Living in Central Florida means sharing your space not only with a diverse community of people but also with a variety of common types of rodents. Whether you’re hearing strange noises within your walls or finding tiny teeth marks on your furniture, you just might be dealing with one of the locally common rodents.
From the humble house mouse to the somewhat exotic cotton rat, your uninvited house guests can vary. Let’s take a deeper look into these rodents, their identification, habitats, and potential damages and health issues they can cause.
First up on our list of common types of rodents in Central Florida are house mice. Identifying these critters can be quite easy. House mice usually range from 2.5 to 3.75 inches in length, with tail length adding an extra 2.75 to 4 inches. They have pointed snouts, large ears, and small eyes. Their fur varies in color, often light brown or gray, but can also be dark brown, black, or even white.
Most house mice prefer to create their essential habitats near areas with an abundance of food and warmth, particularly in concealed, secure spots. That’s why it’s not uncommon to find them cozily settling into human dwellings.
Dangers posed by these invaders include structural damage from gnawing on walls, wires, and household items. Moreover, they’re also carriers of various diseases, posing significant health risks.
Next under our radar are Norway rats, also referred to as brown rats. These are larger compared to house mice, measuring up to 9.5 inches with an additional tail length of up to 8.2 inches. Norway rats are mainly brown with scattered black hairs, and their underbellies are typically gray to yellow-white.
Norway rats are ground burrowers and prefer damp environments like basements and lower levels of buildings. Open fields and structures near water bodies are also their favored habitats.
Just like house mice, Norway rats are capable of causing considerable property damage — they can chew through plastic and even lead pipes. Furthermore, they are vectors of several harmful diseases, boosting the health risks linked to their presence.
Roof rats, also known as black rats, are quite distinctive and are, unsurprisingly, excellent climbers. These agile rodents are usually black or dark brown and smaller than Norway rats, with bodies measuring 6 to 8 inches and tails longer than their bodies.
Excellent climbers that they are, roof rats set up their habitats off the ground. They prefer shrubs, trees, and dense vegetation. When it comes to buildings, they are likely to be found in attics, ceilings, and other high points.
These pesky rodents cause significant damage by gnawing on wood and electrical wires, potentially leading to short circuits or even fire hazards. They can also carry a host of diseases, resulting in serious health issues.
Finally, we come to cotton rats. They are medium-sized rodents with coarse hair that is often blackish or brownish. As the name suggests, they are found in grassy areas, including agricultural fields, and are well-adapted to the warmer regions, therefore prevalent across Central Florida.
Cotton rats do not traditionally infest indoor areas, but they can cause damage to crops and backyard gardens. They are notorious carriers of diseases, including hantavirus, posing serious health risks.
In conclusion, it’s crucial to stay alert for signs of these common Central Florida rodents around your home or property. Remember, prevention is better than cure! But, if you suspect a rat or mouse infestation, it’s advisable to reach out to professionals immediately.