Rodents in Alabama

Common Mice and Rats in Alabama

Domestic rodents pose problems for Alabama residents year round, although more seem to occur during the onset of cooler weather when rodents try to enter indoors in search of warmer places to spend the winter months.

The most commonly encountered rodent indoors is the common house mouse, which is widely distributed throughout the state. Other rodents likely to be found are domestic rats known as the Norway rat and the roof rat.

Roof Rat:
roof rat illustration

Hundreds of years ago, the roof rat was introduced into the United States by hitchhiking on ships coming from other countries where they were common. So, it is not surprising that roof rats are now often found in Southern Alabama and around the port cities.

Roof rats are very good climbers and pefer to live above ground in attics, floor voids, walls or outside in trees and dense vines.

Norway Rat:
norway rat illustration

Norway rats nest underground in a burrow. Evidence of these rats and house mice include seeing live or dead individuals and locating their droppings, tracks, and odors, gnawings of paper, cardboard, food containers, wires and wood.

Control:

Control of these rodents involves four basic strategies:

  1. Eliminate sources of food by properly storing items and discarding food waste such as garbage. It is prudent to never allow garbage to accumulate around the property.
  2. Reduce or eliminate places where rodents can nest. The removal of rubbish such as rock piles, woodpiles, thick vines, brush and other things that provide protective places for rodents to build nests is critical. Be sure to avoid storing necessary household items directly on the floor.
  3. Eliminate and cover entrance holes and cracks that allow rodents access inside the home. Mice and rats are able to elongate their bodies to get through very small openings. For example, a house mouse can squeeze through a hole about the size of a nickel, while a rat can go through a hole about the size of a quarter.
  4. Use rodent traps and employ a knowledgeable pest management professional to properly set out specially designed traps and registered rodenticide baits to directly reduce rodent pressures within the home and throughout the property.