The brown and black rats are in abundance throughout Rhode Island, but it is the brown rat that you will most likely find on your property. If you have an issue with mice, the odds are they are house mice. However, field mice and deer mice occasionally enter a Providence home. To get rid of rats and mice, you must first know which species is causing the nuisance.
Rats are larger than mice, and with brown and black rats, their fur color can help you identify them. Deer and field mice both have white feet, but field mice typically have gray fur, while deer mice are brown. These two mice species do not adapt well to being around humans, unlike the house mouse, which thrives around humans, so the latter is the kind of mouse you are likely to find in your attics, walls, ceilings, and crawlspaces.
Rats like to burrow underground, digging tunnels under your home, driveway, shed, or other structure. Burrows make anything above them unstable. When not digging underground, rats may enter your home using cracks and holes, even those as small as a quarter. Mice can enter through holes the size of a dime. There are plenty of secret spaces in your home for these animals to live comfortably.
Rats and mice cause extensive damage to your property. They chew electrical wires and build nests in your insulation, vents, or pipes. They can chew through thin metals, siding, shingles, wood, plastic, and drywall. They contaminate pets, livestock, and human food, costing you extra money to replace your groceries.
Rats and mice carry numerous diseases, including tularemia, salmonellosis, rat bite fever, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis, a few diseases that can be transmitted to humans and other animals. They carry parasites like ticks and fleas that can transmit bacterial infections like Lyme disease to humans.
If you see one rat or mouse, there are others nearby. Both species reproduce six or more times each year. With each litter, they have six or more pups. The female pups are ready to breed at three months old. Within six months, you can have an infestation. Trapping one mouse is easy. Getting rid of a rodent infestation requires professional help and may take several weeks. Also, using the wrong bait or traps can lead to more damage and a larger infestation. Hiring a professional for pest removal is crucial.