A common report we receive is a homeowner or apartment tenant hearing scratching, gnawing or rustling in a wall, ceiling or duct work. Another is noticing plants or food items being nibbled or dark, rice grain-sized droppings showing up in cupboards, crawl spaces, hot tubs, or unfinished rooms. More often than not, some variety of mouse or rat is the cause, especially if the activity occurs at night.
The culprits may include various native species, especially the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) Mexican woodrat (or packrat) (Neotoma mexicana) and bushy-tailed woodrat (or packrat) (Neotoma cinerea). All can be found in, on or near human structures. The deer mouse is very widespread, occurring naturally in most habitats at most elevations across Colorado. The Mexican woodrat is common in rocky areas along the Front Range. The bushy-tailed woodrat prefers higher elevations. Old world (introduced) mice and rats are commensal (closely associated with men). They include the house mouse (Mus musculus) and Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). Fortunately the Norway rat is limited to the older parts of urban areas. All of these species can create unsanitary conditions in human structures. The deer mouse can be a source of hantavirus where droppings accumulate over a long period of time.
If you suspect mice, rats or some other unwanted critter in or around your home, we can help. We are very experienced at home inspections/investigations to determine what species are present and how they are getting into a structure. Typically we will implement a trapping program and eliminate any points of entry we can find. Note: We are not licensed to apply pesticide baits indoors. If you need a bait program, we can refer you to several reliable pest control companies in the region.
We’ll have more information about mouse and rat biology, problems they pose, and solutions we offer coming soon. In the meantime, if you would like an investigation, call us at 719-636-1014 for an appointment and prices.