Rodentia is an order of mammals better known as rodents.  The most common rodents you will see in southeastern North Carolina are mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, gerbils, chipmunks, guinea pigs and hampsters.  What characterises them as Rodentia is their ever growing insisors.  Their two in the upper and lower jaws never quit growing which causes them to constantly gnaw and chew wood, pvc piping, electrical wiring, food storage bins and defense.  Most rodents use their teeth for eating seeds and food left behind by humans. 
Rodents come in all different sizes from the African Pigmy Mouse which only weighs 7 oz. @ 2.4 in. long to the Capybara the largest rodent in the world weighing in at 180 lbs! 
There are 3 things that attract rodents, food, shelter and water.  If these 3 things are present it becomes a wonderful harbor for rodents. The keeping infestations away from your home can be frustrating but a little preperation and a whole lot of determination can go a long way in the battle ahead.
Let's look at the fact they can enter almost any crack bigger than a 1/4 inch!  Walk around your home and see what is bigger than a 1/4 inch.  Check around all conduits, cable. hvac, plumbing and electrical, anything open and exposing your crawl space to the outside world 1/4 inch or more should be plugged with mesh wire or steel wool and sealed.   Inside your home, check under your sinks and tubs.  Check your garage and attic. Seal up any areas open more than 1/4 inch.  Not only will this prevent anything coming into your home but it may also help in heating and cooling costs. 
Now for the common sense part, don't leave any garbage outside your home at night.  If you must put your garbarge in a trash can place a heavy rock or fasten it down so the lid cannot come off.  Make sure your garbage doesn't linger outside too long as just the smell of rotting garbage can attract them.   Don't feed your pets outside late at night or before sunrise, rodents are most active at night. 
Simple steps such as these can make big differences.  Remember at Tri-County Pest Control we believe a smart customer is a good customer!  So when in doubt call a pest professional and see what we can do for you! Check out this video we found to learn more.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIwUgt0fAbM