Something smallish, dark, and furry scurries past you in the kitchen in the early morning light. You shriek in alarm, but is it really something to be worried about? There are actually some rodents, and some creatures confused for rodents, that are not really pests at all. Granted, you do not want any critters in your home, but rodent control could be eliminating some helpful ones along with the ones you do not want.
Deciding to kill or not kill is always the million-dollar question. In the world of extermination, you have to choose whether you will pit good, helpful animals against the bad and lump them all into the same bowl of fate. Here is how to identify the good rodents from the bad, and what you can do to deter ALL of these creatures from entering your home.
Voles are often referred to as "field mice." They generally do not come indoors unless there is literally nothing outside for them to scavenge and eat. They are much smaller, fluffier, and darker than their mouse cousins. If you do have a vole indoors, you may want to kill it. This is because these pests do a lot of damage to yards and gardens, and once a vole comes inside, it becomes too familiar and too comfortable with being in your house. It will not leave on its own and return to the outdoors, even after spring and summer, or your garden, have provided plenty of food.
You should take pity on moles if they come inside. That is because these creatures are just following their food source and they took a wrong turn chasing the spider, centipede, millipede, worms, or other bugs they wanted to eat. Since moles are not rodents at all, you might want to scoop this poor, slow-moving creature up in a catch-and-release trap and drop him/her far from your house in a field somewhere. It will not bother you again, and it only came inside your home by accident.
By all means, these pests need to be killed as soon as you spot them. In the wild, they are one of nature's "cleaners," consuming all manner of dead things and leaving clean carcasses behind. However, once these pests get mixed up with human business, such as garbage cans and dumpsters, they will find their way indoors to eat whatever they can get to. With the number of diseases they carry, and the incredible sizes they can grow to from nose tip to naked tail end, you will need and want them gone.
True mice have long tails like their big rat cousins, but mice tails are covered in fur. It is also uncommon for mice to come indoors, but when they do, it is because there is nothing in the house that can threaten their existence or disturb their habits. They are much tinier and lighter in color than their vole cousins.
Because mice are incredibly clever, they can find their way into any cabinet or pantry to look for food, and they will eat just about anything. You could almost grant them a pass on death out of respect for their cleverness, if they did not leave mouse droppings in your favorite cereal box and/or chew holes in your bed. Additionally, the sign of a true mouse in your house usually means that you have a female who is nesting, or nested and gave birth, in which case you have more than just one mouse to worry about.
If you've spotted any of these rodents in your home and have questions about what your next steps should be, contact companies like Jones Bros Capitol City Pest.