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Rodent Information and Control

Protect your home or business from rodents and mice by learning techniques for identification and control.

Rodent illustration
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Types of Rodents

What do rodents look like?

Rodents are warm-blooded mammals that, like humans, can be found throughout the world. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing and check teeth, which are adapted for chewing. They chew on a variety of items available to them and cause great damage in and around homes.

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How do I get rid of rodents?

What Orkin Does

Rodents are not only a hazard to human health, they can also compromise the integrity of an infested structure through continuous gnawing. Rodents multiply quickly, making infestations extremely difficult to remove. Orkin Pros are trained to address any current rodent infestation, as well as implement solutions to help prevent future issues. Through a specialized approach to rodent and pest control, Orkin can help protect your home with a plan suited to your specific needs.

If you are experiencing a rodent infestation, you should immediately contact your Orkin Pro for an inspection, consultation and customized solution. To learn more about how to get rid of rodents and protect your home, contact your local Orkin branch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Rodent on ground

Rodent Facts

More Information About Rodent Problems

The more you know about rodents, the better you can predict and control their behavior. Here are some quick facts to help you on your way.


In their natural habitats, rats and mice usually live about 4-6 months. While in the relatively hospitable conditions of a home or building, rats and mice might live about 1 year.

Reproductive Potential

Rodents are capable of producing a large number of offspring. A sexually mature female house mouse will produce between 6-10 litters of 5-6 young during her lifespan and is able to give birth to her first litter when only about 2 months old.

Defense Mechanisms

While rodents may bite or act aggressive, they do so only as a means of protecting themselves if cornered or startled. Most of the time they will scamper away and seek protection without becoming aggressive.

Food Sources

Rats and mice are omnivores, not carnivores and they will eat seeds, fruits, grain-based foods, meat, feces, and other food sources that are readily available.

Rodents and Pets

Rodents affect pets by consuming and contaminating dog food, creating anxiety for pets, and may carry disease pathogens that can cause pet illnesses. Rodents may also be a source of fleas that can cause irritation or disease to a homeowner’s pets.


What diseases do rodents carry?

Although often small in size, rodents can pose a significant risk to your health. Some species are known to carry deadly viruses and play host to parasitic insects that transmit disease. Humans can be at risk of exposure to diseases from rodents through contact with mouse and rat droppings, as well as their urine, saliva and nesting materials.

In order to properly clean and disinfect contaminated areas, it’s best to rely on an Orkin Pro who uses equipment and materials designed for the removal and clean-up of mouse debris. As the second most populous mammal in urban areas, it’s easy to see why they’re featured on Orkin’s list of “North America’s Most Dangerous Pests”.

Diseases Carried by Rats and Mice

Orkin Pest Control - 2:48

More Resources

Dig Deeper on Rodents

Visit the Orkin Pest Library to learn how to identify and control other pests.
Explore Our Pest Library

Rodent Facts

Rodent Sounds

Learn about the many sounds associated with rodents and rodent activity and what those sounds may indicate based on location in your home.

Small Rodents

Find out which type of rodents are classified as small and how they can be destructive both in your home and in their natural habitat.

Rodent Dropping

Rodent droppings should not be handled as they can transmit dangerous rodent diseases and viruses.

Rodent Infestation

Gain an understanding of why a rodent infestation can be extremely dangerous and destructive.

How to Identify Rodents

Rodent Identification

Most rodents are identifiable by behavior, specific body features and coloration, all of which can be recognized by a trained Orkin Pro.

Types of Rodents

Explore the Order of Rodentia, which is comprised of more than 2,000 species, many of which might surprise you.

Mole Rodents

Learn how to identify mole rodents and how to manage a mole infestation.

Desert Rodents

Gain an understanding of how to identify desert rodents and what to do if you have an infestation.

How to Tell If You Have Rats or Squirrels

Homeowners can use the location of rodent droppings to find out if they have a rat or squirrel infestation.

Moles vs. Voles

Learn how to identify between moles and voles and what pest control methods are efficient for each.

Rodent Control

Rodent Repellent

Both natural and chemical-based rodent repellents are commercially available and vary in effectiveness.

Rodent Traps

From live traps to glue traps, there’s a variety of rodent traps that are available, but an Orkin Pro can help best control and remove rodents.

How to Get Rid of Dead Rodent Smells

Inform yourself on how to properly and safely dispose of dead rodents.

How Effective Are Rodent Smoke Bombs?

Rodent smoke bombs may temporarily control a rodent infestation, but are largely ineffective at completely getting rid of rodents.

Can Mothballs Repel Pests?

Mothballs can be used to repel certain pests like rodents but may contaminate soil and water if used outdoors.

Information About Mice

Mouse Facts

Second to humans as the most populous mammals in urban areas, learn more about mice, including the diseases and damage they can inflict.

What Do Mice Eat

House mice are omnivorous but prefer to consume grains, fruits and seeds and have even been known to gnaw on inedible materials such as electrical wiring, cardboard boxes and paper.

How to Identify Mouse Droppings

Commonly mistaken for cockroach or rat droppings, mouse feces are granular in shape and indicate areas where mice are most active.

How to Detect a Mouse Home Infestation

Gain an understanding of how to recognize a mouse infestation based on indicators such as mice droppings, gnawed plastic or furniture, tracks and more.

How to Tell Rats and Mice Apart

Familiarize yourself with the physical and behavioral differences between rats and mice.

How to Get Rid of Mice

How Do Mice Enter Homes?

Due to their body shape, mice can enter homes through cracks and holes found in walls, floors and foundations, as well as gaps in windows or ceilings and even through sewer lines.

Mouse Repellent Spray

While there are mouse repellent liquids, solids, and even electronic devices on the market, there is no scientific evidence that they are effective at controlling mice infestations.

How Do Electronic Mouse Repellents Work?

Electronic mouse repellents operate under the idea of using high-frequency sounds to drive mice away; however, there is little data that these devices are effective in rodent control.

Are Mousetraps Effective?

Regardless of type, mousetraps are considered very effective in the capture and extermination of individual rodents, but not entire mice infestations.

How to Get Rodents Out of House Walls

Learn the most effective ways to get rid of rodents that may be living within walls and crawlspaces.

How to Remove Mice

Explore the pros and cons of the most common rodent removal options.

How to Kill Mice

The most efficient mouse and rodent control methods are those administered by trained pest control professionals.

Trapping Mice

A variety of rodent traps can be purchased from most hardware and grocery stores, however, trapping mice is ineffective at controlling an infestation and professional methods may be required.

How to Clean Up After Mice Infestation

For safety and sanitation purposes, we recommend that the removal and cleaning process after a rodent infestation is best performed by an Orkin Pro.

How to ID Mice

Types of Mice

Explore the types of mice most commonly encountered by homeowners.

Species of Mice

Each mouse species carries different viruses, bacteria, parasites and diseases.

Black Mice

Learn how to properly identify black mice based on their appearance and behavior.

Brown Mice

Get to know the appearance, behavior and rodent life cycle of brown mice.

Field Mouse

Learn the appearance and behavior of field mice and how to properly manage an infestation.

Mouse Reproduction

Mouse Breeding Facts

Dive into the mouse breeding process and the stages of a mouse's lifecycle.

Mouse Babies

Learn more about the stages of a rodent lifespan from gestation to adulthood.

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