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Rodent Identification

Rodent Species and Their Identification

Below is some guidance to help you in the identification of a rodent in your home.

Rat Identification: 

There are two main types of rats that cause a concern in the UK. The Brown Rat (or common rat) and the Black Rat.

Brown Rat

Brown Rat

Brown rats usually prefer living underground in burrow, but have made their way into residential properties. These rats are natives of Central Asia and arrived more recently during the early 1700’s – again as stowaways in ships cargos. 

  • Size: up to 40 cm body length and a tail shorter than the head and body. 
  • Weight: 350–500g.
  • Key Characteristics are: a blunt nose, small ears and a thicker body compared to the Black Rat. 

 

Black Rat 

Black Rat

Black rats arrived in Britain on Roman ships having worked their way to Europe from India. They are rare in the UK, and their appearance is usually confined mainly to ports. 

  • Size: 15–25cm body length and a tail longer than their head and body. 
  • Weight: 150–200g.
  • Key Characteristics are: a pointed nose, large ears and a slender body in comparison to the Brown Rat. 

 

Mouse Identification: 

Only a few species of mouse are considered pests that pose a threat to homes in the UK. The top 3 mice you way encounter within your home, garage or shed include:  House Mouse, Field Mouse and the Yellow Necked Field Mouse. 

House Mouse 

Usually the most common rodent in the UK home. It is a misconception that mice are only a problem in the wintertime. House mice are active all year round, which means you could find them invading your home at any time! Similar to rats, house mice are also nocturnal so you may not hear them scurrying around your home when you’re asleep.

  • Size: 7 – 9cm body length and a similar length tail.
  • Weight: 10 – 30g.
  • Key Characteristics are: relatively small feet & head with large eyes & ears.

Field Mouse 

Field mice are rarely seen in residential homes, however during the winter months they will go into outhouses and sheds. This means you could come into trouble with a field mice!

  • Size: 80 – 100 mm body length and a similar length tail.
  • Weight: 20-25g.
  • Colouring: orange/sandy brown fur on the head & back, a white fur underside and there is usually a small streak of yellow on the chest. 

Yellow Necked Field Mouse 

Yellow necked field mice are mostly a threat in rural areas. In homes they can pose a fire risk as they are known to chew through electrical wiring! 

  • Size: 95 – 120 mm body length and a longer size tail.
  • Weight:  15 – 45g. 
  • Colouring: brown fur on the back and a white fur underside and a distinctive complete band of yellow fur around the neck. 
  • Key Characteristics are: large ears, protruding eyes and a long tail.

 

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