Rats & Mice

House Mouse
Description Adult head and body length 2.5-3.5", tail length 2.75-4", smooth fur, pointed muzzle, small eyes, large ears.
Habits Mice are very social and somewhat territorial. They are inquisitive and will explore anything new or changed. They nibble more than consume, and eat many kinds of food, especially seeds.
Lifestyle and Reproduction Mice are prolific breeders. They reach sexual maturity in about 35 days, pregnancy lasts about 19 days, the average litter is 6, and a single mouse can have 8 litters per year. Life expectancy averages about a year.
Problems Encountered Over a 6 month period a pair of mice will eat about 4 lbs. of food, produce about 18,000 droppings, and void about 12 oz. of urine. They can be vectors of disease as they contaminate food with urine and feces. They will gnaw frequently, often through food packaging. They can spread salmonella through their droppings.
Tips for Prevention Exclusion is essential in the control of mice. Potential openings need to be sealed to prevent entry into structures. Keeping brush and groundcover in the yard thinned and trimmed also help. Woodpiles and other piles of debris or belongings should be eliminated.Traps may be used to eliminate mice that are present in a structure. A professional is often necessary to establish complete control.
Preparation Be prepared to tell the technician about mouse sightings, signs of activity, and any other relevant information.

Roof Rat
Description Adult combined body and head length 6-8", tail length 7-10", soft smooth fur, pointed muzzle, large eyes, large ears, tail longer than the head. They have poor eyesight and are color blind, but have a keen sense of smell, taste, hearing, and touch. They can run, jump, climb, and swim very well.
Habits Roof rats are primarily nocturnal and are very cautious. They are shy around anything new. Although roof rats can be found under buildings they prefer to nest in higher places such as trees and attics. They only require an opening of about 1/2" to gain entry to a structure. They tend to like fruits, vegetables, cereals, and nuts. Once they find an agreeable food they may eat their fill in one sitting and return to eat many times.
Lifestyle and Reproduction Reach sexual maturity in 2-5 months, pregnancy lasts 22 days, average litter is 6-8, with 4-6 litters per year. Adults live 9-12 months.
Problems Encountered Roof rats gnaw and are vectors of disease. They average 30-180 droppings and 1/2 oz. of urine per day. They can be heard scampering in attics or gnawing and crawling in walls when they gain entrance. Fleas on rats have been traced to incidences of bubonic plague. Droppings have been linked with the Hatavirus disease.
Tips for Prevention A professional approach includes identification, sanitation, harborage removal, elmination, and rat proofing. We may use traps or baits in the elimination of the rats.
Preparation Information should be made available to the technician regarding where there have been sightings and evidence of rat activity.

Norway Rats
Description Largest of the rodents. Adult combined head and body length 7-9.5", tail length 6-8", fur is coarse and shaggy, blunt muzzle, small eyes, small ears, heavy body, tail is shorter than head and body combined. They are poor climbers, but may climb if necessary. They have poor eyesight and are color blind, but have keen hearing, smell, touch, and taste.
Habits Norway rats are nocturnal and cautious. They will explore, but avoid new things. Outside they live in burrows, generally with one entrance and a separate, fairly hidden emergency exit. Nest inside in basements and under piles of debris or merchandise that is left undisturbed. An entry space greater than 1/2" is required for them to enter. They prefer meats, fish, and cereal. If the food is agreeable they will eat their fill in one sitting and return many times to feed. They will gnaw through almost anything to get to food and water and may travel up to 150' to find food and will travel a well worn path over time from harborage to food sources.
Lifestyle and Reproduction These rats reach sexual maturity in 2-5 months, pregnancy lasts about 23 days, 7-8 young per litter with about 3-6 litters per year.
Problems Encountered Norway rats gnaw and are vectors of disease. They average 30-180 droppings and 1/2 oz. of urine per day. Fleas on rats have been traced to incidences of bubonic plague. Droppings have been linked with the Hatavirus disease.
Tips for Prevention A professional acpproach includes identification, sanitation, harborage removal, elmination, and rat proofing. We may use traps or baits in the elimination of the rats. Baits work well but need to be plentiful as Norway rats are gluttons. Care should always be taken with the use of baits that they won't come in contact with children or nontarget species.
Preparation Information should be made available to the technician regarding where there have been sightings and evidence of rat activity.