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Rodents: The Four-Legged Pantry Pest

Rodents are one of the most common types of pests to find in the home. They are large and sometimes noisy, and they leave messes wherever they eat, travel or build their nests. Not only that, they often carry disease, damage personal property and raid pantry products. They’re big enough to be noticeable but small enough to fit through tiny holes, cracks and other entry points to access food and shelter.

Mice and rats are the primary types of rodents that infest homes. Their hair or fur is often dirty and greasy, which can leave marks that indicate their presence. They have sharp teeth and claws good for gnawing on and through various substances, and they can give birth to many young multiple times in a short period. These factors and more make them nuisances that are difficult to eradicate.

Whats the difference between Mice and Rats?


house mice


deer mice


Rats are larger than mice, ranging in size from 6-10 inches long (not including their tails). Rats are usually darker in color, from dark brown to black or mixtures of both. Their tails are hairless and scaly and are often just about as long as their bodies, and their snouts are typically more blunt or rounded than those of mice.


Mice are generally on the smaller end of the size spectrum. They are usually 2 ½ – 4 inches long, depending on breed and age, and their fur is typically a dusty gray or brown. They have furry tails and pointed snouts. The two main types of mice home and business owners encounter are:

  • House mice: 2 ½ – 3 ¾ inches long and gray with a cream-colored underbelly and large ears

  • Deer mice: 2 ¾ – 4 inches long and brown with white or light-colored undersides and small ears


Signs of Rodents

No matter their size or species, the signs that you have a rodent infestation are generally similar. They include:

  • Finding gnaw or bite marks on food products, storage containers, pipes, electrical wiring, and walls

  • Seeing greasy marks at the bottom of walls

  • Finding greasy pawprints on floors

  • Finding ⅛-¼ inch, rod-shaped fecal matter

  • Hearing rustling sounds in walls from rodents moving around or gnawing on something

  • Finding holes or gaps in a wall that look like they’ve been used or gnawed at by rodents

  • Seeing a rodent rushing to hide in a hole, burrow, or nest

  • Detecting the sour smell of rodent urine or feces


Rodent Health Risks:

Rodents are a danger to more than just your property—they’re also a danger to your health. Rats and mice can carry many diseases that are transmittable to humans through their fur or droppings and urine, such as:

  • Hantavirus

  • Rat bite fever

  • Typhus

  • Bubonic plague

  • Numerous parasites and worms

  • Bacteria-borne illnesses like salmonella


Additionally, rodent fur and waste are known to trigger allergies, and may cause health problems in those who are immunocompromised. To avoid these problems, keep your home as rodent-free as possible.

How to Get Rid of Rodents:

If you discover that you have a rodent issue in your home, you can try setting out traps to catch them, but this DIY technique is usually slow to work and won’t necessarily get rid of the source of the problem. It’s usually faster, more efficient, and more thorough to immediately contact a pest control company. At Bug Shockers Pest Control, we offer inspections and rodent control solutions, so contact us today with any rodent problems or questions that you may have! To learn more about what our rodent treatments look like click to learn more below.

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