How to identify rodents

Identifying rodents





The jumping mouse, deer mouse, and house mouse are common all across Canada. Other species live in broader areas with limited distribution. Mice live in forests and fields, but their habitat preferences vary from one species to the next. Most mice survive on a diet of grain although the northern grasshopper mouse eats insects and meat.

Rats and mice communicate diseases and can damage homes. The deer mouse is the main carrier of the deadly Hantavirus.

Prevention is the cornerstone of residential rodent control.


Norway rats have a short heavy coat and a bare, scaly tail. The Norway rat can grow to be 68 cm long. They are generally found in areas where humans live.

Rats are prolific and are able to reproduce year-round, although they mostly reproduce in the spring and fall. The common rat can have 3 to 12 (but usually 5) litters with an average of 9 baby rats each, per year. These omnivorous creatures consume man-made products, communicate diseases, and can even attack humans in their sleep. They can damage houses, transmission lines, and pipes.


Found near water, streams, rivers, lakes, marshes, and even agricultural drainage channels, these creatures live in holes with many entrances both above and below water level. These openings lead to chambers that have been dug into the riverbed. They spend the winter months in a hut they build in the fall using plant debris and mud.

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