Mice and Rats

Rodents create some unique challenges. We can help.

House Mice

OVERVIEW:

The house mouse is the most commonly encountered rodent here in the U.S. It can adapt quickly to changing conditions and breeds rapidly. In fact, a female can give birth to a half dozen babies every three weeks, can produce up to 35 young per year, and all starting at five weeks of age! The female can still be lactating and be pregnant with a new litter.

HABITS:

House mice usually live in structures but they can survive outdoors too. They prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics. They are excellent climbers and can jump up to a foot high. House mice prefer to eat seeds and insects, but will eat many kinds of food.

THREATS:

House mice are not only a nuisance, they can also cause serious property damage by chewing on materials, In fact, they have been known to spark electrical fires by gnawing on wires inside homes and behind walls. House mice and also eat and contaminate stored food, and are a vector of salmonella, tapeworms, and the plague (via fleas), among other dangerous organisms.

PREVENTION TIPS:

Although pest management professionals have many tools available for mouse control, no one tool is as essential as SANITATION.

  1. Trash should be kept in tightly closed containers.
  2. Debris and possible nesting materials (books, papers, clothes, etc.) should be up off the floor.
  3. Food items should be stored in rodent proof containers.
  4. If you have pets, their food should never be left in dishes. Feed the pet, clean the dish, and put it away.
  5. Unused pet food should be kept in a sealed, rodent proof container.
  6. Items in storage closets should be stored up and off the floor, with shelving.
  7. Reduce clutter! Donate, or throw away unneeded items.

Although the best sanitation rarely eliminates mice, poor sanitation surely adds to their longevity. Be sure to keep your kitchen and trash receptacle areas as clean as possible and NEVER leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. If you have time to make it, you have time to clean it up.

Some other tips for prevention:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home. Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. 
  • Regularly inspect your home for signs of mice, including droppings, gnaw marks, and damaged food goods.
  • If you suspect rodent infestation, call us right away!  (617) 332-3344
house-mouse

QUICK STATS

Color icon miceColor:

Dusty gray/brown with a

cream belly

 

Shape Round iconShape:

Round

 

Size icon-1Size:

2.5 - 3.5 inches long

 

Region iconRegion:

Found throughout the U.S.
and the world

 

Deer Mice

OVERVIEW:

Deer mice prefer rural, outdoor areas. They are rarely a problem in urban or residential areas, but can be a common pest in farming areas, summer/vacation homes, outbuildings, sheds and suburban homes near wooded areas.

HABITS:

Deer mice often nest in old fence posts, tree hollows, log piles, abandoned bird nests, and beneath decks. During winter months, they may invade homes, garages, sheds, or rarely used vehicles to seek shelter. Inside, they can make their nest in storage boxes, stuffed furniture, drawers, wall voids and tight areas in basements or attics. Deer mice feed at dusk and dawn preferring insects, seeds, nuts, berries and small fruits.

THREATS:

Deer mice are a medical concern because they are the common carrier of Hantavirus. This virus in transmitted primarily by the inhalation of dust particles contaminated with the urine, feces, or saliva of infected deer mice.

PREVENTION:

  • Seal cracks on the outside of your home to prevent mice from using easy entryways.Pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Keep shrubs and tree branches cut back from the house.
  • Mice can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear, and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Don't store pet food or bird seed in garages or storage sheds, where it is especially attractive to deer mice.
  • Regularly inspect basements, attics, outbuildings and rarely used cars/RVs for signs of an infestation.
  • If you suspect an infestation, give us a call. (617) 332-3344
deer mouse

QUICK STATS

Color icon deer miceColor:

Brown with light feet and underbelly

 

Shape Round iconShape:

Round

 

Size icon-1Size:

2.75 - 4 inches long

 

Region iconRegion:

Found throughout the U.S.

 

Norway Rats

OVERVIEW:

Norway rats can cause damage to property and structures through their gnawing. They are also a vector of diseases and can contaminate food. Contrary to their name, Norway rats are believed to be of Asian origin, and are now found throughout the world.

HABITS:

Norway rats are primarily nocturnal. Outdoors, they burrow in soil near stream/river banks, piles of garbage or under concrete slabs. Norway rats are social and often build burrows close to one another. Indoors, they often nest in basements, piles of debris, or undisturbed materials. They are known to gnaw through almost anything - including plastic or lead pipes - to obtain food and water.

THREATS:

Norway rats can cause damage to structures and personal property through their gnawing and eating. They can also spread diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis, and salmonellosis. In addition, these rats can introduce fleas and mites into a home.

PREVENTION:

  • Eliminate sources of moisture, especially in crawl spaces and basements.
  • Fill any gaps or cracks on the outside of your home with silicone caulk.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers.
  • Keep kitchens tidy by sweeping crumbs off of floors and wiping counters.
  • Remove clutter to reduce nesting spots.
  • Inspect you home for signs of an infestation, including rodent droppings, gnaw marks and damaged goods. Look for greasy rub marks caused by their oily fur.
  • If you suspect a rat infestation, call us right away. (617) 332-3344
norway-rat

QUICK STATS

Color icon norway ratColor:

Brown with scattered black hairs; gray to white underside

 

Shape long iconShape:

Long, heavily-bodied, blunt muzzle, small ears and eyes

 

Size icon-1Size:

7 - 9.5 inches long

 

Region iconRegion:

Found throughout the U.S.

 

Roof Rats

OVERVIEW:

The roof rat - also called the black rat or ship rat - is smaller than the Norway rat but causes similar issues, including gnawing through materials, carrying diseases and contaminating food. The roof rat is thought to be of southeast Asian origin, but is now found throughout the world, especially in tropical regions.

HABITS:

Roof rats are primarily nocturnal. They live in colonies and prefer to nest in upper parts of structures or in trees. They forage for food in groups of up to ten and tend to return to the same food source time after time. Roof rats follow the same pathway between their nest and food. Their runways will be free of debris and may also have dark rub marks where their fur makes contact.

THREATS:

Historically, roof rats and their fleas have been associated with bubonic plague. Though transmission is rare today, there are still a handful of cases in the U.S. each year. Roof rats can also spread typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis and salmonellosis. They can also carry fleas and mites.

PREVENTION:

  • Fill any gaps or cracks on the outside of your home with slicone caulk. Roof rats can fit through openings as small as 1/2 inch, or the size of a quarter.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from buildings and cut limbs overhanging the roof.
  • Clean up fruit that may fall from trees in the yard.
  • Keep garbage in tightly covered receptacles.
  • Regularly inspect your home and property for signs of an infestation, including rodent droppings, gnaw marks, and damaged goods. Look for greasy rub marks caused by their oily fur.
  • If you suspect a roof rat infestation, contact us right away. (617) 332-3344
roof-rat

QUICK STATS

Color icon miceColor:

Brown with black intermixed; gray, white or black underside

 

Shape long iconShape:

Long and thin with scaly tail;
large ears and eyes

 

Size icon-1Size:

6 - 8 inches long
(not including the tail)

 

Region iconRegion:

Coastal states and the southern third of the U.S.