Rodent


Rats, mice and other rodents can become a nuisance when they come in close proximity to humans. In addition to spreading disease to both humans and household pets, rodents can also cause property damage and contaminate food sources.

Rats and mice not only contaminate food and spread diseases, but also gnaw through walls and electrical wiring, making them among the most destructive of all pests that can invade your business.

The three common rodents include:


Norway Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)

BIOLOGY / CHARACTERISTICS

  • Common urban and rural rat found throughout U.S.
  • Largest of the commensal rats in the U.S. (105 to 600g)
  • Norway rats have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails.
  • Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce.
  • Food – prefers cereal and other grains, but omnivorous (will eat household, garbage)
  • Leaves odor trails of urine, feces and other secretions; leave hair, scales, dander, partially consumed food, and pheromone laden dust (allergenic)
  • These rats are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water.
  • Norway rats are social rodents and build burrows close to one another.
 
HABITAT

Outdoors, Norway rats live in fields, farmlands and in structures. These rats frequently burrow in soil near riverbanks, in garbage and woodpiles, and under concrete slabs. Indoors, Norway rats often nest in basements, piles of debris or undisturbed materials. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter.


MANAGEMENT

Norway rats are often drawn to piles of wood, so homeowners should keep firewood stored well away from the structure and remove debris piles to reduce nesting spots. For proper Norway rat control, seal any holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk. Eliminate sources of moisture, especially in crawl spaces and basements, to get rid of Norway rats. It’s also important to occasionally inspect the home for signs of a Norway rat infestation, including rodent droppings, gnaw marks, damaged goods and greasy rub marks caused by their oily fur.


Roof Rat (Rattus Rattus)

BIOLOGY / CHARACTERISTICS

  • Called the roof rat, ship rat, or black rat
  • Occurs worldwide, abundant in ports and contiguous areas
  • Smaller, thin/streamlined appearance (80 to 350 g)
  • Highly arboreal (climber), burrows only infrequently
  • Food—prefers fruit, nuts, grains and invertebrates (e.g. snails and insects), but is omnivorous
  • Leaves odor trails of urine, feces and other secretions; leave hair, scales, dander, partially consumed food, and pheromone laden dust (allergenic)
  • Roof rats are primarily nocturnal. They forage for food in groups of up to ten and tend to return to the same food source time after time. These rats follow the same pathway between their nest and food.
 
HABITAT

Roof rats live in colonies and prefer to nest in the upper parts of buildings. They can also be found under, in and around structures.

 
MANAGEMENT

To get rid of roof rats and prevent them from entering a home, seal up any holes or cracks larger than a quarter with silicone caulk. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the building and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. Roof rats are drawn to any accessible food sources, so clean up fruit that may fall from trees in the yard and keep garbage in tightly covered receptacles. It’s also important to regularly inspect the home and property for signs of a roof rat infestation, including rodent droppings, gnaw marks, damaged goods and greasy rub marks from their oily fur.


House Mouse (Mus Musculus)

BIOLOGY / CHARACTERISTICS

  • More widely distributed worldwide than Norway and roof rats
  • Much smaller than either rat species (12 to 25 g)
  • Primarily nocturnal, but unpredictable
  • Occasionally burrows
  • Food—prefers cereal, grains, and seeds, but omnivorous
  • Leaves odor trails of urine, feces and other secretions; leave hair, scales, dander, partially consumed food, and pheromone laden dust (allergenic)
  • The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. In fact, a female house mouse can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, and can produce up to 35 young per year.
  • House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food.
  • They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high, however, they are color blind and cannot see clearly beyond six inches.
 
HABITAT

House mice live in structures, but they can survive outdoors, too. House mice prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.

 
MANAGEMENT

To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice can hide in clutter. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building to prevent ideal conditions in which house mice can nest. Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice including droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food goods. If you suspect a rodent infestation, contact a licensed rodent pest control professional to treat and get rid of house mice.




Rat Tray