The Most Common Types of Rodents in Tampa | Critter Control Tampa

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Rodents are the largest group of mammals, characterized by upper and lower pairs of incisor teeth that continue to grow throughout their entire lives. They live on every land except Antarctica and New Zealand. And, while you may not see rodents running around during the day since they are nocturnal, it is important to identify whether you could have a problem.

In Florida, many rodents call our sunshine state home, including rats, mice, and squirrels. Here are some of the most common rodents living in Tampa.

House Mice – Though they usually live outdoors, house mice wander into human structure’s in search of food and shelter. They are brown or grey and around 5-7 inches long. House mice love to feed on grains but will indulge in a wide variety of food if it’s available to them. Because mice reach sexual maturity in just six weeks, producing 5-6 young per litter with up to 8 litters a year, infestations can take place quickly. When living in your home or business, mice are often found scurrying behind walls as well as inside of cabinets and behind furniture.

Norway Rats – This species is usually found living along the sea coasts and canals. They prefer to feed on fresh fish, meat, and grain. However, they can survive on an ounce of water per day in addition to trash or decomposed food, which is why you commonly see them around unsecured trash piles. Norway rats burrow under buildings and concrete slabs and enter piles of debris. Their digging can cause a lot of damage by weakening a building’s foundation, deteriorating the banks of levees, blocking sewer lines, and destroying well-manicured landscaping and gardens. They are reddish-brown or gray and about 6-9 inches long with a thick body and blunt nose. In structures, they will commonly make their home inside of a crawlspace or basement.

Roof Rats – If you’ve ever seen a rat inside of your Tampa home or workplace, it was most likely a roof rat. These rodents prefer to nest off the ground and will travel along fences, tree branches, and utility lines, using their excellent climbing skills to enter inside through the roof or attic. They range in color and are either black, grey, or tan with smooth fur and typically 5-8 inches in length. Roof rats often feed on fruit, nuts, and grain, but will feed on other accessible food sources. They can also create large infestations by having 6-8 young per litter with up to 6 litters per year.

Squirrels – While there are many species of squirrels, some of the most commonly seen are the eastern gray, western gray, and fox. Squirrels breed in late spring or summer and again in late winter or early spring. When preparing to birth her young, the mother will gain access into the attic by gnawing her way in or by using a previous hole to set up a den. Typically, squirrels feed on fruits, nuts, and berries, but have been known to eat insects and other animal matter. Both fox and gray squirrels can carry numerous parasites and diseases such as ticks, mange mites, fleas, and internal parasites.

Rely on the Professionals

As you can see, all rodents who enter inside of your home or business can create significant problems that can result in costly repairs. If you’ve seen droppings, urine, gnawed objects, rub marks, or have heard scratching or other odd noises; call us for a free inspection. Or, if you want to take preventative measures and make sure your structure is protected, we can assist you with that as well. We will confirm whether you have a rodent problem and inform you of the process needed for a quick and safe removal. For more information, call Critter Control® of Tampa at 813-948-0870.

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