The house mouse is the common mouse seen in both homes and businesses. The house mouse is gray
and weighs one half to one once. The body is three to four inches long and the tail is three to four inches long.
The muzzle is pointed, the ears are large, the eyes and body are small. Adult droppings are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and
rod-shaped with pointed ends. They are good climbers, jump 12 inches, and jump down from eight feet. House mice
easily squeeze through holes and gaps as small as 1/4 inch. They are very social in their behavior, very inquisitive
about things in their environment and ready to explore anything new. House mice prefer to nest in dark secluded areas
where there is little chance of disturbance, and in areas where nesting materials, such as paper, cardboard, attic insulation,
cotton, etc., are readily available. They nibble on food, preferring items such as seeds and cereals. They feed
at dusk and just before dawn. The major health risk associated with house mice are salmonella contamination and leptospirosis.
Signs of infestations are visual observations, droppings and rub marks. Within structures, house mice can be controlled
by using baited and unbaited snap traps and glue boards or anticoagulant rodenticides. When baiting indoors, these products
should be placed in tamper-proof bait stations and in areas which are inaccessible to children and pets.
There are two types of rats that are common to our area. They are the Roof
Rat, and most common, the Norway Rat.
The Norway Rat is the largest of the commensal rodents. The head and body are seven
to ten inches long and the tail is an additional six to eight inches. It has a stocky body and weighs seven to 18 ounces.
The fur is course, shaggy and brown with some black hairs. The muzzle is blunt, eyes and ears are small, and the tail,
which is bi-colored, is shorter than the head and body combined. Norway Rat droppings are up to 3/4 inch long with blunt
ends. rats are nocturnal. They are shy about new objects and very cautious when things in their environment and
along their established runs change. Norway rats prefer to nest in burrows in the soil; under sidewalks, concrete pads,
stream/river banks, railroad track beds, next to buildings, in low ground cover, etc. The burrows have one main entrance
and at least one escape hole. Rats easily enter buildings through 1/2 inch and larger gaps. In buildings, they
prefer to nest in the lower levels of the building: crawlspace, basement, loading dock and sewers. They prefer foods
such as meats, fish and cereals, and require a separate non-food water source. Rats also cause significant structural
damage and product destruction, and are associated with various diseases. The keys to a successful program to control
Norway Rats are, identification, sanitation, elimination of harborage and rodent proofing. Exclusion is a critical aspect
The roof rat is a commensal (living in close association
with humans) rodent. The head and body are six to eight inches long and the tail is an additional seven to ten inches.
It has a slight body which weighs five to nine ounces. The fur is soft, smooth, and brown in color. The muzzle
is pointed, eyes and ears are large, and the scaly tail, which is uniformly dark, is longer than the head and body combined.
Roof rat droppings are up to 1/2 inch long and spindle-shaped with pointed ends. Rats are nocturnal. Roof rats
easily enter buildings through holes as small as 1/2 inch. In buildings, they prefer to nest in the upper levels of
the building, and occasionally in basements and sewers. They prefer foods such as fruits,vegetables and cereals.
Their foraging range is 100 to 150 feet from their nest. Rats are associated with various diseases and
occasionally bite. Rats also cause significant structural damage and product destruction. The keys to a successful
program of rodent control are: identification, sanitation, elimination of harborage and rodent proofing. The inspection
should identify signs of infestation. Some signs are: gnaw marks, droppings, tracks, burrows, rib marks, runways, damaged
goods, etc. Sanitation consists of removing food, water and materials which provide harborage. Exclusion is a
critical aspect of rodent control.
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East Brunswick, NJ
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