5 Different Types of Mice & Rats in your Home

One of the hidden dangers almost every household is exposed to is mice infestation. These deadly rodents are carriers of different types of diseases that can even cause death. Even in the old days, rodents were considered responsible for spreading the Bubonic Plague where thousands of people died.

​So, to keep your home protected from infestation it’s important that you know about the different types of rodents and can identify based on their distinguishing features. Keep on reading to find out more.

1. House Mouse (Scientific Name: Mus Musculus)

house mouse looking up

As the name implies, this category of the rodents is typically found in domestic households. Their excellent sense of hearing, smell, vision, and touch have made them highly adaptable to all types of local environments. Also known as “the Little Thief,” this rodent has excellent flexibility and can squeeze into a building through a hole as small as 1/4 inch.

They usually reproduce 7 to 10 times every year and have 5 to 7 pups in every little. They take only one month to reach sexual maturity. They can breed throughout the year indoors and spring and fall in the outdoors.​

Distinguishing Features​:

  • The regular house mouse is dusty gray in color.
  • They measure between 2.5 to 4 inches excluding the tail.
  • They have a small head and very slender body.
  • Their eyes and ears are moderately large.
  • They are color blind and can live up to 1-2 years.

2. Deer Mouse (Scientific Name: Peromyscus Maniculatus)

deer mouse looking for food

Also known as white-footed mouse and field mouse, this breed often feeds on grains, seeds, and fruit. Known to aggravate farmers by infiltrating storage bins and grain silos, these rodents are well-known carriers of the deadly Hantavirus that once caused multiple deaths in the United States. These rodents are prolific breeders and can quickly infest a home.

Needless to say, they pose severe risks to health for both humans and pets, and hence should never be allowed to infest domestic property. They reproduce 2 to 4 times per year and have around four pups per litter. The gestation period is around 20 days, and they can breed throughout the year indoors.

Distinguishing Features:

  • This rodent has reddish brown to golden brown body color, white feet and chest, and bi- colored tail.
  • They measure 4 inches in length and have a size of about 2.5 inches.
  • Their weight is only about 1/2 to 1 ounce.
  • They have a small head and body, which is slightly larger than a house mouse.
  • They have big protruding black eyes and large furred ears.
  • Their droppings are 1/4 inch in size, having dark color and pointed ends.

​3. Yellow-Necked Field Mouse (Scientific Name: Apodemus Flavicollis)

yellow-necked field mouse looking up

The yellow-necked field mice are mostly found in rural areas and are more likely to enter the private property than wood mice. This is a species that are often associated with fire risks at home because they are known to chew through various types of items, including electric wiring. There are also known to spoil or consume food.

These mammals usually prefer to stay in broadleaf woodland habitats and places having rural gardens and buildings. The breeding season starts from March or April and continues through October, with gestation period around 25 days. The average lifespan of the yellow-necked field mouse is 12 months.

​Distinguishing Features:

  • These rodents have brown fur on their backside and white hair on the underside.
  • They have a distinguishing band of yellow fur around their neck.
  • The average size of this rodent ranges from 3 to 4.5 inches with tail length ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 inches.
  • They have protruding eyes, big ears, and a rather long tail.

​4. Wood Mouse (Scientific Name: Apodemus Sylvaticus)

wood mouse in the forrest

What separates this species from the field mouse is their distinctive nose shape referred to as Roman nose. These rodents are commonly found in Africa and Europe and are much related to field mice. Their natural habitats are deciduous woodland, urban gardens, grassland, mixed forest, and arable land.

Even though these pests are not frequently found in residential areas, they have a reputation of eating grains and other types of crops. They are such a nuisance to have around your household (when they do get in) especially if you have a lot of stuff in it. These rodents will surely go through all your stuff and destroy whatever they can get their hands on. Definitely not the kind of animal that you want roaming around the house. 

Distinguishing Features:

  • This rodent has a sandy brown fur coating that is slightly darker towards the spine.
  • They have a white or gray colored underside.
  • The average size of this rodent is around 3 to 4 inches and the tail being 2.7 to 3.7 inches.
  • The female can bear four litters a year, each containing 4 to 7 young ones.
  • Can multiply rapidly when there is plentiful food.

​5. Roof Rat (Scientific Name: Rattus Rattus)

two roof rats feeding

Notorious for living in proximity to humans, the roof rat will likely go wherever there are food and shelter. Also known as a black rat and fruit rat, these rodents usually inhabit places like ceilings, attics, and wall areas. They can also thrive in top areas of domestic properties and have a reputation for causing electrical outages and fires by gnawing on wires.

The roof rat reproduces around 3 to 4 times every year and has 4 to 8 pups per litter. The gestation period is 22 days and can breed in every season indoors. These rats reach sexual maturity in 2 to 3 months and can live up to 1 year.

Distinguishing Features:

  • The average roof rat measures around 6 to 8 inches in length.
  • Their tail ranges from 7 to 10 inches in length, which is longer than their body.
  • Their ears are relatively small, and they have large and prominent eyes.
  • They usually have black or brownish-grey color that's hard to distinguish.

​These are the five most common types of rodents found in households and can cause infestations. Even though there are other different species of mice such as meadow-jumping, white-footed, African-pygmy, Northwestern deer, Eurasian harvest mice, etc. they’re not known to invade households.

What's the Best Way to Trap Them?

These pests are quite hard to catch if you don't have any prior experience but you can always rely on mousetraps to get the job done for you. That's the one thing that these little suckers always fall for, a good bait. So, if you have a decent trap that you can use to catch these pests then all you need to know is what kind of bait to use to lure them in which we will talk about on this article