live in Waltham, Wakefield, Lexington, or surrounding areas, Assurance Pest Solutions can help you maintain a rodent-free property. In addition to our pest control solutions, the following tips will help prevent rodent problems:

  • Cut the grass short and remove overgrown landscaping and fallen trees from your property.
  • Keeps shrubs and bushes trimmed away from the exterior of your home.
  • Keep your porch or deck free of clutter and woodpiles to eliminate hiding spots near your home.
  • Organize your basement, or, if applicable, keep your crawl space free of excess debris where rodents can nest.
  • Instead of using cardboard boxes that are easy for rodents to chew through to keep stored items in, use hard-sided containers with locking lids.
  • Seal spaces around windows and doors, the foundation, and the roof that rodents can move into your home through.
  • Place lids on trash cans and recycling bins to keep rodents out. Store outdoor trash cans away from the outside walls of your home.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.


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