Rodents that come into most contact with humans are called Commensal Rodents.
The most common rat in the UK is “rattus norvegicus” or Norway rat. This rat is also known as the Brown Rat or Sewer Rat. The Black Rat or “rattus rattus” otherwise known as the Ship Rat, is now very rare in the UK and is mainly only seen around ports.
Norway Rats have a strong hierarchical structure. Living within colonies, high ranking individuals (male and female) feed first and at the safest times with the females breeding at a younger age.
The House Mouse can be found in houses and buildings and rural buildings, they are a brown or grey in colour and their body length varies between 60 – 90mm, however their tail can add another 100mm to their length.
Mice live in nests which usually are found inside buildings or in sheltered areas, but mainly inside during the cold winter months. They like spaces under floorboards and attics are also popular. They also usually build their nests close to a good food source. Their nests are usually made from wool, paper and cloth.
Other species commonly found in premises occupied by humans include field mice.
Mice are also mainly active at night and they can fit through holes as small as 4mm. Mice will also eat anything but their favourite food is cereal products, mice also urinate in food as well as leaving mice droppings, they will gnaw their way through anything to get to a good food source. The dominant male mouse will mark their territory with urine pillars.
Both rats and mice carry disease such as leptospirosis or Weil’s disease among others and are responsible for damage to property, chewing through cables and creating unhygienic conditions.
Rats and mice need to be removed by a professional.
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