Mice and Rats come in looking for needed shelter, food and warmth, but can easily become an out-of-hand problem. Holes the size of a dime are no challenge for rodents. Rodents are rapid breeders who can easily invade and contaminate home or workplace.
Quick adaptation to their surroundings and the ability to breed rapidly makes the house mouse one of the most common household pests in the world. A female house mouse can give birth about every three weeks to six babies at a time for a total of close to 35 per year.
MEADOW MOUSE / VOLE
Voles can be distinguished from mice by their short tails, stocky bodies and short legs. They are brown or gray in color, have small eyes and almost hidden ears. They live in colonies and build networks of underground burrows in pastures, fields, roadsides or other grassy areas. Their primary food source is crops, grasses, beans, flower bulbs, roots, etc. The live expectancy of a vole is fairly short—usually about 2 months—because they are a vital food source for predators such as hawks, owls, foxes, snakes and coyotes.
The Norway rat has shaggy brown fur with black hairs scattered throughout and a gray to yellowish-white belly. They have a blunt muzzle, small eyes and ears and a scaly bi-colored tail. Signs of an infestation are the same as those for a house mouse, but the Norway rat droppings are about ¾” in length. Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and much more cautious than mice, shying away from new objects and changes, making them more difficult to trap. Norway rats build burrows along river banks, under concrete slabs and other places outside, but they have been found in attics, basements, roofs and sewers. Norway rats can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
The roof rat has soft, smooth brown and black fur with a white, gray, or black belly. They have a pointed muzzle, large eyes and ears and a long, scaly tail. Infestation signs are the same as other rodents. Roof rats have poor vision but keenly developed senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. They are fairly cautions about new objects although they are constantly exploring their surroundings. In structures, roof rats prefer to nest in the upper parts of the building, but may occasionally be found in basements and sewers. Outdoors, they prefer nesting in trees, but burrows are sometimes found in vegetation around buildings. Roof rats also carry a number of diseases that can be transmitted to humans.