Rodents…Vermin…Pests…What’s The Difference?

It may seem that rodents, vermin and pests all fit into the same category but some would be surprised to find out that not all are treated alike. Because of this, your rodent-vermin-pest problem will be handled differently from the next and it’s helpful for you to know what that may look like. Here we will break down the difference between rodents, vermin and pests and how that is relevant to you!

What is a Rodent?

Rodents are considered one of the largest and most successful order groups of mammals making up nearly 40% of all mammal species. They are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors that many of us relate them to in both their upper and lower jaws. Forming the order Rodentia they include but are not limited to: mice, rats, squirrels, hamsters, porcupines and their relatives. Rabbits, hares and pikas used to be classified within this group of mammals but because they have two extra incisors in their upper jaw, they are now classified into a separate order called Lagomorpha.

What is a Vermin?

Think of vermin as a ‘summary’ word used in relation to human activities that include any animal, insect or parasitic worm that spreads disease, destroys crops or kills livestock. They vary in terms of area and person to person with most people finding them to be a nuisance, if not grotesque. Examples of vermin include but are not limited to: cockroaches, mice, rats, Many rodents are vermin. Many vermin are not rodents. Vermin is a matter of semantics. … Other creatures that are classed as vermin are fleas, worms, cockroaches, mice, deer, rabbits (they are not rodents however), raccoons, opossum, coyote, mountain lions, wolves, etc. grasshoppers, lice, weasels, fleas, worms, coyotes, opossums, raccoons and even wolves. Though insects and rodents can be termed as vermin, they are still classified by species within their own categories.

What is a Pest?

Pests can be any animal or insect that causes harm or damage to humans, livestock, forestry or crops. It is also a term that is used towards organisms that are considered a nuisance. There are pests that sting, pests that bite and pests that are known to infest foods, fabric and wood. Even animals or insects that humans simply don’t want invading their space are thought of as pests. Some of the pests that bite and sting include but are not limited to: ants, fleas, lice, mosquitos, spiders, ticks and bed bugs. Pests that infest clothing or fabric as well as food include but are not limited to: cockroaches, moths, ants, silverfish, centipedes, carpet bugs and dust mites. Pests that are considered wood destroying pests are pests such as carpenter ants, termites and wood boring beetles. All of these and more are considered pests so you can clearly see how vastly this term is considered amongst many species.

Why Does Any Of This Matter?

When you have an animal or insect problem on your hands you will most likely call an exterminator or pest control company but how do you know if that exterminator or pest control company specializes in the problem you’re facing? Because we commonly group rodents, vermin and pests within the same category we tend to treat them the same but when it comes to pest control companies or an exterminator; they treat them according to the specific animal or insect.

This means your problem may not be something they specialize in and if you’re going to hire someone you will want to know that they are equipped to handle your problem. If you have a rodent issue on hand you will want someone who is an expert in rodents, not an expert in killing ants and spiders. If you have a termite issue you will want someone who can treat your termite infestation with knowledge and expertise; not just any pest control professional who has limited experience with termites. Knowing what you are dealing with, may it be rodents, vermin or pests will help you in determining what kind of professional service you’ll need to eradicate your issue.

Well there you have it! Rodents, vermin and pests may all sound like they are one in the same but they do have their differences and knowing what those differences are will help you whenever you’re looking to combat a rodent, vermin or pest issue.

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