Roof Rats (Rattus rattus)
Roof rats get their name from their tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 inches in length, not including their tails, they have very poor vision and are color blind. They do have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste.
Size: 16” total (6-8” body plus 6-8” tail)
Roof rats are known for the damage they cause by chewing on materials and eating stored foods.
Roof rats can be found in the upper parts of buildings, and can also be found under, in and around structures. They only need a space of one-half inch to get into buildings.
Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the highly dangerous bubonic plague. They support many ectoparasites and urine on food.
To prevent rats from entering a home, seal up any holes or cracks larger than a quarter. Remove sources of moisture and harborage.
Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus)
These rats have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails
Color: Gray, brown or black
Size: 10 to 12 inches (8” body plus 4” tail)
Rats are excellent climbers and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce.
Norway rats live in fields, farm lands and in structures. Rats are often found in woodpiles. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter.
Rats can chew through wiring, causing fires. They also spread numerous diseases.
Keep firewood stored well away from the structure. Remove debris piles. Seal any holes larger than ¼ inch. Remove moisture and harborage sources.
House Mice (Mus domesticus)
The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions.
Color: Light brown to black
House mice can breed throughout the year and can share nests.
House mice live in structures, but they can live outdoors.
Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.
To keep 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 nickel. 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.