Rodents

Rodents occupying your living space are more than just a nuisance. They cause damage to property by penetrating the outside of your structure and can even gnaw through electrical wires causing major concerns for the safety of the homeowner. However, more importantly they can contaminate stored food and are disease carriers spreading disease like the plague, typhus, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and hantavirus to name a few.

Controlling a rodent infestation can be complex and a multi-tiered approach must be applied to eradicate the problem. Your Apex technician will inspect your structure to identify the level of infestation, suggest or implement corrective action plans, and place the proper control measures to eliminate your problem fast. Call Apex today and take back your home!!

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Rodent Identification

Stopping a pest problem before it becomes an infestation is important, especially when it comes to rodents. The first step to ending a pest problem is identification. The house mouse, deer mouse and Norway rat are common rodent pests you may encounter.

House Mouse

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Brownish to dark gray above with lighter gray or cream color underneath (never white)
  • Legs: 4
  • Size: Approximately 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 inches with tail length of 2 3/4 – 4 inches
  • Identifying Characteristics: Moderately large ears; short, broad feet; small eyes; nearly hairless tail; pointed muzzle

Characteristics of this rodent:

  • Droppings average 1/4 inch in size, rod-shaped and with pointed ends. Fresh droppings are dark and soft, while older droppings may be dull and hard. Can average about 50 droppings per day
  • Prolific breeders. Under ideal conditions, the each female house mouse may produce as many as ten liters (about 50 young) in a year. They are sexually mature in little over a month
  • Mice are very social, but are territorial. They can show aggression to those that enter their territory
  • Have poor vision and are colorblind. They have keen sense of smell, taste, touch and hearing, as well as a great sense of balance
  • The house mouse searches for food high in fat and protein. This includes lard, butter, nuts, bacon, meats, sweets, and chocolate. Mice get most of their water from the food they consume, but will drink if water is readily available
  • Other attributes: great jumpers; can run up walls if surface is rough; can squeeze into openings ¼ inch in size; capable swimmers; can survive a constant 23 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 generations
  • One pair of mice can eat 4 pounds of food, deposit about 18,000 droppings, and void about 12 ounces of urine over a 6-month period of time. They contaminate 10 times the amount of food compared to what they eat

Deer Mouse

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Pale grayish-buff to reddish brown above and white underneath
  • Legs: 4
  • Size: 2 3/4 to 4 inches with tail length of 2 to 5 inches
  • Identifying Characteristics: In comparison to the house mouse, deer mice have larger eyes and ears, deemed to be better-looking, and lack the mousy odor

Characteristics of this rodent:

  • Droppings average 1/4 inch in size, rod-shaped and with pointed ends. Fresh droppings are dark and soft, while older droppings may be dull and hard. Can average about 50 droppings per day
  • The female deer mouse can produce 2 to 4 liters or more per year, with 3 to 5 per litter
  • Mice are very social, but are territorial. They can show aggression to those that enter their territory. They will travel over their territory daily, which consists of no more than 30 feet from their nesting site. They do not fear new objects in their environment and will explore their curiosity
  • Have poor vision and are colorblind. They have keen sense of smell, taste, touch and hearing, as well as a great sense of balance
  • Mice get most of their water from the food they consume, but will drink if water is readily available. The deer mouse prefers seeds, nuts, acorns, fruits, insects, insect larvae, fungi, and possibly some green vegetation
  • Other attributes: great jumpers; can run up walls if surface is rough; can squeeze into openings ¼ inch in size; capable swimmers; can survive a constant 23 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 generations
  • One pair of mice can eat 4 pounds of food, deposit about 18,000 droppings, and void about 12 ounces of urine over a 6-month period of time. They contaminate 10 times the amount of food compared to what they eat

Norway Rat

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Fur is coarse, shaggy, with mainly brown hair and some scattered black hairs
  • Legs: 4
  • Size: Adults measure 7 to 9 inches in length, with a 6 to 8 inch tail
  • Identifying Characteristics: Possess small eyes and ears; blunt muzzle

Characteristics of this rodent:

  • Droppings average 3/4 inch in size, capsule-shaped and have 1 blunt end. Fresh droppings are black or nearly black. They may look wet and have the texture of putty. Older droppings may become dry, hard, and appear dull. Can average about 30-180 droppings per day and 3 oz. of urine
  • Prolific breeders. Under ideal conditions, the each female rat may produce as many as 3 to 6 liters (about 20 young) in a year. They are sexually mature in 2 to 5 months. The female rat lives longer than the male rat, with the average life span between 6 and 12 months
  • Rats are social animals and live in colonies. They are territorial and have a “pecking order” of dominance. Rats are aggressive and will vigorously defend territory and young. Rats commonly travel 100 to 150 feet from their nests looking for food and water and patrolling their territory. They are neophobic, as they are wary of anything new in their territory. New objects will be avoided until they become familiar with them
  • Have poor vision. They have keen sense of smell, taste, touch and hearing, as well as a great sense of balance
  • Rats prefer protein-based foods. This includes meat, fish, insects, pet foods, nuts, grain, and household garbage. Rats need water every day. Rats need 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce per day, although this amount will vary depending on the moisture content of their food
  • Other attributes: can jump 3 ft. straight up or 4 ft. horizontally; climb inside pipes 1 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter; gnaw constantly; swim 1/2 mile in open water, tread water for three days, swim against a strong current in a sewer line, and dive through a sewer trap to come up inside your toilet; can fall 50 feet and survive
  • It is estimated that rats destroy 20% of the world’s food supply every year by direct feeding or indirect contamination