Click on a species of rodents below to learn further information.


The word rodent come from the latin verb rodere, which means to gnaw. All rodents share insizzor teeth in common and they must gnaw on things regularly to prevent the teeth from growing to long and punturing their gums or lips. Rodents are known to chew through cars wiring, dry wall of a structures, soda lines in restaurants, and such. This and the fact that rodents are vectors for many diseases are some of the top reasons why it is considered a major pest.

The Species

There are three main rodents that are commonly found to be a nusance in pest control they are.
  • The Norway Rat Rattus norvegicus, commonly called barn, house, sewer, wharf, brown, or burrowing rat.
  • The Roof Rat Rattus rattus, (sub—species rattus, alexandrinus and frugivorous) commonly known as roof, tree, climbing, ship, black, or gray rat.
  • The House Mouse Mus musculus.

The Signs of an infestation

If it they are infesting your living space generally, rodents are messy. They leave behind chewed debris and fecal matter. You should see rodent droppings along walls and other rodent runways. Typically rodent droppings sould look like black rice if it's mice and they will look like black barley if it's rats. You might also notice a musky smell from the urine (this is stonger in male rodent urine). If the rodents are infesting a void area such as an attic or wall, you should hear acctivity especially during the night hours such as scratching, gnawing, or possibly even squeeking sounds. Also, if the areas is accessable you should see rodent droppings and burrows in the insulation if there is any.

General Rodent Information:
  • Sometimes rat droppings are confused for bat droppings. Bat droppings are thicker and have blunted ends. Bat droppings have a foul odor and can easily be crushed
  • The best way to describe the fresh fecal droppings of a rat is that they are glistening and soft.
  • A current rodent infestation is characterized by hard droppings, tracks, and a sweet musty odor.
  • If a homeowner notices a strong musty, urine—type odor near the bathtub and finds blunt droppings measuring 1/2"- 3/4" he is describing evidence that a Norway rat is nesting under the tub.
  • A Norway rat will travel 50 to 150 feet from its nest to forage for food and water.
  • In order to trap rodents the logical progression is to do an inspection, sanitize the facility, rodent proof the area, and then set traps.
  • The average size of an adult Norway rat fecal dropping is 3/4" with blunted ends.
  • Traps for rodents should be placed in rodent runways and the owner should be consulted for bait preference.
  • When placing snap traps for rats in a warehouse you should use a large number of unset traps initially so the rats get used to the new objects.
  • Roof rat activity in a warehouse where signs of grease marks or smudges on the beams are visible should be controlled by affixing rodent bait stations on top of the beams.
  • Perhaps the most ineffective place to place traps would be in a location where there are constant mechanical vibrations and noises.
  • Tamper-resistant bait stations should be placed in any location in the structure for controlling rodents with the exception of locations near pets and children.
  • Patching all the entry points of a structure would be a good integrated pest management measure to take following a rat treatment in a residence.
  • An effective method of excluding rats from a structure is to cover all entry points with 1/8" wire mesh. All openings of 1/2" or greater should be sealed with medium steel wool and mortar around pipes.
  • Black lights are used to reveal rodent urine during the inspection of commercial buildings.
  • If a consumer complains of hearing rodents in walls and attic areas two weeks after a home has been treated for rodents, the decline of bait consumption would indicate the need for a follow up treatment.
  • Anticoagulant rodenticides affect a rodent by interruption of clotting ability.
  • Zinc phosphate is a good rodenticide to use that acts as an acute poison.
  • Bait stations for rats should be placed every 30 feet.
  • Mice are very cautious, drink water daily, and will typically forage 20 feet for food and water.
  • Mice have 1/8" rod shaped droppings with pointed ends.
  • 1/4" maximum sized openings will exclude mice from a structure. Mouse proofing should include sealing all holes 1/4" or larger in diameter and cover vents with 1/4" mesh.
  • Since dead mice cause disagreeable odors and attract insects an operator using mechanical, wind-up mu1tiple-catch traps should regularly check for mice activity.
  • If an infestation of mice exists, but the number of mice trapped has decreased then the operator should monitor the infestation less frequently.
  • An effective way to monitor the consumption of rodent bait placed in stations is by checking once per week and relocating bait after three weeks if undisturbed. ·
  • Rodenticides should be removed after the termination of the service.
  • It is crucial that rodent baits are kept away from any exposure to non-target species.
  • Moles are vertebrate pests that can inhabit an inaccessible wall void where bathtub plumbing lines penetrate through a concrete slab floor.

Click on a species of pest below to learn further information.