What Species Of Rodents Are In My Home?

Image of rodents in floor board

If residents are hearing noises in the attic or movement in the walls, you’re probably dealing with one of America’s most common uninvited visitors: rodents.

Rodents are a particularly destructive pest because they have prominent front incisors, which have evolved over time for gnawing to get at food and building materials. Infestations can quickly spiral out of control due to rodents’ ability to reproduce quickly, making proper prevention essential. Below are the most common rat, mice, and squirrel species that invade human homes.

Learn More: Common Questions Rodent Prevention

Norway Rat

Norway rats have a bristly brown coat with black hairs scattered throughout. Their undersides are lighter in color, ranging from gray to off-white and even yellow. The eyes and ears of Norway rats are small, and their tails are shorter than the combined length of their head and body.

There are several signs that a home is infested with Norway rats. Gnaw marks can be found all over the house, indicating the presence of Norway rats. New bite marks or holes are rough, whereas older bite marks or holes are smooth from wear and often greasy. Another sign of a Norway rat infestation is the presence of capsule-shaped droppings. The droppings of Norway rats have blunt ends, whereas those of roof rats have pointed ends. Footprints, greasy and dark rub marks from oily fur against pathways, burrows, runways with stacked food, and damaged or rummaged-through food products are other telltale signs.

Roof Rat

Roof rats are commonly known as ship rats or black rats. The roof rat gets its name because it prefers to live on the upper floors of buildings. Roof rats, once inside, gnaw through materials, contaminate stored food, and serve as vectors for dangerous diseases.

First and foremost, seeing a live or dead rodent is a blatant sign of a possible roof rat infestation. The presence of droppings around the house is another common sign of a roof rat infestation. Roof rat droppings are soft and moist when they are new but hard and dried when they are old.

Deer Mouse

The deer mouse, also known as the white-footed mouse, is North America’s most abundant and widely distributed mammal. Deer mice belong to a large species group and are excellent jumpers and runners who got their name from their agility.

Deer mice can enter many buildings due to their small size, and they frequently do so in vacated homes, cabins, and other structures where they build nests and store food. Deer mice wreak havoc on upholstered furniture, mattresses, clothing, paper, and other materials that they find suitable for nesting. Deer mice leave nests, droppings, and other signs similar to those left by house mice. On the other hand, Deer mice have a much higher proclivity for storing food supplies such as acorns, seeds, or nuts than house mice.

House Mouse

In the United States, the house mouse is one of the most troublesome and economically significant pests. House mice can survive and thrive in a variety of environments, including homes and farms. House mice eat food that is intended for humans or pets. House mice feces often contaminates food-preparation surfaces and spreads diseases (salmonellosis) to humans. Their constant gnawing can cause property and structure damage if allowed to remain in the home.


Squirrels rip up insulation, paper products, linens, and fabrics in search of nesting materials. Their nests expand as the rest of your attic is ripped apart. The damage squirrels cause to attics can lead to a slew of other issues. Drafts, other nuisance wildlife problems, and even safety concerns can all be caused by damaged insulation. They’re essentially converting your home into their own.

Squirrels have a habit of getting into homes through the tiniest of holes, damaged areas, or any other small opening. They’ll chew their way in, and once they’re in, they’ll rarely be able to get out. They will then chew on insulation and electrical wires, build nests, and leave urine and feces wherever they go, causing significant damage. Regardless of whether it’s because of the noise, the damage, or the odor, the squirrels must be removed. Squirrel problems can be solved with the help of a professional nuisance animal control company.

How Identify Which Rodent Species Is In Your Home?

Without physically seeing the rodents, it will be extremely difficult for residents to identify which rodents they are dealing with. An inspection conducted by rodent removal experts will identify what rodent has infested your home and offer a detailed plan that is best suited to remove that specific rodent. Contact Animals Happen to schedule a rodent inspection!