There are several types of rodents that are common in this area of Canada. Knowing the rodents’ appearance and habits can make it easier to identify the pest and have it eliminated.
Appearance: Grayish in color; short bushy tail and large eyes.
Diet: Seeds, roots, fruits, insect and green vegetation
Other Info: Emerge in early spring, mate and have 4 to 8 in litter - one litter per year. Hibernate in burrows in early fall. Prefer open areas and do not roam to far away from burrows.
Deer Mice and house mice are the two most common rodents found in homes and businesses in this region. Common entrance points include doors, dryer vents, bay windows and exterior plumbing areas. Evidence of droppings found in different areas of the home or business usually indicates more than one mouse. When cleaning up any of these droppings, a damp paper towel or rag should be used with a 5% bleach-water solution. Never vacuum or sweep dry droppings due to the dust disturbance. There are different treatments for mice, including anticoagulant baits, traps and glue boards. Each method can be effective, depending on the severity of the problem.
Hantavirus: Over the last 6 to 7 years, this has become a word that most people are familiar with. It is an air-born virus caused by the dust build-up on rodent droppings and their urine. In this region the only known carrier is the Deer Mouse. The symptoms of Hantavirus include fever and muscle aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and a dry cough.
Appearance: Deer Mouse - Primarily brown colored backs with a white underbelly. They have noticeably large eyes and ears. House Mouse - Primarily dark grey colored backs with light grey to off-white underbelly, but many color variations have been noted. The ears are quite large, but eyes are quite a bit smaller than the Deer Mouse.
Mouse Facts: Mice are capable of being transported for long periods of time in closed containers, such as boxes, barrels or crates. Many fires of "unknown cause" may have been caused by mice chewing through electrical wiring. In six months one pair of mice can eat about four pounds of food and produce some 18,000 fecal droppings. Mice are not blind but have bad vision and cannot see clearly beyond about six inches. They are excellent climbers and can run up almost any roughened wall without breaking stride. They can swim but prefer not to. More than once, a live mouse has been flushed down a toilet and has resurfaced a minute later. They can jump a vertical distance of 12 inches from the floor onto an elevated flat surface. They can jump a height of eight feet to the floor without injury. They can run horizontally along pipes, wires and ropes.
Appearance: Pocket Gophers have silky brown fur, blunt nose, very small eyes and almost unrecognizable ears. They are approximately 9 inches long and weigh 1/3 pound.
Diet: Plant roots
Other Info: Most of their life is spent underground and they are commonly mistaken for moles. Piles of black dirt with no visible hole indicate a pocket gopher problem below.
Appearance: Usually red or grey, have a big bushy tail.
Diet: Fruit, bark, leaves, seeds, nuts, insects
Other Info: Can be very destructive if they get in an attic (have been known to start fires by chewing the electrical cables).
Reproduction: Capable of 2 litters per year depending on conditions. Usually have 2 to 7 young per litter.