Pest Rodent Species in Georgia
Rodents have always had an adversarial relationship with mankind. While people can often look fondly upon cute squirrels or chipmunks, there is no love for mice or rats. And there is little tolerance for any rodents when they invade your home or business. Rodents can transmit diseases, carry parasites, eat and contaminate food sources, damage property and cause physical harm to people and pets. This page is focused on the rodents which create the need for our pest control services.
Rats are nocturnal mammals which are quick, fast and agile. Rats have pinkish feet, hairless tails and their bodies are covered with smooth fur which is dark on top and white at their belly area. Rats are much larger than mice, have generally poor eyesight and keen senses of taste, smell and hearing. Any type of rat can be aggressive towards pets and humans, and are very real threats to sleeping small children.
Rats are physically tough and can swim substantial distances, climb near vertical walls, jump relatively high and gnaw through most barriers to gain access to homes and buildings.
Roof Rats, R. rattus, often referred to as black rats, are a bit smaller than Norway rats and much darker in color. These rats may be distinguished from Norway rats by observing that their hairless tails are longer than their body and head. These rats are adept at climbing and typically live and nest above ground in attics, trees, garage shelves, kitchen cabinets or wall cavities.
Norway Rats, Rattus norvegicus, often referred to as brown rats, are full bodied rodents which create burrows alongside home and building foundations, beneath firewood stacks or trash piles, and in areas such as gardens and fields where food sources are found. These rats breed quickly and have well built nests, lined with soft materials. Norway rats prefer to remain near ground level meaning areas such as in garages, under decks or porches, or in first floor walls and cabinet areas.
Mice in Georgia
House mice, Mus Musculus, are much smaller than rats, often being only 2 1/2" to 4" long and as light as 1 ounce. This mice species has a small head and slender body covered with smooth gray fur, a hairless tail and pinkish feet. Mice have excellent vision, hearing and smell. Mice are very quick and agile, and can enter a building through a hole as small as 1/4" wide.
The most obvious signs of their presence are their droppings which are almost black and about the size of a grain of rice. Mice can have as many as 6-10 litters per year, each with 5-7 young, thus any infestation should be treated quickly to avoid a major problem.
The Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus, is a small squirrel species that has reddish-brown fur with four to five distinct dark brown and light brown stripes running the length of their body. Although chipmunks can climb they prefer to live in an underground tunnel system which includes several access holes. Chipmunks forage during the day for nuts, seeds and insects, fruit, worms and mushrooms.
Eastern Fox Squirrel
The Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger, is a large squirrel that is much larger than the Eastern Gray Squirrel. This squirrel has a brownish-gray body with a muted orange underbody and muted orange in its tail. Occasionally this species produces an all black form and a few other unique color variations.
The Eastern Fox Squirrel nests high in trees in well constructed nests made of leaves and twigs. Their favorite habitat is dense woodlands, swampy and marshy areas, and hardwood forests.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, is a medium sized squirrel that is much larger than a chipmunk yet smaller than the Eastern Fox Squirrel. This squirrel has a brownish-gray body with a white underbody and a brownish-gray tail. This is the most common squirrel in the eastern United States and is commonly found in neighborhoods, parks and woodland areas. The Eastern Gray Squirrel nests high in trees in well constructed nests made of leaves and twigs.
Southern Flying Squirrel
The Southern Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys volans, is one of two flying squirrel species in North America. These squirrels do not actually "fly" like a bird, but have cape like stretches of skin (patagium) between their front and hind legs which enables them to glide.
This species of flying squirrel has a smooth, brownish-gray fur on top with a crisp white underbelly. They have noticeably large dark eyes and a relatively flat, furred tail. These squirrels forage throughout the day for seeds, nuts, certain flowers and mushrooms, and insects.
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