Brief overview of rodents

Rodents are warm-blooded mammals that have large, continuously growing front teeth that they use for gnawing on objects. Rats and mice are two of the most common species of rodents found invading homes and businesses. Both are considered to be commensal rodents; this means they are found living in close proximity to people and, over time, have come to somewhat depend on people for food, water, and shelter. Rodents, in effect, “share our table”.

What do rodents look like?

In our area, three of the most common species of rodents found invading properties, spreading disease, and causing damage include the house mouse, the roof rat, and the Norway rat.

House Mouse- The house mouse adult is small, growing to between 5 ½ and 7 inches in length, including their long tail. House mice have small, beady eyes and both their ears and their tail are covered in a light layer of velvet-like fur. The fur on their body ranges in color from grayish-brown to dark gray; their belly is usually covered in tan or off-white colored fur.

Roof Rat- The roof rat has a light build making them excellent climbers. They are often found climbing trees in order to access buildings through the roof, hence their name. Roof rats are dark brown or black with a contrasting lighter colored underbelly. The body of the adult roof rat grows to about 6-8 inches in length; their long scaly tail adds another 6-8 inches onto their total body length. Roof rats have a pointed nose, large ears, and large eyes.

Norway Rat - The adult Norway rat’s “heavy” body grows to between 7 and 9 ½ inches in length; the tail adds another 6 to 8 inches to their total body length. Norway rats have a rounded blunt nose, protruding black eyes, small ears, and a bi-colored tail. Their scruffy fur is brown and is peppered with black hairs; the fur on their belly is lighter in color - usually gray or white.

Where am I likely to see rodents?

Rodents enter homes and buildings searching for food, water, and shelter. House mice are often found nesting in attic spaces, behind large appliance, behind wall voids, and in crawl spaces. They can be found invading pantry and kitchen spaces foraging for left over crumbs and chewing through food containers. Norway rats, because of their heavy, cumbersome body are typically found invading basements and the first floors of homes and other buildings.  Roof rats, in contrast, have a light body and are great climbers, so they are usually found invading the attic spaces and upper levels of buildings.

Are rodents dangerous?

Rodents aren’t known to be aggressive; in fact, they try to avoid you just as much as you try to avoid them. However, they are considered to be very dangerous when invading homes and other properties. Rodents chew constantly on things to prevent their teeth from overgrowing; this habit can cause major damages inside buildings. Rodents can chew through wires, pipes, drywall, floors, and insulation. In addition to structural damages, they can destroy personal property like clothing, shoes, pictures, books, and furniture. Rodents contaminate food sources and food prep areas with their urine, feces, and saliva. They can introduce diseases, including Salmonellosis and dysentery, and bacteria that can make people very ill; they will also introduce parasites like fleas, mites, and ticks into properties.

How do I get rid of rodents?

At The Bug Lady Pest Control, we have solutions to help prevent or eliminate rodent infestations. In fact, our home pest control programs include protection from mice and rats. We also offer stand-alone rodent control services for homes and can help business owners and managers rid their facilities of rodents with tailored treatment plans that may include the use of baits, traps, and simple exclusion techniques. For professional rodent control, contact The Bug Lady Pest Control.