The word rodent means to "to gnaw". We will mostly be discussing the type of rodents called "commensal rodents". The word commensal means"sharing one's table". The three types of commensal rodents are: the House Mouse, the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.
The three types of commensal rodents are: the House Mouse, the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat. Occasionally, the white-footed mouse, deer mouse, harvest mouse, pocket mouse, or pack rats may enter buildings, particularly if they are near wooded areas or fields.
Rodent Damage and Disease
Rodents can be found not only in our homes, but supermarkets, restaurants, warehouses, food processing facilities, livestock facilities, and farm fields.They also cause damage to our buildings by their burrowing and gnawing activity. Rodents will gnaw through many types of materials in order to reach a location including lead sheathing, cinder block, aluminum siding and some concrete.
Through the ages, rodents have been the cause of some tremendous plagues and diseases. In years past, rodents were responsible for the spread of many diseases. Today, due to increased sanitation and effective rodent and insect control programs, the threat of most diseases from rodents is not as critical. The common House mouse is the most common health pest, due to allergins that it spreads causing asthma and allergic rhinitis. The mouse carries a protein it its blood that can trigger these reactions in suspectible people.
In the southwestern part of the United States, the hanta viruses have been active. Most of these cases have been attributed to the cotton rat and white-foot mice, although the Norway rat has been associated with various hanta virus strains.
Do I Have Mice or Rats?
The house mouse is about 1/2 -1 oz in size and is slender. The roof rat is 5-9 oz and is sleek and the norway rats is larger and more robust and is between 7-18 oz in weight. Roof rats are often mistaken for house mice. Young roof rats have larger heads and feet in comparison to their bodies. A house mouse's head and feet are proportionally smaller than their bodies.
Mice and Rats reproduce rapidly with major activity at night. Under stable conditions rodent movement for both rats and mice is limited.
A Norway or Roof rat will move within a diameter of 98 to 164 ft. and a house mouse,10 to 33 ft. If conditions are unstable or there are changes such as new building, they may expand the diameter. They may also expand their range in protected areas such as in sewers, in passages between buildings, and under groundcovers.
- Rats tend to eat most of their food at one time, where mice will nibble a little at a time. Mice prefer grains and seeds
- Rats tend to be cautious and mice are more curious with new objects.
- Both of these rodents are able to squeeze through extremely small openings; 1/4 inch for mice and 1/2 inch for rats.
- Excrement droppings vary between the Norway Rat, Roof Rat and House Mouse.
Read More : Table Of Commensal Rodents is a chart to summarize the differences between rats and mice. This becomes critical if you choose trapping as an option.You need to choose the proper size.
Get Rid Of Mice and Rats
You will want a complete rodent elimination to occur before the rodents move to another area. A successful rodent control program includes a combination of baiting and trapping for the highest rate of success. However, if the rodent population is large, begin with a high quality rodent bait, in order to quickly knock down a population and prevent rapid growth.
Using Rodent Baits
When baiting initially, try not to disturb their original habitats or they may run to another area. After baiting has begun, continue with sanitation procedures, food source removal, and harborage removal to ensure additional rodents from nearby areas are not attracted to your location.
Using Rodent Traps
Choosing the right size trap is critical for trapping rodents. Inspect for signs of rat activity or mice activity. If you have rats and select mice traps the traps would be too small (the trapping mechanism would not be sufficient for a rat). If you have mice and choose rat traps, the traps would be too large (not sensitive enough to trigger the trap) for the body weight of a mouse.
One of the ways to tell the difference between rats or mice are their feces. View House Mouse, Norway Rats, and Roof Rats to read more about their identification and differences. If you have mice, you will discover a lot of droppings. They look like small beads.
Most people that begin a trapping program, do not set out enough traps. Place traps in the area of rodent activity and signs of infestation. If you have mice, place the traps a couple feet apart in the area of activity. If you have rats, place the traps about 15-20 apart.
Consider integrating any rodent control program with exclusion techniques, a general cleanup, and removal of their hiding places(harboraging areas.)