Rodents Pest Control

Do you have signs of a rodent infestation in your home? Leave it to the professionals at Betts Pest Control. Therefore, we can handle any size of infestation you may have in your home or business. In addition, we can inspect for signs of a rodent infestation before an outbreak.

Contact us immediately if you think you have a rodent infestation. Below are the most common mice we see in homes around Kansas.

House Mouse - Betts Pest Control - Rodent Pest Control

House Mouse

Appearance
House mice are covered in short hair that is light brown or gray to black in color, with lighter bellies. Their ears and tail also bear hair, although much less than their bodies. Adult mice weigh approximately 12 to 30 grams and can grow up to 20 cm from the nose to the tip of the tail. Droppings are rod-shaped and pointed on both ends.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Normally, the house mouse makes its home in farm fields, grassy and wooded areas. They build their nests in areas that are dark and protected from the elements and close to a readily available food source.

Very inquisitive in nature, the house mouse will spend the day roaming its territory, exploring anything new or out of the ordinary. When available, the house mouse prefers seeds and nuts in its diet, but this opportunistic feeder will eat almost anything available.

When the temperatures outside begin to drop, house mice begin searching for a warmer place to live. This is because mice don’t hibernate. In addition, mice are often attracted by the smell of food and the warmth of a structure. The house mouse can use any opening, such as utility lines, pipe openings, and gaps beneath doors, to gain entry into a home.

Signs of Infestation

  • Sightings – Although more commonly active in the evening, it is possible to see a house mouse roaming in your home during the day. Most often these animals are spotted scurrying along walls or running from a normally undisturbed hiding place.
  • Droppings – Where there are mice, there are droppings. These small pellets are commonly found anywhere the animals have visited or traveled. Approximately 3 to 6 mm long, the droppings may be rod shaped with pointed ends. People may confuse house mouse droppings with those of the American cockroach. Even though the general size and appearance of these droppings are similar, mouse droppings usually have hair embedded in them from where the mice have groomed themselves. Roach droppings also are not pointed and usually have ridges running down the sides.
  • Footprints – As mice explore their territories, they often leave behind footprints or tracks on surfaces. The distinct pattern of a four-toed front foot and a five-toed back footprint are a clear sign that a mouse has passed by.
  • Gnawing/Chewing – House mice are known for their ability to chew on a wide variety of items. In most cases, shavings and a fresh accumulation of debris is often the first indication of damage. Teeth and gnaw marks can also be found along the edges of frequently traveled routes, on the corners of objects or creating openings into an area.
  • Burrows/Tunnels – House mice tend to build nests in material that provides a dark and protective environment, such as insulation and other soft materials. These nests are often characterized by openings or tunnels that are free of dust and cobwebs. Although, they may be littered with droppings.
  • Sounds – During the evening hours, especially when it is dark and quiet, these small animals can often be heard gnawing and scratching within the walls, running across the ceiling and possibly squeaking.
  • Odor – House mouse urine plays an important role in communicating with other rodents. Oftentimes, rodents will mark an area to attract females or warn off other males. A distinct odor may become noticeable in an area with a large rodent population or when rodents have been present for a long period of time.

Norway Rat - Betts Pest Control - Rodent Pest Control

Norway Rat/Sewer Rat

Appearance
Norway rats are large rodents that may weigh in excess of 500 grams. They can reach lengths of 40 cm, and their tails alone may measure 21 cm. The body of the Norway rat is covered in shaggy fur that is brown or gray in color. The ears and tail are covered in scales, and the tail is shorter than the head and body. Lastly, their droppings are capsule-shaped.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Norway rats typically nest in underground burrows from which they enter buildings in search of food. They tend to remain in hiding during the day.

Norway rats are omnivorous and feed on a variety of food sources. If given the choice, they will consume meats, fruits, grains and nuts. Dead animals also serve as a food source for these rats, and they are capable of catching small fish and rodents. They require water to drink, and they make their colony as close to a water source as possible. Norway rats live in communities with dominant and subordinate members, though they are not truly social like ants.

Signs of Infestation
Norway rats are not usually seen exposed unless driven out of their hiding spaces because of limited space or disturbances. Sightings during the day often indicate a potentially large infestations. In addition, outdoor burrows surrounding the building may be an indication of Norway rat nesting.

Other signs of Norway rats are their gnaw marks on food and objects such as utility lines. Rub marks or grease stains caused by rats running along an edge also can indicate activity. In general, the darker the stain, the greater the activity. Perhaps one of the most well-known signs is their droppings. Norway rat droppings are blunt and 18 to 20 cm long. They can be scattered along frequently traveled rodent pathways.

Roof Rat - Betts Pest Control - Rodent Pest Control

Roof Rat

Appearance
Black or brown, can be over 40 cm long, with a long tail, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose. Body is smaller and sleeker than the Norway rat’s and their fur is smooth.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Nests inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood. Excellent climber that can often be found in the upper parts of structures. Roof rats are highly adaptable. They prefer to live in high places, but may live in a variety of environments. They are nocturnal by nature and are accomplished climbers. As their name suggests, roof rats may be found in elevated areas such as trees, rafters, attics and roofs. Although, roof rats can also nest on the ground if necessary.

In dense populations, roof rats will establish a social hierarchy, wherein dominant males mate more than subordinate males.

They prefer to consume fruits (sometimes referred to as the “fruit rat” or “citrus rat”) and nuts. Although, roof rats are omnivorous and will feed on almost anything available to them. These rodents have been known to consume tree bark, meat and grain. Roof rats are also food hoarders, stashing supplies of food such as seeds and nuts.

Reproduction
Becomes sexually mature between two and five months, producing four to six litters per year that consist of six to eight young each. Lives up to one year. Roof rats are prodigious breeders. Females can breed year-round. Within a year, one female may be responsible for up to 40 new rodents.

Signs of Infestation

  • Visual sightings of live or dead rodents indicate rodent activity. If roof rats are seen exposed, it often indicates their hiding spaces are all filled by other rats or that they have been disturbed, such as by construction.
  • Droppings are another good indicator of roof rat activity. Roof rat droppings are 12 to 13 mm with pointed ends, whereas Norway rat droppings are 18 to 20 mm and capsule shaped. 
  • Other indicators can include grease marks along surfaces as well as nests. Grease marks are produced as the rodent travels along an edge, and the oils in their fur are deposited. Lastly, Indoor nests usually are constructed in insulation such as in attics.