Rodent Identification GuideReading time: 5 minutes
At Buzz Boss, we know rodents are pesky, destructive pests that can carry serious diseases. We take the utmost care when dealing with your specific problems to ensure that your household is safe. Rodent control is a rapidly growing part of our business, so we have created this identification guide to educate on the different rodents we deal with and how to spot them.
Common Mouse Species: house mouse (grey or common mouse), deer mouse, meadow jumping mouse, western jumping mouse, western harvest mouse, northern grasshopper mouse, olive-backed pocket mouse.
Size: Mice measurements range from 10 to 25 cm in length, including the tail. They usually weigh between 8 to 52 grams.
Colour: They may be white, brown or grey in colour with yellowish accents.
Head: Mice snouts are triangular, with long whiskers. They also have large, circular ears.
Tails: Mice have long, thin, hairy tails. The tail is typically half of the overall length of the mouse.
Tell-Tale Signs of Mice: Gnaw marks, grease smears, nests, feces (mice produce about 40 - 100 droppings per day), scratching sounds, ammonia smell, footprints.
Droppings Descriptions: Mice droppings are dark-brown, smooth pellets with pointed ends, typically small- about ¼-inch in length.
Common Rat Species: roof rat (black rat), Norway rat (brown or sewer rat), bushy-tailed woodrat, Ord’s kangaroo rat.
Sizes: Rats are medium-sized rodents. Length of rats range between 23-45 cm or more, including the tail. They usually weigh between 45 – 520 grams.
Colour: They may be white, gray, brown or black in colour. Often their coats leave grease marks on touched surfaces.
Head: Rat snouts are more blunt than that of a mouse.
Tails: Rat tails are long (typically half of the overall length) and commonly hairless & scaly.
Tell-Tale Signs of Rats: Gnaw marks, grease smears, nests, feces (rats produce around 20 - 50 droppings per day), scratching sounds, ammonia smell, footprints.
Droppings Descriptions: Rat droppings are shiny black, about ½-inch to ¾-inch long, with blunt ends
Common Vole Species: southern red-backed vole, western heather vole, water vole, meadow vole, long-tailed vole, yellow-cheeked vole, prairie vole, sagebrush vole.
Sizes: Vole measurements range from 11 to 27 cm in length, including the tail. They usually weigh between 13 to 170 grams.
Colour: They are usually reddish or brown and black in colour with a gray underside.
Head: Voles have a blunt nose and smaller, less prominent ears compared to mice.
Tails: Voles are stockier than mice with shorter, hairless tails. Roughly ¼ to 1/3 of overall length.
Tell-Tale Signs of Voles: 1”-2” pathways in turf surface, holes in lawn- typically around base of trees, patches of unusually short grass, gnaw marks on woody plants/trees, exposed stems, dead plants with no root structure, feces.
Droppings Descriptions: Vole droppings look very similar to mouse feces, but are greenish or grayish in colour.
Now you have a deeper understanding of the common types of these problematic rodents and signs to spot their presence. A rodent problem can be stressful and a large task to manage on your own - thankfully Buzz Boss has your back! If you suspect you may have a problem, we can help with our BuzzShield Rodent program or experience uninterrupted, year-round rodent & pest protection with our signature BuzzShield® Complete!