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Rodents: information and resources

With 2,277 species, rodents account for 41% of the known mammals. They are a very diverse group in both size and habitat. All species of rodents have large incisors that continuously grow, which requires them to chew and gnaw on things to control the growth.

Finding rodents, like mice and rats, on your property is not ideal. With Ehrlich, your Technician will conduct a thorough property inspection to find any rodent hiding spaces and decide on a treatment plan to eliminate them. However, knowing what type of rodent you are dealing with is key to deciding on the perfect rodent control method.

Rodent identification

  • Size: 1” - 15”
  • Color: Range from light to dark brown, gray, or black
  • Body: Strong, robust bodies with shorter limbs and long tails
Rodent identification

Rodent species of concern

Rats and mice are some of the most common rodents that cause problems in both commercial and residential properties. Below are the five rodent species that are considered major pests in the eastern United States.

Black rat

Black rats (Rattus rattus) are often referred to as roof rats and are talented climbers. They are found in many coastal areas in the southeastern United States.

Brown rat

Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), or sewer rats, live on the ground or in burrows. They can climb and are found almost everywhere humans inhabit.

House mouse

House mice (Mus musculus) are very common throughout the United States and prefer to live in and around human structures.

Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are commonly known as field mice. They can survive in many different habitats and they only come out at night to find food.

White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) are mainly found in heavily wooded areas. Indoors, you may find them in attics, chimneys, and basements.

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Rodent control

Seeing rodents in your home? Find out how we control rodents.

What you need to know about rodents


Though the average lifespan for a rodent is one to three years, rodents are notorious breeders. It only takes about a few weeks for a female mouse or rat to produce a litter. Mice can produce anywhere from five to 12 mouse pups per litter and have five to 10 litters per year. Rats can produce up to six litters with five to 12 rat pups. Once born, a female mouse can restart the lifecycle at six weeks and a female rat can reproduce at five weeks.


A rodent's nest will vary depending on the species. Some rats, like the black rat, prefer to climb and nest up high or in a tree, while the brown rat typically prefers to nest on the ground in burrows. Some rodents will nest indoors, while others will build their nests outside. House mice will nest just about anywhere.

No matter the location, a rodent's nest will be filled with various shredded materials, such as paper or cardboard, and will be covered in their droppings and hair.


Rodents eat a variety of foods. Rats will eat anything from carcasses and meats to fruits to anything in a garbage bin. Mice are omnivores, so a mouse will eat just about anything you leave out in your home, including meats, cereals, rice, fruit, seeds, etc.


Rodents can spread a lot of diseases and pose many health risks to humans. Some diseases mice and rats can spread are:

Frequently asked questions

How do you get rid of rodents?

The best way to get rid of rodents is exclusion. Exclusion involves sealing any openings, cracks, or crevices in your home’s foundation or on the roof that mice and rats may use to gain entry into your home. You should also keep vegetation trimmed away from your home to eliminate one of their methods of coming indoors.

How do you know if you have a mouse nest?

Mice build their nests in lofts, suspended ceilings, wall voids, under floorboards, near kitchen appliances, and in cabinets. If you have a mouse nest, you may find a lot of shredded materials, like paper, insulations, or cardboard, as they’ll use these items to line your nests. Also, you may find a lot of mouse droppings.

What attracts mice to your house?

Plain and simple: food and shelter. Mice don’t need too much to survive and can go a few days without water. They come indoors in search of something to eat and somewhere to keep them warm.

What should you do if you find a rat's nest?

Rats can breed really fast, so finding one rat can soon turn into an infestation if it is not removed. If you find a rat’s nest, assume that there may be more and contact a professional pest control company like Ehrlich Pest Control for help.

Do rats bite people?

Rats have incredibly large teeth for gnawing on things, but they will typically only use their teeth to bite humans if they feel threatened. A rat bite will usually bleed and can leave one or multiple wounds. If you are bitten by a rat, contact your doctor immediately as infected rats can transmit many diseases.

Ehrlich gets rid of rodents

Ehrlich Pest Control has been helping property owners get rid of rodents for a long time now. Ehrlich Pest Control specialists can conduct a thorough property inspection to find the rodent hiding spaces and get rid of rodents through a variety of treatment methods. The first step to a rodent-free property is to contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office and set up a property inspection. Call us today!

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