You’ve heard the phrase about hearing the bump in the night… well, here in Southern Utah that’s a real thing! We don’t have many ghosts and ghouls in our walls and attics, we have rodents! The mice and rats get in and build themselves nice cozy little nests in the walls of our homes and settle in until you kick them out!
I have a lot of people asking what type of rodent they have in or around their home. Southern Utah is plagued with many different types of rodents. Some are lawyers (looking at you Matthew, Leesa, and Adam), but mostly rats and mice.
I are talking about field mice, house mice, Norway rats, pack rats, and roof rats. Lets take them one at a time.
What are field mice?
The field mouse is a cousin to the rat and the two share certain attributes. For instance, the coloring of these rodents are similar, blacks browns and whites, although more commonly mice will be more white or gray than others. Field mice do not share the large front teeth of rats and their claws are much smaller. The tail is usually as long as the body and is completely hairless. It has extremely small, but sharp claws attached to its stubby little legs.
What are House mice?
The house mouse is a small mammal of the order Rodentia, characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long naked or almost hairless tail. It is one of the most numerous species of the genus Mus.
What are Norway rats?
The Norway rat is a stocky burrowing rodent, unintentionally introduced into North America by settlers who arrived on ships from Europe. Also called the brown rat, house rat, barn rat, sewer rat, gray rat, or wharf rat, it is a slightly larger animal than the roof rat. Adult Norway rats weigh an average of 1 pound. Their fur is coarse and usually brownish or reddish gray above and whitish gray on the belly. Blackish individuals occur in some locations.
What are Pack rats?
The pack rat, rodent of the genus Neotoma, of North and Central America, noted for its habit of collecting bright, shiny objects and leaving other objects, such as nuts or pebbles, in their place; also called trade rat or wood rat. Most common in the southern and western parts of the United States, but found as far south as Nicaragua, the pack rat stores the objects it collects to decorate its nest. The rodent may reach a length of 18 in. (45.7 cm) including tail, has soft brown fur, and resembles a squirrel with large ears. It eats nuts, berries, seeds, twigs, and roots. Its nest is a large stick structure built in a sheltered area. The desert species adorns its nest with bits of cactus, turning it into an impenetrable fortress. A litter is born after a gestation period of 33 to 39 days and contains from two to six young. Pack rats are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Cricetidae.
What are Roof rats?
The roof rat is dark brown to black in color and measures 13 to 18 inches in length including tail. They weigh 5-9 ounces, are slender, and their ears are large and nearly hairless. Their droppings are long and cylindrical.
So, there you have it, a quick rundown of the different types of mice and rats that you will most likely see in or around your home here in Southern Utah. I had someone once ask me, “how many mice does it take to have an infestation?”, the answer… ONE!!! Rodents reproduce at an alarming rate. If you are hearing that bump in the night and suspect rodent activity I would recommend talking with a professional pest control company before you are overrun with them.
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