Pest Control: Mice
Mus musculus Linnaeus
Probably the most commonly seen rodent in the U.S., one female house mouse can produce up to 35 young every year. With this high rate of reproduction, a home can be overrun in a short matter of time. House mice build nests out of paper, cardboard, insulation, fabrics and many other things. While they may seem harmless, house mice can cause serious property damage by chewing on housing materials like electrical wires, which can cause house fires. Furthermore, they are vectors for diseases like salmonella, tapeworms, hantavirus, and the plague. If you suspect a mouse infestation contact a pest management professional.
Dusty gray with a cream belly
2½ – 3¾ inches long
Mainly feed on plants, but are omnivorous
Dependent on associations with humans, so typically found in and around homes
Found throughout the world
- Seal holes and cracks around home that lead to interior. Pay attention to crawlspace vents, garage doors, and any place where pipes, wires, or other utilities enter home.
- Reduce clutter in and around home
- Mice love to build nests in cardboard boxes, so use sealed plastic boxes and bins for storage
- Check home regularly for droppings, nests, and damaged food containers
Deer mice are nocturnal and prefer rural, outdoor areas. They are a common problem in farming areas, vacation homes, and outbuildings. They are excellent climbers. They are common carriers of the Hantavirus which is transmitted by the inhalation of dust particles contaminated by urine, feces, or saliva.
Brown with light feet and underbelly
2¾ – 4 inches long
Seeds, nuts, small fruits, berries, and insects
Deer mice often nest in tree hollows, log piles, and beneath decks. During winter months, they seek shelter indoors preferring stuffed furniture, wall voids, and tight areas in basements or attics.
Found throughout the U.S.
Other Identifying Features:
- Deer mice have multi-colored tails; usually half white and half brown.
- Reduce clutter in home, removing storage boxes from the floor
- Keep shrubs and trees trimmed back from the house
- Seal cracks and holes on exterior of house
- Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around basement foundation and windows
- If you suspect an infestation contact a licensed pest professional
Rattus Norvegicus (Berkenhout)
Norway Rats are the most common of all rat species. They are commonly called the brown rat, common rat, street rat, or sewer rat. They can live virtually anywhere and often nest close to where humans dwell. They are nocturnal, forage, and often live in large social groups. They are adept at burrowing and will often gnaw through anything from plastic, to lead pipes to obtain food or water.
Brown or gray with scattered black hairs; gray or white underside
Long, heavy bodies, blunt muzzle, small ears and eyes
15 – 20 inches long
Virtually anything, especially cereal, pasta, and corn
They often nest in basements and in debris or undisturbed materials. They prefer damp environments, like sewage systems.
Found throughout the U.S.
- Store food in tightly sealed containers
- Reduce clutter
- Eliminate sources of moisture
- Fill any holes or gaps with silicone caulk
- Keep home, especially kitchens, swept and free of food particles
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed professional for removal