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General Rats/Mice Information

Rats and mice are active mostly at night. Their eyesight is very poor, but they make up for this with their keen senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Rats and mice constantly explore and learn, memorizing pathways, food and water, shelter, and features of their environment. They quickly detect and avoid new objects in their environment. Thus, they often avoid traps and baits for several days or more following their initial placement.

Both Rats and Mice can gain entry to structures by gnawing, climbing, jumping, or swimming through sewers and entering through toilets or broken drains. They also gain entry through construction gaps, chimneys, eaves, exhaust vents and roof vents.

Facts About Rats & Mice

Rats & Mice are tough creatures, they can endure a lot of hardship and have some surprising abilities:

  • Rats & Mice can squeeze through a gap as small as 6mm.
  • Rats & Mice rely predominantly on smell, touch and hearing as opposed to vision and move around easily in the dark, using their long sensitive whiskers.
  • Rats & Mice are driven indoors when it’s cold.
  • Rats & Mice see best in dim light. Their eyesight is weak, but their other senses are acute.
  • Rats & Mice have teeth that never stop growing. Teeth grow at a rate of 0.3mm/day.
  • Rats & Mice can hear ultrasound up to 90kHz.
  • Rats & Mice have a 10-inch vertical jump or more.
  • Rats & Mice can scale rough vertical surfaces up to 2m, and walk along thin ropes and wires.
  • Rats & Mice prefer to travel adjacent to walls and other edges.
  • Rats & Mice may make 20 to 30 visits to different food sites each night taking as little as 0.15g at each site.
  • Rats & Mice can chew through anything softer than their teeth, including electrical wiring, presenting a fire hazard.

Some Diseases directly transmitted by rodents

  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome
  • Leptospirosis
  • Plague
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Salmonellosis

Damage

Rats & Mice eat and contaminate food and animal feed. They also damage containers and packaging materials in which foods and feed are stored. Both rats and mice species cause problems by gnawing on electrical wires and wooden structures such as doors, ledges, corners, and wall material, and they also destroy insulation in walls and ceilings for nesting.

What kind of damage can one rat or one mouse do to your attic? The truth is that one rat or one mouse won’t do much damage at all. The problem, of course, is there is never just one rat or one mouse. Rats & Mice breed quickly. One pair of rats can produce as many as 2,000 offspring a year. Yes, 2,000 baby rats or mice in your attic or walls. Predators, or a lack of food, are about the only things that will slow them down.

Insulation is the first target of a rat & mouse infestation. Rodents use the fibers to build nests and create pathways throughout the attic and walls. Humans have duct tape – the rat equivalent is insulation. Ultimately, this results in your home’s insulation losing much of its functionality. If your heating bills seem to go up a bit more than you would expect every year, this may well be the problem.

Rats & mice are also a major problem for health reasons. They will defecate and urinate all over the attic & in walls. This introduces parasites, bacteria and other nasty microscopic creatures to the interior environment of your home.

Then there is rodent death. While rats have been blamed for spreading plagues from the beginning of time, we are talking about a different type of death in this case – a dead rat or mouse inside the walls of your home. The smell is legendary & suffocating, difficult to remove, and not something you would ever want to experience.

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Rats & Mice

Cotton Rats

Sigmodon hispidus (Say & Ord)

Deer Mice

Peromyscus maniculatus

House Mice

Mus musculus

Norway Rats

Rattus norvegicus

Roof Rats

Rattus rattus