1. Commensal rodents cause a lot of problems in both cities and the country. The word “commensal” means that these rodents live off people and give nothing back in return. These rodents are the house mouse, Norway rat, and the roof rat.
2. Large cities spend thousands of dollars to control the rat populations around both commercial and residential neighborhoods.
3. It is estimated that the U.S. rat population is at least one per person.
4. The meaning of the word “rodent” is “to gnaw” and rodents are well equipped to carry out this activity.
5. Rodents are not native to the United States. They came over on ships from Europe with early explorers and settlers. Once in the new world they multiplied and infested the entire continent.
6. Rodents carry and spread diseases. These diseases include: plague, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, hantaviriruses, and rickettsial pox. They also carry fleas which can spread diseases.
7. Rodents consume and contaminate significant numbers of the world's food supply every year. Rodents cause extensive damage to properties by gnawing on wood and wiring, often causing fires. Rat burrows can cause structural damage and disrupt sewer lines.
8. The House Mouse is found throughout the United States. They are omnivores, feeding on cereal grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Seed is the preferred food. They eat at multiple sites eating small amounts at each site. (20-30 sites per day) Daily consumption is about 1/10 of an ounce leaving the balance contaminated.
9. Mice are sexually mature as early as 6 to 10 weeks old and may breed year-round. In perfect conditions, a nest of mice can deposit 18,000 droppings and produce 2,500 heirs in a six-month period. The female will have an average of eight litters per season with an average of six pups per litter. At five weeks old, the pups are capable of mating. It is not unusual for a female to be lactating her young and pregnant with a new litter.
10. Rodents are omnivorous. They feed on grain, seeds, fruits, vegetables and meats. Rats, especially, love to hang out in sewers and around garbage.