What Port St. Lucie Residents Should Know About Rodent-Bourne Diseases

Rodents are a significant concern if you are living in Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach Boynton Beach as well as other parts of South Florida. Their presence is not only unsanitary but they also carry diseases that they can transmit to humans. As a local resident living in South Florida, it’s important to understand the risks associated with rats and rodents and how to effectively manage them. In this blog post, we discuss the types of rodents found in South Florida, the diseases they carry, and practical steps for rodent prevention and control.

The Rodent Population In South Florida

The warm climate in South Florida can attract a variety of rodents. The three most common types of rodents found in South Florida are Norway rats, Roof rats, and house mice. Let’s review each rodent type in further detail.

Norway Rats

These rats are large with a body length of 7-9 ½ inches and are typically brown with scattered black hairs. They have a heavy body, a blunt muzzle, and small ears and eyes. Norway rats are known for their poor vision but have strong senses of hearing, smell, touch, and taste. They are not particularly agile but can run, climb, jump, and even swim. These rats are known for causing damage to properties by gnawing through materials.

Roof Rats

Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats and can measure about 16 inches, including their long, scaly tails. They have large eyes and ears, a pointed nose, and a slender body. Their fur is usually brown with black spots. Roof rats are excellent climbers and often find shelter in the upper parts of buildings. They are known to damage materials and contaminate stored food.

House Mice

The most common of the trio, house mice have a dusty gray color with a cream belly and measure 2 1/2 – 3 3/4 inches in length. They have a round body, pointed muzzle, and large ears with some hair. House mice breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions, making them a persistent problem.

Health Risks Associated with Rodents

The presence of rodents can cause significant health risks to humans. Rodents are known carriers of various diseases. They can spread illnesses which if left untreated can be fatal. Rodent diseases can be transmitted through rodent droppings, urine, or saliva, and sometimes through bites. Illnesses like hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis are some of the diseases carried by rodents. Hantavirus can cause severe respiratory diseases and can be fatal. Leptospirosis causes flu-like symptoms and, in severe cases, can lead to kidney damage, liver failure, and even death. Salmonellosis, commonly known as salmonella infection, can cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.

Rodents also invade homes in search of food. In doing so, they contaminate food sources and cooking surfaces. Contamination can lead to food poisoning as well as other health issues.

The presence of rodents can also trigger allergies and asthma. Their droppings, dander, and hair can trigger allergic reactions and worsen respiratory conditions in the elderly.

Signs of Rodent Infestation

Knowing the signs of a rodent infestation is important if you plan to rid your home of rodents. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Droppings: One of the most obvious signs of a rodent infestation is finding their droppings. Norway rat droppings are larger and banana-shaped, while roof rat and house mouse droppings are smaller and spindle-shaped.
  • Gnaw Marks: Rodents have a habit of gnawing on objects. Look for gnaw marks on furniture, wires, and even structural elements of your home.
  • Nesting Materials: Rodents build nests from shredded paper and fabric. Spotting any of these shredded materials in hidden areas can be an indication of infestation.
  • Grease Trails: Roof rats, in particular, leave greasy trail marks along their regular paths. These trails are caused by the oil and dirt in their fur and can often be seen along walls or in attic spaces.
  • Noises: Listen for scratching or scurrying sounds in the walls, ceilings, under the bed, and furniture, especially at night. These sounds can indicate rodents moving around in your home or shredding papers for their nest.
  • Musty Smell: Pay attention to musty or unpleasant smells in areas of your home. Foul smells could indicate a rodent’s nest is near.

Preventing Rodent Infestation

Keeping rodents out of your home is important. Based on these EPA guidelines, here’s a direct approach to preventing rodent infestations in your home:

  • Seal Entry Points: Start by sealing holes inside and outside your home. Small holes can be plugged, while larger gaps may need patching. Pay special attention to areas where utilities enter your home, as these are common entry points for rodents.
  • Remove Nesting Sites: Clear your property of potential nesting sites. This includes leaf piles, deep mulch, and any outdoor clutter. A tidy yard offers fewer hiding spots for rodents.
  • Manage Food and Water Sources: Keep your kitchen and dining areas clean. Store food in containers with tight-fitting lids and don’t leave pet food out overnight. Ensure your garbage cans have secure lids, and regularly clean up any crumbs or food residues.
  • Compost and Bird Feeders: If you compost, turn your piles regularly to bury new food scraps. If you’re dealing with an active infestation, consider stopping bird feeding temporarily.

Effective Strategies for Rodent Control

Effective strategies to control rodents in your home before they settle in is also a good step to preventing infestation. Seeking professional help is also advised before a problem gets out of hand. A licensed pest control company can provide comprehensive solutions and treatments based on your individual situation. If you’re dealing with a significant or persistent rodent problem, don’t hesitate to contact a professional pest control company such as Wise House Environmental Services.


Residents of Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter and other parts of South Florida should be aware of the significant concerns posed by rodents in their communities. The warm climate attracts various types of rodents that could cause potential health risks. Recognizing the signs of a rodent infestation is very important for residents living in South Florida.

How To Get Started With Wise House Environmental Services

Ready to send away pests without harming your pets? Getting started with Wise House Environmental Services is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Contact Us: Just give us a call today at 561-727-8239 or fill out our website form. We’ll discuss your specific pest problem and will tailor a service that is a perfect fit for your needs.
  2. Free Inspection: Our team will stop by your home and provide a no-obligation pest inspection of your home, we’ll also discuss the best pet-friendly methods to remove any unwanted guests.
  3. Treatment Time: Once a treatment plan has been agreed on, we’ll get to work deploying our biological controls and bait technology.

With Wise House Environmental Services, you get more than just effective pest control; you get peace of mind, knowing that your home is without pests and safer for your pets.

Our approach to pest control combines science with safety, offering you the kind of targeted, effective solutions that you won’t find with just any other pest control service. Our services have made a world of difference for homeowners, and we can do the same for you. Your pets will thank you for it! 

We serve Port St. Lucie,Lake WorthBoyton Beach, Palm Beachand the Treasure Coast.

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