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Rodents

Mice

The house mouse and field mouse (deer mouse) are common pests indoors. The house mouse is a year round pest, while the deer mouse enters in fall and leaves in spring. Both these mice are about the same size and have similar habits.

The house mouse primarily infests houses and other structures. There are populations of this mouse in natural areas, and these may be the source of house infestations. Field mice occur outdoors. There can be large populations in fields and natural areas adjacent to houses and other buildings.

The adults and young of these mice feed on stored food in houses, especially grain based products. They will eat bread, bird seed, dry pet food, and candy. Field mice will damage furniture padding and stuffing by removing some for nesting material. The droppings of house mice and field mice can be scattered in kitchens cabinets, drawers, and almost anywhere the mice travel as they forage for food.


Rat

The most common rat around buildings is the Norway rat (it is not from Norway). It is about 12 inches long, and the color of the body hair is grayish brown to dark brown. The tail is long and bare.

Rats live singly or in small groups outside and around sources of food. They will move inside when searching for food or looking for a new nest site (usually females). Their original nest and foraging site may have been disturbed or their food source may have changed, forcing them to move. They can become established indoors if there is enough food and consistent shelter.

Rats use their teeth and powerful jaws to expand small openings to get into houses. The teeth marks are a sign of recent rat activity. Droppings are another sign that rats are active in the area. Rats produce more than 30 droppings per day, and these drippings can be found where rats are active.