Deer Mice

Deer Mice
  • Color: Brown, with white feet and underbelly
  • Legs: 4
  • Shape: Round
  • Size: 5 to 8 inches long
  • Antennae: No
  • Region: Found throughout U.S.
  • Description: The deer mouse is found in rural areas and rarely invades residential homes. Deer mice are of medical concern because they are common carriers of Hantavirus.

    Habits: The deer mouse prefers the outdoors.

    Habitat: The deer mouse makes its home outdoors. Sheltered areas such as hollow tree logs or piles of debris make the ideal deer mouse habitat. On the rare occasions the deer mouse comes indoors, it prefers undisturbed areas such as attics.

    Threats: The deer mouse transmits the potentially fatal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. The disease can be transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in aerosolized urine droplets of infected deer mice.

    Prevention: To keep deer mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime. Seal any cracks and voids. Don't overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building. Use heavy gloves and protective breathing gear when working in an area populated by deer mice.


    House Mice

    House Mice
  • Color: Dusty gray with a cream belly
  • Legs: 4
  • Shape: Rounded
  • Size: 2 1/2 - 3 3/4" long
  • Antennae: No
  • Region: Found throughout U.S.
  • Description: 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.

    Habits: 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.

    Threats: Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.

    Prevention: 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.


    Norway Rats

    Norway Rats
  • Color: Brown with scattered black hairs; gray to white underside
  • Legs: 4
  • Shape: Round
  • Size: 7-9 ½ inches long
  • Antennae: No
  • Region: Found throughout U.S.
  • Description: Norway rats are believed to be of Asian origin, but are now found throughout the world. These rats can cause damage to properties and structures through their gnawing. Norway rats have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails.

    Habits: Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce. 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.

    Threats: Norway rats can cause damage to structures through their gnawing and eating. These rats are also vectors of diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. In addition, Norway rats can contaminate food and introduce fleas into a home.

    Prevention: 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 Rats

    Roof Rats
  • Color: Brown with black intermixed; Gray, white or black underside
  • Legs: 4
  • Shape: Round
  • Size: 16" total (6-8" body plus 6-8" tail)
  • Antennae: Yno
  • Region: Coastal states and the southern third of the U.S.
  • Description: What are roof rats? Roof rats - also called black rats or ship rats - are smaller than Norway rats, but cause similar issues. This rodent gets its name from its tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. The roof rat is thought to be of Southeast Asian origin, but is now found throughout the world, especially in tropical regions.

    Habits: 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.

    Threats: Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the highly dangerous bubonic plague. Though transmission is rare today, there are still a handful of cases in the U.S. each year. Roof rats can also carry fleas and spread diseases such as typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis and salmonellosis

    Prevention: 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.


    Source: National Pest Management Association