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Common Types of Rodents That You Might Encounter in Your Home

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 14.8 million homes across the country reported seeing rodents (mice or rats) inside their homes. Besides causing damage to the insulation in your attic and walls, having rates in your house can also pose a serious health risk. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), the presence of household pest rodents can contribute to the spread of diseases to humans directly through the feces, urine or saliva, and indirectly through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent.  

Though many people may complain about having “mice in my house,” knowing the difference between the different types of rodents in your house can help you understand the specific risks that come with rodent infestation and plan the best prevention and removal strategies for a rodent-free home. Below, we outline the five most common types of rodents that you may encounter in your home.  

House Mice  

These are perhaps the most common types of rodents that you will find in your home in western New York. Large round ears, short hair, quick movement, and high-pitched squeaks are the most common distinguishing features. Unfortunately, these little critters reproduce extremely quickly, and can have up to 10 litters each year. If you don’t get rid of them quickly, it is easy for a few house mice to grow into a small, invading army that tears apart your home.  

Norway Rats 

Though these rodents are most often associated with cities, these plump rats can also show up in your home where they are known to constantly gnaw on your siding, water pipes, and even the concrete of your foundation. These rodents can be up to a foot-and-a-half long, making them one of the larger rodents that you can find in your home. Besides causing serious damage to your home, these rodents are also aggressive, and have been known to bite humans when you are trying to remove them from your home.  

Voles or Field Mice  

If you have a large yard or live near a farm or pasture, voles may be another rodent that shows up in your home. During the winter months, these animals may move out of the fields and into your home in search of food. Though voles may look like regular house mice, their ears are significantly smaller, which is the main way of identifying them.  

Deer Mice  

These types of rodents also generally show up in rural homes during the fall and winter homes. Unlike house mice and voles, deer mice have a distinguishing reddish hue to go along with their furry tail. Fortunately, these rodents reproduce much slower, though they can cause damage to your barn, garage, or shed if not removed.  


Lastly, moles may also occasionally make your way into your home. Though these rodents are more well-known for causing damage to your yard or garden, they may, while digging, make their way into your home through damaged basement windows or foundation cracks near the soil line. Mole damage to your foundation can lead to structural damage to your home if not avoided or repaired. The best way to spot the presence of moles in your home is through seeing molehills in the yard.  

How to Get Rid of Rodents in your Home?  

By learning the specific traits, characteristics, and signs of infestation that come with each of these rodents, homeowners in western New York can come up with specific prevention strategies. Dealing with an infestation in its early phase is much easier than trying to eliminate a massive rodent infestation after they have burrowed their way into the hardest-to-reach corners of your home.  

If you already have a serious rodent infestation in your home, you might consider calling a professional animal remover who has the experience to safely and effectively trap and remove unwanted visitors. WNY Wildlife & Exclusion has trained professionals who can quickly and humanely find, trap, and remove rodents before they cause damage to your home. We can also help you identify how the animals found their way into your home in the first place so that you can take steps to avoid future infestations.  

We are proud to offer the most humane animal removal, abatement, and remediation services for all of Western New York. If you have spotted one of these rodents in or around your home, schedule an inspection today! 

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