About Rodents

Rodent infestations in our New Jersey and Pennsylvania homes are a common occurrence.    Besides being just a nuisance, rodents can carry ticks and fleas into our home that put us at increased risk of developing Lyme or other tick-related illness.  Their droppings carry disease and can trigger allergies or asthma in children. Their constant gnawing can damage areas of our home like our baseboards, insulation and more.  They are also known to gnaw on the electrical wires in our home and are believed to be the cause of up to 25% of unexplained house fires across the United States!

Rodents Common to Your New Jersey or Pennsylvania Home

The rodents most likely to invade in our service area are the house mouse, the Norway rat and the roof rat.

House Mouse:  The house mouse is known also as the common house mouse and domestic house mouse. Their body is small, pear shaped, and slender. They’re about 2 to 3 and a half inches long and average around 0.5 to 1 ounce in weight. These mice are generally grayish-brown and have a light cream color on their underside. Their tail is 3 to 4 inches long, semi-naked and longer than the head and body combined. These mice are found throughout the United States and south of the boreal forest in Canada.

The house mouse has a slightly pointed nose and small eyes that are somewhat protruding. These mice are color blind and can only recognize objects up to 10 feet away. Their ears are relatively large for its size. They hear very well in both sonic and ultrasonic ranges. Their gnaw pattern is less than 1/16th inch. House mice have whiskers on their face and guard hairs on the sides and back to help stay safely against walls, under objects, and in burrows, due to their poor eyesight. Whiskers are also used to detect motion and test surfaces before they step on them.

You are most likely to notice a mouse infestation in your home by finding their droppings.  The droppings from a house mouse are about 1/4 inch or less in length. Fresh droppings are soft and dark in color. A house mouse averages about 50 droppings per day. House mice are omnivores and eat seeds (preferred food), cereal grains, fruits, vegetables and meats. Mice frequent many feeding sites sometimes as often as 20 to 30 a day during their active period, eating small amounts of food from each site. They generally consume about 1/10 of an ounce of food daily. Water is not essential to their survival if the food they’re eating contains at least 16% moisture.

Norway Rats:  The Norway rat is also known as the brown rat, gray rat, common rat, house rat, wharf rat, sewer rat, barn rat, and water rat. Their body is heavy and thick and about 7 to 10 inches long with an average weight of 10 to 17 ounces. Their coloring is usually gray-brown but may vary from pure gray to blackish or reddish brown. Their underside is a gray to yellow-white. Norway rats are often completely black. Their tail is shorter than the head and body, at about 6 to 8.5 inches. The tail is dark on top with a lighter underside.

The Norway rat’s nose and muzzle is blunt and they have an acute sense of smell. Their eyes are small and they are color blind with poor eyesight. Norway rats have ears that are close to the body that do not cover the eyes if they are bent forward. Their teeth are capable of gnawing through weeds, lead, aluminum, copper, cinder blocks, and uncured concrete. Their gnaw pattern is one eight inch. Norway rats have whiskers on their face and guard hairs on their sides and black to help this animal with poor eyesight stay safety against walls, under objects, and in burrows. Whiskers are also used to detect motion and test surfaces before stepping on them.

Norway rats average about 30 to 180 droppings per day. Their droppings are about 2cm or less in length. Fresh droppings are soft and dark in color. Norway rats are omnivores and prefer meats, fish, flour, cereal grains, fruits, and vegetables. They eat almost any human food. Rats visit fewer food sites than mice, but actually eat more at each site. They consume about 3/4 to 1lb of food each day.

Roof rats:  Found throughout New Jersey, roof rats are known by other names as well, including Alexandrian Rat, Black Rat, Fruit Rat and Ship Rat. Their body is slender, about 6 to 8 inches long. Average weight is 6 to 12 ounces and their colors vary from black to a brownish-gray to white. Their tail is hairless and is longer than the head and the body. The tail is about 7.5 to 10 inches long. The tail has a uniform color throughout. Roof rats have a pointed nose and muzzle, with an acute sense of smell. Their eyes are large and prominent, but their eyesight is poor. Roof rats primarily see light, shadow, and movement. The gnaw pattern of rats is one eighth inch. Rats are able to gnaw through wood, lead, aluminum, copper, cinder block and uncured concrete.

The Roof rat’s whiskers on the face and guard hairs on the sides and back help an animal with poor eyesight stay safely against walls, under objects, and in burrows. Whiskers are also used to detect motion and test surfaces, e.g. glue traps before stepping on them.

Roof rat droppings have a pointed end and are almost one half inch (1cm) or less in length. Fresh droppings are soft and dark in color. A roof rat averages 30 to 180 droppings per day. Roof Rats are omnivores and consume seeds, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and grain. Rats visit fewer food sites than mice but must eat more at each site. Rats tend to consumes one half to 1 ounce of food daily and drink up to 1 oz of water daily.

Treating for Rodents

Removing rodents can be difficult and frustrating. A professional pest management company will identify nesting areas and feeding grounds and know how to completely eliminate them. Proper cleanup is also performed, ensuring that you and your family are safe from allergies, illness and possible future infestation.