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Types of Rats and Mice That Invade Homes

Apr 20, 2023

Rats and mice are common household pests that can cause extensive damage to property and pose health risks to humans.

Identifying the type of rodent invading your home is crucial in developing an effective pest control plan. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of rats and mice in the United States that commonly invade homes, and what you can do to prevent or eliminate them.

Why do rats and mice invade homes?

Just like many pests, rats and mice typically show up in your home in search of food. Homes can provide them with a steady supply of food, including things like open food containers, crumbs, and spills in kitchens, pantries, and dining areas.

They could also be searching for water, and might be attracted to consistent sources of water, like leaky pipes, pets’ water bowls, and condensation on windows.

Since they’re mammals, rats and mice are also often just looking for shelter. Just like your home provides you with warm and safe shelter, it can do the same for unwanted pests like rats and mice.

Additionally, rats and mice might seek shelter indoors during colder months and harsh weather conditions.

What kinds of mice invade homes?

Fittingly, one of the most common rodents to pose a problem within the United States is known simply as the “house mouse”. The house mouse is a small rodent with gray or brown fur, and can be identified by its small size, pointed nose, and large ears.

While they might be cute, house mice can cause damage to structures, contaminate food, and spread disease like salmonellosis and hantavirus– a potentially deadly disease that can be transmitted to humans through contact with their droppings and urine.

The deer mouse is another common pest in the United States. These mice have white underbellies and large eyes, and are most typically found in rural areas. These mice are known to carry the hantavirus as well.

Field mice are also known as meadow mice or (inaccurately) voles. They’re small rodents with brown fur and short tails. Typically, they live in fields and grasslands, but enter homes in search of food and shelter.

What kinds of rats invade homes?

The Norway rat, also known as the brown rat, is a large rodent that can weigh up to one pound (compared with the average 0.5oz weight of a house mouse).

Norway rats are typically found in urban and suburban areas all over the United States. Because these rats can chew through virtually anything, including metal, they are capable of doing serious structural damage to buildings. They also contaminate food and spread diseases like leptospirosis and rat-bite fever.

Roof rats are another common home invader. They’re smaller than Norway rats and have black fur. They’re excellent climbers, and can be found in attics and rafters. These rats can also cause structural damage and spread disease.

How to prevent rodent infestation

One of the most important things you can do to prevent rodent infestations is to eliminate potential entry points, like gaps around doors and windows, holes in walls and floors, and gaps around utility lines.

You can also reduce the likelihood of rodents entering your home by keeping food stored in airtight containers, regularly cleaning up spills and crumbs, and maintaining a clutter-free home.

What should I do if rats and mice are in my home?

If you even suspect a rodent infestation in your home, it’s very important to contact a pest control professional immediately. Pest control professionals, like the experts here at West Termite, Pest & Lawn, are specifically trained to safely and effectively remove the rodents and prevent future infestations.

To protect your home, family, and pets from a suspected rodent infestation, give us a call today.

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