Scientific Name:Rodentia
Length:Rats - 32 to 46 cm; mice - 7.5 to 10 cm
Color:White, gray, brown, black
Sounds:Squeek, chirp, gnawing
Rodents are mammals from the order of “Rodentia”. They make up approximately 40 per cent of all mammal species. You can find rodents in almost any part of the world, excepting the Antartica. Many of them are set apart in their distinctive characteristics by their incisors. These grow continuously in the rodent, both in the lower jaws and the upper. What are some of the common rodents in the United States? (Of course this does not include all of them). There are many different kinds of each as far as names go, especially mice.

• Rats
• Squirrels
• Gophers
• Chipmunks
• Prairie Dogs
• Beavers
• Porcupine

You would think rabbits and hares would be rodents, but they are not. Rabbits and hares are considered “Lagomorpha”. Hedgehogs do not rate as a rodent either. They are mammals in the order of “Euipotyphla”. The rabbit’s skeleton is actually different than that of the common rodent. Rabbits also differ in the fact that they have an extra set of incisors.

Shrews and moles which are famous for tearing up your lawn, and golf courses, are also not rodents, and they most certainly seem to fit in as rodents. Even though you might only see a kangaroo in the zoo in North America, they are not a rodent either because they are “marsupials” and not placental such as rodents. They are many kinds of rodents in the United States, some are seemingly harmless, while many are not.

Rodents live in many places all over the world, except where it is freezing cold, such as the Antartica. In the “United States of America” you will find them in your home, your garage, your yard, and even in the water in the form of a beaver. We all know where rats and mice frequent on the average. They are fairly nocturnal so you will most likely find them in dark places. There are different kinds of each, as an example, you have a “House Mouse” and a “Field Mouse”. Many of the mice that you see in your house are actually “Field Mice” that came into your house finding it a suitable place to live.

The common “House Mouse” can be cute to many and is often in movies and stories such as “Cinderella”. They belong to the genus of “Mus”, and are the most abundant of all mice. The “House Mouse” is considered a wild animal, but they always are seen where humans are, in most cases. In adventure movies you will often see rats in the sewer. It is true, rats live in a sewer, alley ways, and in your house.

In your yard you think of the rodents such as squirrels and gophers. Squirrels can come into your house, garage, and even get in your car. On the outer limits of your yard you have porcupines, prairie dogs, and chipmunks. Rodents can live and are associated with a variety of places.

Hiding places for rodents are fairly common. Some have a tendency to be outside, and some come inside especially if your geographical area is a place that gets cold in the winter. Where it doesn’t really get cold in the winter, some rodents still like it indoors because of improperly stored food items and such. Rodents like to be where a food source is without being in too much danger.

Lets take the common house mouse for example. In cartoons you always see a mouse hole in the wall. Yes, mice like to hide in the wall areas. Mice will hide almost anywhere, storage places are common. They like hiding places that have lots of clutter. They also like the clutter because they can use the material to build nice cozy nests. Rats are the same way. You won’t see them as often in the daytime as they run across your kitchen floor, or living room floor quickly, because they are nocturnal animals. Nocturnal means they run at night when most humans are sleeping.

Squirrels are interesting creatures, they are a rodent, and can be quite destructive at times. They will often hide in your walls too, if they can find a way in. Now we are really talking noise. Its as if rats and mice aren’t enough, lets add squirrels to the mix. Rodents will hide anywhere that is out of sight, has stuff for nesting, and an access to a food source.

Arizona has the same approximate rodents as other areas of the United States, such as rats, mice, and squirrels. Arizona even has the porcupine. The population of beavers has slowly declined in Arizona with the growth of man’s abodes and the desiccation of Arizona’s streams. Trappers felt no remorse as they caught beavers in the river areas which were once strong in the beaver population, such as the Santa Cruz River and the San Pedro River.

The state of Arizona is now reintroducing the beavers to areas of permanent streams and rivers. When it comes to rodent pest such as mice and rats, they are certainly not reintroducing these. Pest control services come in full force to help eliminate and prevent these disease carrying critters from infesting homes, businesses, and schools.
Squirrels living around the Phoenix area might include the “Arizona Gray Squirrel”, running up and down the trees, in your yard, and sometimes in the walls of your house as a pest. They can also try to build nests in your car engine area.

“Rock Squirrels” like to live in rocky areas often found in mountain type scenarios. They do not live in trees, but often live in the ground, in desert floor “burrows”. Also, don’t forget about the little chipmunks of Arizona.
These are quickly becoming garden pests. A lot of times if squirrels and chipmunks are posing problems they will be relocated if possible. Several species of rodents live and make a permanent home in the Arizona area.

The amount of damage rodents can inflict on you and your home are immense. They not only carry diseases, bite, and chew up things such as television/computer cords, but they can also invade and damage your automobile and engine.

Rodents can cause several thousand dollars worth of damage to your home and the surrounding area, including yourself in doctor’s visits. Rats and mice are the main culprits, but squirrels can be almost just as bad. Rodents carry salmonella and rat bite fever, just to name a few of the woes you can get from them. You can get “leptospirosis” from a rodent infestation, and it can be fatal, if not treated. It is spread through bacteria from animal to man. Wild rodents are definitely flea carriers, which is another whole infestation it’s self. You can also get “Murine Typhus” from fleas. It is caused by the baterium “Rickettsia Typhi”. You catch this from them and their feces.

Rodents can also cause a fire by chewing on electrical wiring, even inside of your walls. You just never know where they will strike next. They rip out insulation from your home, and make nests in your storage areas. The burrowing of rodents outside can make the very ground you live on unstable and full of holes. Rodents wreck havoc and create instability. You can hear them actually trying to gnaw your very house away. Rodents can inflict a lot of damage on you and your home, if they are permitted.

The thing that comes to mind most often if you are bitten by rodents is “Rabies”. Immediately after you get bit by a rat or some other rodent, wash the area with soap and water. Whats the deal with rabies, and how do you know if you got them, how are they treated?

Rabies are a viral disease passed through the saliva of an affected animal such as a rodent. The only way you would know if you had them for sure, would be a testing by medical personal, whom would also treat them. Rabies are actually quite rare in the United States, but it is always a possibility.

Try to stay away from animals in the wild so you will not get bitten. There have been reports of sleeping individuals being bitten by rats. These usually include children, disabled people, and bed-ridden seniors, who might fall asleep with food residue on their hands and faces. The rat is enticed by this and is not actually seeking out a human to bite. This is a very good reason to use the services of a pest control company to help rid your home and area of more than “pests” so you don’t have to worry about your personal safety, and that of your “loved ones”.

Rats and mice roam at night so your chances of being bitten by them are fairly small. Rodents and fleas(usually where ever rodents are, fleas are) carry a lot more diseases and bacteria to be concerned about than rabies, if you are bitten.

Rodents can be dangerous for your pets. In this day and age, especially in the United States, getting rabies is almost unheard of. It is important to keep your pets immunized against rabies so you do not even have to think about this dreaded disease.

Rat poison and baits can also be harmful for your pets if they should eat it. There is a chance of getting a secondary poisoning from rat baiting substances by eating dead mice, and rats that have consumed it. Most people think that the only danger in a dog or pet chasing a wild animal is the fact that they can get rabies, but they can catch other things too. Two of the problems they could get that are related to rodents, but not rabies are the following.

Intestinal Worms- Rats can carry worms that your pets can get if they ingest them. Some worms can be caught through the feces of rats. Keep your pet’s bedding area clean. When sweeping your floor, and you find mice and rat “droppings”, wash the area good with soap and water, then spray it with a disinfectant.

Toxoplasmosis- Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by eating undercooked meat or by animal’s feces. If your pet is not quite acting up to par, or showing other signs of illness, it would be best to draw this to the attention of your veterinarian.

It is recommended if you have an infestation of rodents to get them eliminated by a professional pest control company so they will not be dangerous for your pets.

Preventing rodents from invading your environment is a “year-round” job. In some areas rodents are happy inside and outside all year long, so they pose a double threat. California and Arizona share similar climates in certain parts of their states. Rodents can be a problem at times, invading homes, businesses, and even schools, in California and Arizona.

When you get close to the beach areas in Southern California you will even see rats roaming freely near the beach area and on the boardwalks. How do you keep these rodents away? Usually the help and assistance of a well known pest control company can do justice. After treating the areas they will go over a detailed plan to help keep the rodents from re-infesting the area again. If a problem arises they work until everyone is safe from the rodents and the diseases they carry.

California has “Sewer Rats”, these can also spread their diseases and germs to Arizona. Rats and mice like anywhere there is food, such as dumpsters, trash cans, in your kitchen, and family room. They even like the local classrooms of your schools. They adore clutter, old clothing in storage, insulation, electrical wires, and even class room glue. Rats have been known to chew through plastic containers which store breakfast cereals such as grains. Rats and mice love making their nests out of chewed up paper and other soft items like the inside cushioning of your sofa. It is a constant battle, especially where it is warm all year, to prevent rodents from invading your environment.

Rats and mice are the most common rodents for you to have in your home and business. On occasion you can even be infested by squirrels, and bats living nearby and possibly in your walls. Out in your yard and landscaping you might be having a problem with moles, prairie dogs, and gophers. But what can you do if you have one or more of these problems? You can fight and fight especially when it comes to rats and mice in your home. It seems like a never ending battle. The best way to eliminate any of these pests and prevent them from returning with a regular appearance is to get hold of your local pest control experts. In the long run this will save you money and a lot of headaches.

Rats and mice can be very noisy at night time as they gnaw and chew on everything and run back and forth all night long. The incessant gnawing will drive you nuts. Rats are also very loud when they run at a fast pace, not only this, but they can actually bite you on your toe if you surprise them in a hallway at night time. They chew up most anything, and you can’t for one moment leave any food stuffs out on your kitchen counter or anywhere else. You can try traps and all kinds of things, but as mentioned earlier the only true way you will be a long term winner is to use a pest control company if you already have rodents.

Many rodents are nocturnal, such as rats. Nocturnal means they are mostly active at night. Where the weather is warm all year round, rodents are active all year round. If the geographical area is such as one that has a very cold winter season, they have a tendency to move inside to your home or business.

A lot may think when they live in places that have a cold winter and they are suffering from mice, and work real hard with traps and such, that they succeeded, somewhat. Summer time will come and they will temporally forget about the “Field Mouse” invasion, particularly if they live in a large yarded area or next door to a field or school. Schools are known for large grassy areas where “Field Mice” congregate, thus their name.

The common house mouse is usually a “Field Mouse”. Children really love them and think they are cute, but them and their feces can spread germs and diseases. When winter rolls around again, and the ground is frozen, in comes the “Field Mouse” no matter how clean and tidy your house is.

In areas where they can come and go all year round they find food outside too, in garbage pails and other places. Fast food drive-ins are a threat in areas where it is warm all year round and can cause rodent infestation, including squirrels and rats. Most rodents are “omnivorous” which means they eat plants and meat. Rodents are the most active when they are in search of food.

The birthing cycle of rodents can vary depending upon what kind it is. They are all mammals and they typically give birth to live babies such as humans do. The female rodent often feeds it’s baby or babies with milk produced by her body. Here is an interesting fact. Did you know that the common female mouse that runs around your house has a “period” (bloody discharge) or menstruation which usually begins around the time that they are mature enough to have babies?

When a male and female rodent come in contact with each other the breeding process usually begins between rodents if they are mature enough to make babies. In rats and mice the gestation time is around 22 days or so. The baby mice are called “pups”, and usually consist of anywhere from 8 to 12 in each litter. The common house mouse can have between 5 to 10 litters per year. After they have one litter of baby mice, or pups, they can have another litter in about 25 days. Mice can begin the breeding process again immediately after giving birth.

Mice reproduce rapidly and that is why they present a serious problem when it comes to infestation. They are really hard to get rid of using traps and other devices. The services of a pest control service is needed as a sure method of eliminating them when they become a problem. The birthing cycle of rodents can be very productive for them, but unproductive for humans trying to rid of an infestation.

The history of rodents as presented by fossils dates back as far as 55 million years in North America. This was the late Paleocene Period which also had evidence of evolutionary history of insects, such as the beetle. It is extremely difficult to find the origin of the order “Rodentia”, as the North American species appears to have originated in Eurasia, so actually they could be quite older in other places.

The name “Rodents” comes from the Latin word “Rodere”, which is translated as “to gnaw”. Rodents are found in every continent, excepting the Antarctica. The different species can be as following:

Fossorial- A “fossorial” is from Latin, meaning “digger”. This is a rodent that is adapted to living underground, but does not always do so.

Arboreal- An “arboreal” is a rodent that has adapted to living in trees, such as a squirrel.

Semiaquatic- A “Semiaquatic” is a rodent that has adapted to life partly in the water and partly on the land, such as the beaver.

As time advanced many of the rodents had to deal with the invasion of mankind living in man built abodes, and they slowly adapted to this. They found that man often had easy food supply to get and materials to make nice comfy nests, so they started to adapt to living inside the homes of humans, in their fields, and in their barns. Rabbits and hares also used to be grouped in with “Rodentias”, but now are grouped in the order of “Lagomorphina” when it comes to the history of rodents.


The amount of damage rodents can inflict on you and your home are immense. They not only carry diseases, bite, and chew up things such as television/computer cords, but they can also invade and damage your automobile and engine.
The burrowing of rodents outside can make the very ground you live on unstable and full of holes. Rodents wreak havoc and create instability. You can hear them actually trying to gnaw your very house away. Rodents can inflict a lot of damage on you and your home, if they are permitted.

Watchdog Pest Control and exterminators will monitor your home and help prevent an infestation with RODENTS.

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