Most Common Types Of Rodents In Illinois
While there are many rodents that call the state of Illinois home, there are only a few that make themselves a nuisance to home and business owners. These rodents can get inside structures and cause all sorts of problems if they are allowed to build nests and begin multiplying. They spread disease, bring parasites, and cause damage by their constant chewing, just to name a few issues. Here are the most common types of rodents you can encounter in Illinois.
Deer mice are most often found in rural areas and around homes. They like to live in barns and other outbuildings, but do sometimes move into homes. A deer mouse is a grey or tawny color with white feet and a white underbelly which extends underneath its tail. These mice are around 5 inches in length from nose to tail. Deer mice are a vector for hantavirus, which is a growing issue. Because mice urinate and leave feces in their nests and then abandon them when they get too filthy, it can be dangerous to clean up nests without the use of a respirator. Deer mice are known to carry parasites such as mites, ticks, fleas, and other ectoparasites in their fur. In fact, they tend to carry more parasites than house mice because they spend more time outside. The more parasites they carry, the greater the chance that a person can contract secondary diseases such as Lyme disease.
When human dwellings are not available, house mice typically live in fields. For this reason, they are also referred to as field mice, but they prefer to live in human dwellings. Once they make their way inside, they are more than happy to stay there. A house mouse has a pointed nose, beady black or pink eyes, small rounded ears, and a long hairless tail. They come in a variety of colors, including brown, black, grey, or white, and they are around 7 inches long from nose to tail. House mice are connected to the spread of Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, rickettsialpox, and leptospirosis, and are also spreaders of harmful bacteria. Since house mice stay inside homes, they are more likely than deer mice to spread harmful bacteria around (though deer mice actually pick up more filth with their wanderings outside). A house mouse is able to jump up to a foot in the air, which allows them to get to high places as they forage around inside a home to eat whatever food they can find.
Though their name sounds similar to moles, voles are not moles. Voles are rodents, like mice and rats, and therefore share the common trait of having a set of incisors that never stop growing. So voles need to continually chew on things to wear down these teeth. Voles love to gnaw on wood at every chance they get. If you have trees in your yard, this can be problematic, especially in autumn when this behavior increases. Plants are also a target for these pests.
Also known as brown rats, sewer rats, Hanover rats, and wharf rats, Norway rats often establish burrows in the ground, especially under debris and other objects. They are opportunistic feeders that will get into trash and gardens alike. In a home, they will feed on larger food, like dry dog food, meats, and cheese. Whether in the yard or in the house, these rats spread mites, ticks, and especially fleas. A Norway rat infestation is almost always accompanied by a flea infestation.
If you live in our Illinois service area and you're dealing with any of these rodents, reach out to Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators. We've been protecting homes and businesses in Peoria and the surrounding area from pest threats since 1929. We look forward to assisting you with arresting your pest problem. Schedule a free home inspection today and let's figure out what pest pressure you're dealing with. Most importantly, we'll develop a plan to make your home and your property resistant to invasion.