House mice eat many types of food but prefer seeds and grain. They are not hesitant to eat new foods and are considered “nibblers,” sampling many kinds of items that may exist in their environment. Foods high in fat, protein, or sugar may be preferred even when grain and seed are present. Such items include bacon, chocolate candies, butter, and nutmeats that are all found very easily within our homes and businesses.
Among the diseases mice or their parasites may transmit to humans are salmonellosis (food poisoning), rickettsialpox, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. Mice may also carry leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, tapeworms, and organisms that can cause ringworm (a fungal skin disease) in humans. They have also been found to act as reservoirs or transmitters of diseases of veterinary importance, such as swine dysentery, a serious bacterial disease of swine often called “bloody scours.”
At times they may be found living far from human settlements, particularly where climates are moderate. The onset of cold weather each fall in temperate regions may cause mice to move into structures in search of shelter and food.
A female may have 5 to 10 litters per year giving birth to up to 12 babies (pups) every 3 weeks. Mouse populations can, therefore, grow rapidly under good conditions, the reason why they are more common inside during the colder months.
We will also leave you with a comprehensive report and recommendations on housekeeping, proofing, and exclusion to help eradicate and control mice.
Rats are fairly opportunistic feeders. They will feed on an array of items from carcasses to fallen fruit. Human environments provide them an abundance of resources. Particular species of rats may have a tendency for certain foods. Norway rats often prefer foods high in protein such as meat scraps or pet food. Roof rats usually prefer fruit, which is why people often refer to them as fruit rats. They may be attracted to areas with fruit trees. When living near humans, the availability of foods will drive a rodent’s habits as rats will eat about 10 percent of their body weight every day and will inhabit your home for food, water, and shelter. They often will travel outdoors and indoors searching for nutrition. They can take advantage of many food sources such as garbage cans, open containers of food, pet food bowls, and they will even cannibalize their own dead. Homeowners should try to eliminate or minimize the abundance of rodent food sources.
As is implied by their name, roof rats prefer arboreal habitats. They live in yucca, palm and cypress trees, as well as in elevated areas of human homes. Roof rats can be found living in attics, rafters, eaves and on roofs. They may also choose to nest in non-arboreal vegetation, such as shrubs, honeysuckle, and tall grasses.
Females of breeding age come into heat all year round, every 4 to 5 days, unless they are pregnant or nursing. Rats have large litters (average is 10 to 12) and female rats can come back into heat 48 hours after giving birth to a litter. Pregnancy lasts an average of 3 weeks and litter sizes average 6-12 pups.
We will also leave you with a comprehensive report and recommendations on housekeeping, proofing, and exclusion to help eradicate and control rats.