Oklahoma is home to several types of rodents, and many species find their way into homes. These uninvited guests, which include roof rats and deer mice, can cause severe structural damage, carry diseases and cause anxiety in pets. They are even capable of causing house fires by chewing through electrical wiring!
Homeowners in the Sooner State need to know how to identify the most common types of rodents that they may see on their property. However, since rodents are most active at night, it’s crucial to know the signs of an infestation.
Some rodents in Oklahoma, such as roof rats, like to set up camp in attics. This rodent identification guide will also break down the signs of rodents in attics and how to get them out of walls.
The Most Common Types of Oklahoma Rodents
Oklahoma is home to a diverse rodent population, from common house mice to North America’s largest rodent—the American beaver. Below are some of the most common types of Oklahoma rodents:
- Eastern Woodcut
- Fulvous Harvest Mouse
- House Mice
- White-footed Mice
- Deer Mice
- Roof Rats
- Norway Rats
- Kangaroo Rats
- Ground Squirrels
- Prairie Dogs
- Pocket Gophers
- American Beavers
Next, let’s identify the most common types of mice and rats that infest Oklahoma homes. Contact a pest control specialist immediately if you see any signs of the following rodents in your home.
Identifying House Mice in Oklahoma
The house mouse, which is pictured above, is a small rodent that can cause home damage, spread diseases and rapidly reproduce. Homeowners should not take the presence of a house mouse lightly.
Their bodies measure between two and a half and four inches, and they have fur-covered tails between three to four inches long. Light brown and gray fur keeps them camouflaged; however, it is hard to miss their large ears. Other distinguishing features include their pointed noses and small black eyes.
Like several types of Oklahoma rodents, house mice are nocturnal animals. When they set up camp inside a home, they sleep in their nest during the day and search for food at night. House mouse populations like to build their nests close to their food sources to easily transport and hoard food.
House mice infest homes by entering through small cracks and holes in your home’s exterior. Their small bodies only need a dime-sized opening to enter through.
The most common beginning signs of a house mouse population are seeing their droppings, smelling urine, hearing them running around and spotting gnawed holes in your walls.
Identifying White-footed Mice in Oklahoma
The white-footed mouse is similar to the house mouse in appearance, but as their name suggests, they have white feet. Their fur can range from light brown to gray and reddish.
Unlike house mice, white-footed mice have white underbellies. Their long tails are also dark on top and white on the underside.
White-footed mice are slightly bigger than house mice. Their bodies range from three and a half to four inches, and their tails are two and a half to four inches long. They also have larger eyes and ears than the house mouse.
The white-footed mouse prefers to live outdoors, but they will seek shelter indoors during colder months. Inside, they prefer to nest in crawl spaces, inside unused furniture, attics, cellars or garages. They look for dark areas of the home that have heavy moisture.
Even though they are slightly bigger than the house mouse, white-footed mice can also enter the home through small cracks and holes. Since they like moisture, homeowners must repair leaky pipes and humidity issues.
Identifying Deer Mice in Oklahoma
The deer mouse is almost identical to the white-footed mouse, and it usually takes an expert’s opinion to tell them apart. They have the same fur color and pattern: dark fur on top with a white underbelly.
Deer mice even have white feet. However, their hind legs are smaller than white-footed mice legs. Another way to tell them apart is by their tails. Deer mice also have bi-colored tails that are dark on top and white on the bottom, but the color contrast is sharper between the two sides than it is on the white-footed mouse.
Deer mice in Oklahoma have round bodies the same size as house mice. They have pointy noses, large black eyes and long whiskers.
One major difference between deer mice and other mouse species is that they do not give off a pungent smell. The lack of smell makes it harder for homeowners to identify a deer mouse population in their home, so it’s important to know the other signs of deer mice.
Spotting droppings, nesting materials and damaged food packages are common signs of a deer mice problem. Homeowners should contact a pest control specialist as soon as they notice these signs.
Identifying Roof Rats in Oklahoma
Roof rats are extremely common pests in Oklahoma. They are significantly larger than mouse species. Their bodies range from six to eight inches and their tails range from seven to ten inches. It’s not uncommon for their tails to grow longer than their bodies.
Roof rats have dark brown or black fur, and some have light-colored underbellies. As their name suggests, roof rats like to live in high places. When they take up residence in a home, they often build their nests in the attic or roof rafters.
These pests are known for being excellent climbers, and they often enter homes through chimneys. Investing in a chimney cap is one way that homeowners can prevent a roof rat infestation. It’s also a good idea to trim trees around the house so that roof rats can’t use them to climb on to the roof.
Identifying Norway Rats in Oklahoma
Norway rats are one of the largest rodent pests that can infest homes. Their bodies measure up to 18 inches, including their long tail. Unlike mice species, Norway rats have hairless, scaly tails that are either pink or tan.
It’s difficult to distinguish a roof rat versus a Norway rat, but they do have some differing features. For example, Norway rats have brown fur with white underbellies, whereas most roof rats are darker. Norway rats also have small ears that are close together, blunt noses and tiny black eyes that protrude from their face.
Norway rats cause damage to homes by gnawing on wires, walls and other structural elements. Besides noticing their gnaw marks, homeowners can look out for Norway rats droppings. Their droppings differ from root rats because they have blunt ends rather than pointed ends. Contact a pest control specialist if you see any signs of Norway rats in your home.
Signs of Rodents in the Attic
Not all rodent species live in attics; however, attics provide rodents with shelter and warmth. Since most rodents are nocturnal, it’s harder for homeowners to catch rodent infestation in their attic than in other areas of the home.
One of the most common signs of rodents in an attic is hearing them running in your ceiling at night. Homeowners often spot rodent droppings and loose nesting materials like fabrics and paper in the attic.
Another sign is spotting the oily grease marks that rodents leave behind as they run through the house. Seeing if the mark smears is one way to test if it’s from a rodent. Some rodents’ urine also gives off a strong musky scent.
Gnawed-out holes in the attic or boxes stored up are other common signs of a rodent infestation.
How to Get Rid of Rodents in Walls
There are several steps a homeowner can take to get rid of rodents in walls. For example, setting traps along their runways, sealing up cracks and holes in the home and eliminating their access to nesting materials are great ways to kick out unwanted guests. It’s also important to repair any leaking pipes and remove their food and water sources.
However, the best thing a homeowner can do is contact a pest control specialist. An expert can properly identify the rodent species, choose the right types of traps and advise homeowners on the right control methods.
Kick Rodents Out of Your Oklahoma Home
Oklahoma is no stranger to rodent infestations, so homeowners need to stay vigilant. Knowing the signs of a rodent infestation, such as seeing their droppings, grease stains and gnaw marks, is just as important as knowing what the rodents look like.
Contact a pest control specialist if you see a rodent or the signs of a rodent infestation in your home. Calling professional help is the best way to control rodents.
ABC Can Control the Rodents on Your Property
Even figuring out what rodent is on your property can be difficult. In the time spent identifying what pest you’re dealing with, rodent populations can grow. If you’re dealing with any type of nuisance rodent, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our pest control professionals have the expertise and tools to identify and remove unwanted pests.