Mouse & Rat Identification Guide

What are mice & rats?

Mice and rats are a type of rodent, and like all rodents, they have front incisors that continuously grow throughout their life. Rodents are unwanted pests, not only because of the diseases they spread but because of the destruction they can cause with their sharp front teeth. Rodents are constantly chewing on objects they come across to prevent their teeth from overgrowing.

a mouse on the forest floor

Four of the most common species of rodent living throughout Arkansas are:

House Mice

The house mouse is a small rodent species. Their body has gray, brown, or black fur; their belly is a lighter tannish color. They have large ears and a long skinny tail covered in a light layer of velvety fur.

Field Mice

The fur on the top of their body is light to dark reddish-brown, while the hair on their underside, legs, and feet is a contrasting white color. Their tail is also bi-colored, dark on top, light on the bottom. These mice also have large back feet, which help them to run quickly.


Voles have short, stocky bodies covered in black or brown fur. They have short legs, small eyes, and ears partially hidden from view. They also have a short tail covered in fur.

Norway Rats

These rats have a dense body covered in brown fur with black hair scattered throughout. They have a blunt nose, small ears, and black eyes that protrude from their heads.

Are mice & rats dangerous?

Mice and rats are omnivores feeding on almost anything they can find. As they are out and about foraging for food, they come into contact with bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens. After rodents find their way into your home, they can spread disease through touch or saliva, urine, and excrement that can make people ill. Rodents contaminate food, food prep areas, and other surfaces inside the home they have invaded.

In addition to the health problems that mice and rats cause, they are also damaging pests. Their chewing habits damage things like:

  • Wires
  • Pipes
  • Cables
  • Drywall and flooring
  • Furniture
  • Clothing, shoes, and upholstered furniture
  • Food and other stored items

Why do I have a mouse & rat problem?

Both mice and rats are opportunistic and take advantage of any food, water, and shelter they discover – whether in a field, wooded area, yard, or home or business. Despite being wild animals, as our habitats have merged, rodents have become more comfortable living close to people. They are not shy about using our structures as a place to nest and feed.

Where will I find mice & rats?

Where you will find mice, rats, and other rodents depends on their species:

  • House mice, as their name describes, frequently invade our homes and businesses, nesting behind walls, large appliances, and in attics and basements.
  • Norway rats are terrible climbers. When they are not living outside in burrows under foundations, woodpiles, fields, and along riverbanks, they enter into buildings at ground level and nest in basements or behind walls.
  • Fields, meadows, and other spaces with tall grass and other dense vegetation are places field mice prefer to live.
  • Voles, for instance, live outside in shallow burrows in grassy areas. You'll rarely find voles indoors.

How do I get rid of mice & rats?

Alder Pest Control will help you to get rid of mice and rats from your Arkansas property. We will work closely with you not only to meet your pest control needs but to exceed them. We provide the comprehensive services necessary to eradicate pests and prevent them from returning!

If you are ready to get rid of pests from your home or business, our professionals are happy to help! We will work with you to put the services in place needed to maintain a pest-free property. For more information about our mice and rat control services, reach out to us today!

How can I prevent mice & rats in the future?

The easiest way to protect your property from mice and rats is to partner with Alder Pest Control. You can also use the following prevention tips to help keep mice and rats from invading your property in the first place:

  • Keep mice and rats out of your trash and recycling bins putting locking lids on them.
  • Avoid having hungry rodents inside your home by storing food in the fridge or containers with air-tight lids. Wash dirty dishes and remove trash from your home daily.
  • Remove bird feeders from your property.
  • Fix leaky pipes, eliminate areas of standing water, and replace leaky hoses, so you do not provide thirsty rodents with sources of water.
  • Eliminate hiding spots for rodents by removing construction debris, woodpiles, and dense shrubbery from your yard. Fill in ground holes and spaces under sheds and foundations.
  • Use steel wool or another durable material to seal spaces around wires, pipes, and other utilities leading into your home to keep rodents out.
  • Keep mice and rats out of your home by sealing cracks in the foundation and exterior walls. Also, install caps on chimneys and covers over vents and drains.

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