Of all the species of mice and rats, there are only a handful that want to live in your house. And in winter, they are even more motivated. If you're hearing them knocking around in the walls, it might be time to get familiar with what threats they may pose to your family.
The House Mouse
The most common rodent you will find in your home in any of the continental United States is the house mouse. This mouse prefers to nest in secluded areas, like attic crawl spaces, basements, sheds, and wall voids. House mice hide in clutter so it is important to keep attics and storage areas clutter free. These rodents are good climbers and can leap a foot into the air. This makes them a particular menace in homes where they spread disease and contaminate food.
The Deer Mouse
Deer mice can be found in every state and prefer rural areas. They can be found in fence posts, tree hollows, log piles, and human dwellings. Like all rodents, deer mice chew on paper, wood, and wires when in a home. And, they pose a significant health hazard, because they are the most common carrier of the Hantavirus.
The Norway Rat
Found all across the United States, Norway rats are nocturnal creatures that burrow in garbage or under concrete slabs. In the fall, Norway rats seek shelter in human dwellings to escape the cold and can be found in undisturbed areas. These rats do a considerable amount of property damage with their gnawing, and are considered a fire hazard. They are also linked to the spread of diseases like the plague, jaundice, cowpox virus, and more.
The Roof Rat
Possibly of Southeast Asian origin, roof rats can now be found in coastal states and the southern parts of the United States. These rats nest in the upper parts of structures and can be found in trees. Historically, roof rats can be linked to the spread of the bubonic plague, but in modern times Typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis and salmonellosis are more common.
If you find rodents in your home, contact a professional pest control company to have them removed. None of these four rodents are good to have in your house. With modern pest management, you can keep these dirty foragers out.