The Definition of 'Rodent' - What's a Rodent?


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Homeowners with pest control problems are faced with trying to first figure out what type of pest they're dealing with. Each type of pest has to be managed in its own way and what works for one type may not necessarily work for another. Rodents are a common pest and one that causes homeowners a lot of grief - but what is the ?

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A rodent is a mammal that has a pair of continuously-growing incisors in both its top and bottom jaws (although there are a few exceptions). Because these teeth never stop growing, the animal is forced to constantly gnaw them down in order to keep them to a size that allows them to eat properly. That's why rodents cause so much damage when they infest a house - their constant gnawing can damage and even destroy walls, beams, insulation, electrical wires, and the homeowners' belongings. Rodents use their incisor teeth to bite through food and to defend themselves.

The word 'rodent' probably brings to mind a list of small creatures like mice, rats, and squirrel. But not all rodents are small - beavers, for example, can get up to 50 or 60 lbs! And one particular rodent of unusual size is the capybara, the largest rodent in the world, typically weighing in at a hefty 75 to 150 lbs. Surprisingly, a rabbit is actually not a rodent and neither is a raccoon.

Of course, mice, rats and squirrel are among the most likely rodent culprits to infest a home... it's not likely your home will be infested with beaver or capybara!