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What are rodents?

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Rodents are mammals distinguished by their continuously growing incisors, which they use for gnawing through various materials, including wood and food packaging, and for self-defense. This adaptation allows them to thrive in diverse environments by accessing food sources and creating shelters. While many rodents primarily consume seeds and plants, certain species have more varied diets that include fruits, insects, and even small animals.

These creatures are predominantly nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. Their nocturnal habits, combined with their tendency to seek out human habitats for food and shelter, make them significant pests. Rodents are vectors for numerous diseases, such as salmonella and tuberculosis, which they spread by contaminating food and surfaces with their droppings, urine, and saliva. This contamination poses a serious health risk to humans, especially in areas where food is stored or prepared.

In addition to health concerns, rodents cause substantial structural damage. Their incessant gnawing can weaken buildings, damage electrical wiring—potentially causing fires—and ruin insulation. Their burrowing habits can undermine foundations and create entry points for other pests.

The rodent family includes both mice and rats, each with distinct characteristics and behaviors. Mice are smaller and more commonly found indoors. They typically measure 5 to 8 inches in length, including their tails, and weigh up to 1 ounce. Mice have a relatively short lifespan of up to 18 months but are prolific breeders. A single female can produce between 36 to 192 offspring annually, leading to rapid population growth if left unchecked. Their small size allows them to squeeze through tiny openings, making them adept at infiltrating homes and other buildings.

Effective rodent control involves a combination of preventive measures, such as sealing entry points, maintaining cleanliness to reduce food sources, and using traps and baits to reduce existing populations. Regular inspections and prompt action at the first signs of infestation are crucial to preventing the extensive damage and health risks associated with these persistent pests.

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