Rodent identification guide | Western Exterminator

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on September 10th, 2019

If you have seen something that looks like a rodent in your house or on your property, you may wonder exactly what kind of pest you just saw. Was it a mouse? Rat? Gopher? Mole? Vole? Something else? Each rodent can become a nuisance pest, but only a few of them pose real health risks to people.

Western Exterminator specialists understand that rodents can be upsetting to property owners. We know that there are a variety of rodents in homes that can cause damage from the backyard to the house itself. We can help you figure out which rodent is invading your space, offer a rodent removal program and prevention plans to stop them from coming back.

If you think you have a rodent problem on your property then contact your local Western Exterminator office today.

There are a number of different species of mice, but some of the most common found around and inside homes in the Western United States include the house mouse and deer mouse. In general, mice share some of these same characteristics.

In general, mice are much smaller than rats and other rodents. Their tails often have hair on them, unlike a rat's tail. They tend to have relatively short noses and tiny black eyes. Some of them are one color on top and with a white underbelly.

Mice droppings look different from rat droppings. They are smaller and have pointed ends and are shaped like a rod.

Mice tend to leave feces and urine behind. They also tear up soft things like cushions and the inside of furniture to make their nests. Mice also will chew through plastic to get to bread and eat other food found in pantries and cupboards.

Rats have been plaguing humans for a long time. They were blamed for the Black Plague during the Middle Ages and there have been numerous diseases attributed to them. There are a number of species of rats in the world, but in the Western United States, the most common are the Norway Rat and Roof Rat. Rats share the following characteristics:

Rats are infamous for having very long, hairless tails. For some rats, their tails are as long as their body.

Rats have very large teeth and, in general, they are larger than mice. Their teeth constantly grow and they are forced to chew on things to keep them from growing out of control. As such, rats chew on just about anything, including wood, drywall and other substances found around a home.

Rat droppings are often found around a home with a rat infestation and they tend to be about 20mm long and capsule-shaped.

It might be hard to spot moles around your property, but you are likely to notice the damage they do to lawns and landscaping. Moles burrow through the ground as their entire body is built for them to move underground, creating tunnels as they go. You might see the raised ridges indicating a mole infestation or a mound of earth composed of loose soil.

There are several species of mole, but the common characteristics include:

One of the most obvious characteristics of a mole is that they appear not to have eyes. That's not true, they do, but since they spend most of their time underground, their eyes are not very effective. Mole s also have very large front paws ending in sharp claws that help pull them through their tunnels and for digging.

Voles are small rodents who burrow underground and create tunnels in yards around properties. The tunnels they leave behind often get them confused with moles, but their overall appearance often get them confused with mice. Voles will leave behind trails similar to that of moles and also eat garden plants and vegetables. Voles share the following characteristics:

Voles look a lot like mice and are often given the name field mice because of their nature to be abundant in fields near residential areas. Voles are generally stocky in shape with short snouts and shorter tails than mice or rats. Their snouts are blunted rather than pointed and have small, round, ears that may even be hard to see against the fur on their head.

The benefit of using Western Exterminator to get rid of your rodent problems is that our experts train to know the signs of rodent infestations. We know the difference between moles, voles and gophers. We can spot the difference between damage caused by rats and those caused by mice.

At Western Exterminator, our pest specialists will identify the rodent infestation and work to fully remove the rodent causing the damage, including their nests. Then we provide follow up treatments and offer advice to prevent a return infestation. Our approach can end up saving property owners money on costly repairs.

Contact your local Western Exterminator office today to discuss your rodent problem with one of our experts.

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Rodent identification guide | Western Exterminator

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