Rodents are the second most destructive vertebrates species in the world after humans.
Rodents have been estimated to contribute about 40% to all the food classified as ‘contaminated and unsafe to eat’ in Africa, making them a huge pest problem. It is not just our food supplies they harm, but they can also spread disease like Salmonella through their droppings and contaminate our waterr supply with their urine, spreading diseases like Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease to us and our pets. If this is not enough, rodents are never free of fleas who are themselves carriers of other dangerous diseases. Termites are important decomposers. Rodents are prolific breeders and a few can turn into an infestation within months.
Brown rats are large rodents that may weigh more than 500 grams. They can reach lengths of 40cm, and their tails alone may measure 21 cm. The body of the Brown rat is covered in shaggy fur that is brown or gray in color. The ears and tail are covered in scales, and the tail is shorter than the head and body. Droppings are capsule-shaped. Brown rats are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods such as meats, fruits, grains and nuts.
Brown rats typically nest underground from which they enter buildings in search of food. They tend to remain in hiding during the day.
Black or brown, they can be over 40cm long, with a tail longer than its head and body combined. They have large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose. Body is smaller and sleeker than the Brown rat’s. Fur is smooth. They tend to nest inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood. They’re excellent climbers that can often be found in the upper parts of structures. Roof rats are omnivorous, but they show a preference for grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Within a year, one female may be responsible for up to 40 new rodents.
House mice are covered in short hair that is light brown or gray to black in color, with lighter bellies. Adult mice weigh approximately 12 to 30 grams and can grow up to 20 cm from the nose to the tip of the tail. They tend to nest inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood. They’re excellent climbers that can often be found in the upper parts of structures. They prefer to eat seeds and cereals and only eat small amounts.
These mice only need a 6mm gap such as pipe openings, and gaps beneath doors, to gain entry into a home.
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