Common Rodents In New England
There are many rodents found in New England, rodents such as hamsters, chinchillas, gerbils, beavers and even porcupines. But we are not going to be talking about these rodents in this article. This page focuses on common rodents in New England that can become a problem to home and business owners.
Mice: Like all other rodents, mice are characterized by having incisors that never stop growing. This means that they never stop chewing and gnawing things. Mice are one of the most common pests in New England, as well as in the rest of the United States. Generally only about 2-3 inches in length, most mice are black, brown, or light grey. They have perky ears and long, thin tails. Although considered by many people to be cute little creatures, these tiny rodents are anything but cute when they spread infectious diseases, bring parasites in, and leave their droppings and urine all over your home or business.
Rats: Like mice, rats are very common in New England. Though rats look similar to mice, they are actually larger, about 8-10 inches in length. Their ears are set back farther on their heads, and their tails are not as long in comparison to their bodies. These rodents are known to bite if threatened and are known carriers of many diseases and parasites such as lice, mites, fleas, and ticks. Rats also leave droppings and urine wherever they go, and they are continually chewing on things. Sometimes they chew on wires inside wall voids, which make them a fire hazard when they get into man-made structures.
Squirrels: Squirrels are small to medium sized rodents that are usually found outdoors but can sometimes take up residence inside attics or buildings. There are many squirrel species; but in general, they have slender bodies, large eyes, and bushy tails. Squirrels come in many different colors; but typically in New England, they are brown, grey or red. Though squirrels rarely bite humans, they will do so if they are cornered, threatened, or if their young are threatened. Squirrels can also bring in disease, parasites, spread urine and feces, and create a fire hazard if they chew on wires.
Chipmunks: These cute little 5-6 inch critters are actually a part of the squirrel family with dark brown and light brown stripes that run down their backs. The rest of their fur is reddish-brown, and they have a tail that is typically darker than their body. Though not inclined to scratch or bite, they will do so if handled or threatened. And, like other rodents, chipmunks can carry a number of diseases and parasites. But the way these creatures make themselves a pest most of the time is in the way that they dig up plant bulbs or wreak havoc on a garden.
Gophers: These little rodents that are around 5-12 inches long have powerful forequarters and long, sharp claws on their front feet. Their fur is soft and tan or brown, their cheek pouches large, and their eyes and ears small on their flattened heads. Their tails, which are about 4 inches long, are used to navigate through tunnels when the animal is moving backward. Though they are not much of a threat to the inside of homes and businesses, they can do extensive damage to yards and vegetable and flower gardens with their constant digging and chewing.
Woodchucks: Also known as groundhogs, these are a type of lowland rodent that can also cause extensive damage to lawns, vegetable gardens, plants, and landscaping, and damage fences and foundations when they burrow underneath them. About the size of a large housecat, a woodchuck is similar in appearance to a beaver--minus the tail. They sport a dense gray undercoat and long, light brown guard hairs on their backs. Strong claws and powerful limbs equip these creatures for digging, but they can also bite or claw humans if cornered or threatened.
What to do if you have a rodent problem in your home or business
If you are dealing with an infestation of any of these rodents, the professional pest control technicians here at American Pest Solutions will be more than happy to assist you. American Pest Solutions has been doing business since 1913 and we've learned a few things about rodents in that time. You don't have to live with damaging rodents on your property; help is just a call away.