Mice and Rats

Deer mouse

House mouse

The house mouse, with the exception of humans, is the most wide spread mammal on the face of the earth. They build their nests near their food source, which can be in a wall, attic, or basement near food sources. This can be cereal products, dog food, bird seed, etc. They are capable of significant damage due to their habit of chewing holes in walls, chewing on wires, and contaminating food with their urine and fecal droppings. They can cause major damage if they get into computer centers. Mice can survive without liquid water, but will drink it if it is available. House mice are mostly restricted to buildings, but in the fall, field mice, such as the deer mouse, will enter buildings for the winter. The mouse is the usual culprit when someone in suburbia starts hearing scratching in the walls or seeing droppings around that resemble black grains of rice. Deer mouse droppings have been associated with Hantavirus, a potentially fatal respiratory disease. However, the disease is not known to have occured in Connecticut. Cleanup of their droppings, if significant, should be left to professionals.

Typical mouse droppings &
urine stains, along with chewed up insulation, in an attic

Norway rat

The Norway rat, 8-12 inches long, not counting the tail, can infest buildings, or have burrows outside in the ground usually under shrubs. The burrows have a main entrance and several "bolt holes" which are used for escape. Like mice, they can cause significant damage from their urine, droppings, and chewing habits. Rats need liquid water in order to survive. They feed on cereal grains, meats, fish, livestock feed, bird seed, and fresh fruit. Never put meat leftovers in a compost pile, because it will attract rats. Rats are "neophobic", meaning they are extremely wary of anything new in their environment, which makes it difficult to trap or poison them, until they get used to those being there. They approach new food with caution and taste it. If it doesn't taste good or makes them sick they will not touch it again.

Rat burrows under front stoop of house

Video of a rat job

The pictures below are from an unoccupied home that had become seriously infested with rats.

Sebum, a stain from fur oils, left by rats as they move back and forth.

Telephone keypad that was chewed by a rat!