Rodent Identification Guide

What are rodents?

Rodents are mammals and part of the order Rodentia – derived from the Latin word “rodere,” which means “to gnaw.” All rodents in New Haven, no matter their size or species, have continuously growing front incisors. In order to prevent these teeth from overgrowing and preventing them from being able to eat, rodents gnaw on anything they come across.

Field mice, Norway rats, and white-footed mice are three of the most common species of rodents living throughout our area of Connecticut:

Field mice
Field mice have small, stocky bodies covered in coarse, brown fur with a light gray coat covering their underbellies. They also have blunt noses and short ears, and they are prolific breeders.

Norway rats
Norway rats have dense, heavy bodies covered in shaggy, brown or gray fur. Their underbellies are a lighter color and their long, scaly tails are hairless.

White-footed mice
White-footed mice have reddish-brown fur on their backs and sides, with a dark stripe that runs down their backs from head to tail. Their underbellies and legs are white, and they have large, prominent ears covered in tufts of fur.

Are rodents dangerous?

Mice and rats are dangerous pests that damage property and transmit diseases that make people ill. When mice and rats get inside, they contaminate food and surfaces with their excrement and saliva. They will chew through drywall, pipes, wires, and flooring; these chewing habits can trigger fires and electrical shorts. Due to their poor eyesight, rats leave grease marks on walls and furniture as they follow the same path from their nest to a food source each day. The white-footed mouse is the biggest carrier of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, transmitted to people and animals by the deer tick. They also spread a variety of other bacteria and viruses including Hantavirus.

Why do I have a rodent problem?

Rodent infestations occur because our homes, businesses, and yards are providing them with food, water, and shelter. Factors that regularly attract rodents to properties include birdbaths, bird feeders, pet food, compost bins, trash cans, gardens, and outdoor eating areas. Once rodents have discovered food on your property, they will keep returning and eventually find their way inside through gaps in exterior walls. Rats only need a space the diameter of a nickel to squeeze through – and mice, the diameter of a pencil. While rodents will enter homes and other buildings any time of year, the late fall and winter months are when they are actively seeking warm shelter indoors.

Where will I find rodents?

Outside, rodents nest and hide in a variety of secluded locations that are often very near homes and other structures. Fields, parks, gardens, meadows, and wooded areas are all places rodent call home. Outside, they nest in areas along riverbanks or ponds, tall grasses, along fence lines, in tree stumps, under fallen trees, and underneath wood or rock piles. Inside, they also choose secluded locations like behind large appliances, under floors, behind walls, in crawlspaces, and the cabinets under sinks.

How do I get rid of rodents?

Here at Connecticut Pest Elimination, our dedicated and licensed pest technicians provide the comprehensive home pest management needed to eliminate rodents and other common pests and keep them from returning! Guard your home or business against pests with the help of a local, full-service pest control company with over 27 years of experience. For more information about our residential and commercial pest control services, reach out to Connecticut Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent rodents in the future?

In addition to our rodent control services, the following prevention tips will help you to avoid problems with rodents here in Connecticut:

  • Remove fallen trees, stumps, and excess woodpiles from your home or business.
  • Remove any vegetation that is growing against your foundation.
  • Make sure outdoor eating areas are free of food debris.
  • Pick up fallen fruits and vegetables in garden areas.
  • Place tight-fitting caps on chimneys.
  • Remove bird feeders from your yard.
  • Fix damaged roof eaves using wire mesh to seal gaps.
  • Cut tree branches away from the exterior of your property.
  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins.
  • Keep grass cut short and cut back overgrown vegetation back from your property line.
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