Types Of Rodents In New Jersey

We’re only days away from the official arrival of winter here in New Jersey and that means the rodents are trying to find a way into homes in our region. Actually, they may already be inside.  If you’ve seen mice scurrying along the edges of rooms or other evidence that suggests you have a rodent problem, you’re not alone. Homeowners in Paramus, Holmdel, Chatham, and throughout our New Jersey service area are experiencing an increase in rodent activity and it’s normal for this time of year. Just like those of us who don’t particularly care for the cold weather, neither do rodents and so they’re on the move looking for a place to spend the winter that is warm, secure, and has the necessary provisions they need to survive. Read on to learn more about the types of rodents in New Jersey, how to tell if your home has a rodent issue, and what to do if you’ve discovered these nuisance and damaging pests in your home or on your property.

house mouse in nj pantry

Mice In New Jersey

Mice are probably the most common rodent problem for New Jersey residents and are easily recognizable by their small bodies, long tails, big ears, and small, beady eyes.

As for their fur coloring, it really depends on the species. The common house mouse’s body is grayish-brown to very dark gray or black in color. It has a lighter colored belly, typically off-white to tan. Deer mice, on the other hand, have bodies that range in color from pale gray to deep reddish-brown and bellies that are lighter colored. 

Where you’ll find mice inside

As is the case with all commensal rodents, house mice are partially reliant on people for their survival and often access homes and other structures in an effort to find food, water, and shelter. Inside homes, they are often found in garages (they are opportunistic and will slip under the garage door if there’s even a small opening), attics, wall voids – really anywhere that is safe and close to food sources. They also are attracted to areas where they can nest and/or find nesting material such as cardboard, newspaper, and attic insulation.

 While deer mice typically live outside, homes that border parks, golf courses, or that are located in more rural areas may find these mice inside looking for food and accommodations.

Are mice dangerous?

Mickey Mouse is harmless. Stuart Little is harmless. Real mice are not harmless and in fact, could be considered dangerous. It’s not that they’re aggressive and prone to attacking people, they’re actually more likely to go to great lengths to avoid people. They’re considered dangerous because they have the ability to spread illness. They’re considered destructive because they will damage property- from chewing on ornaments stored in the attic to contaminating insulation with their urine and feces to chewing on electrical wires and creating potential fire hazards.

norway rat outside of a paramus nj home

In New Jersey, there are two types of rats property owners often find themselves dealing with and they are Norway rats and roof rats. Both larger than mice, they differ in appearance and behavior.

Norway rats are large rodents with heavy bodies and long tails. They have rounded, blunt noses, eyes that seem to pop out of their heads, and small ears. They are covered in brown fur that is peppered with black. Like mice, they have undersides that are light in color than the rest of their bodies, typically gray or white.

Roof rats are distinguished from Norway rats by their slender bodies, longer tails, pointed noses, and large, dark eye. They have smooth dark brown or black fur covering the majority of their bodies. Their underbellies are a different color though- often white, gray, or black.

Where you’ll find rats inside

Perhaps it’s because of their plump bodies that Norway rats are not all that great at climbing and are often found on the ground level of structures, including basements and crawl spaces.  Roof rats, as their name suggests, are more likely to be found nesting above ground level in attics, behind walls, above ceilings, and even in chimneys.

Are rats dangerous?

Rats are a public health concern because they may carry and transmit disease to people. They’re also destructive and will inflict damage to a structure and the belongings within.

How do you know if you have a rodent infestation?

Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious you have a rodent problem in your home until the population of mice or rats has grown. If you know what to look for though, you may be able to identify a problem before it grows exponentially. With that in mind, here are a few ways to identify a rodent problem.

  1. You see a live rodent inside the house.
    If you spotted a mouse in your garage, don’t dismiss the problem. Where there is a single mouse or rat, there are more- always.
  2. Your pet starts acting weird
    If your dog or cat is staring or scratching at walls or acting strange in certain areas of your home, it could be because they’ve detected rodent activity behind the walls, or under the floorboards. Be sure to note where this is happening because it will be useful later on. We’ll get to that in just a moment.
  3. You’ve found rodent droppings in the garage, the pantry, or anywhere else. Mouse droppings often resemble grains of rice with pointed ends except they’ll be dark in color. The exception to this, is older droppings. They will look chalky because they’ve dried out. Rat droppings are shiny black and bigger than mouse poop.

What to do if you discover rodents in your home

If you’ve founds rodents or signs of them in or around your home, the best solution is to contact Arrow Pest Control! Offering a comprehensive rodent control service, we’ll dispatch a highly trained and fully licensed pest control pro to your home to inspect and treat the problem. Upon arrival, make sure you point out to your tech areas where your pets have exhibited the weird behavior we mentioned above as well as note any other observations you’ve noted.  Upon the completion of a thorough inspection, the pest management specialist will share his findings and recommend a treatment plan, if necessary.

Learn more about our rodent control services here!

For ongoing protection against mice and rats, sign up for year-round home pest control!

Home Protection Program

Service consists of the elimination of your current pest or rodent problem, complemented by both interior and exterior year-round protection of your home, which is inclusive of three seasonal visits. The program covers your entire property including attics, mailboxes, playsets, sheds, and fences.

Pests targeted with Arrow’s Home Protection Plan services include ants (excluding carpenter ants, pharaoh ants and acrobatic), bees, boxelder bugs, carpenter bees, carpet beetles, centipedes, cicada killers, clover mites, crickets, digger bees, earwigs, fabric & paper pests, fleas (inside only), ground beetles, hornets, mice, pillbugs, millipedes, rats, roaches, silverfish, sowbugs, spiders, springtails, stored product pests, and wasps.

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