How Do You Tell The Difference Between Mice & Pack Rats In Phoenix?

In Phoenix, and really throughout our Arizona service area, we're called on to deal with rats and mice. But these two pests are a bit different. Mice are common indoor pests that can live inside wall voids and attic spaces. Pack rats are choosier about where they live. They also have different nesting and food preferences. Join us today as we look at the facts that are good to know if you hope to avoid having trouble with mice or pack rats. For immediate assistance with a rodent control issue, reach out to your Northwest Exterminating service team. We're here to help.

mouse searching for food in phoenix yard

The most common mice in Phoenix

There are a few species of mice in our area, but the two that top the pest list are house mice and deer mice. House mice, as you might expect, are the most common home invaders. While deer mice can enter your Phoenix home, they're more likely to infest a shed or other outbuilding.

All mice are easy to identify by their shape and tail. A mouse has a bulbous body with a long, thin, and visibly hairless tail. The tail of a mouse is roughly the same length as its head and body. On its head are two small, black eyes and two tiny ears. Its nose is conical and has long whiskers.

House mice
These are gray to brown in color. They are strongly attracted to man-made structures and get into homes for protection from the elements and the many predators that want to hunt a little mouse. Once inside, a mouse can live off crumbs—literally.

Deer mice
These mice are also referred to as field mice. A deer mouse has the coloration of a deer. It is tawny on the top and white on the underside. These mice prefer organic habitats and high elevation. This is why they are a disease vector for the Sin Nombre virus, which leads to Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Approximately 12 percent of deer mice carry this virus.

Mice are tiny rodents that can squeeze through holes about ¾ of an inch in diameter. When considering ways to seal your exterior, patching even the smallest holes is critical. These mice can turn a pencil-sized hole into a dime-sized hole with ease.

pack rat in arizona

What you should know about pack rats in Phoenix

The common species of pack rat in our service area is the white-throated wood rat, known scientifically as Neotoma albigula. It has big black eyes, big ears, and a furry tail. The hair on the tail is brown on top and gray underneath. You may notice a few similarities when comparing pack rats to house mice and deer mice.

  • The brown topside hair of a pack rat is more like a brownish house mouse than the orange color of a deer mouse.
  • The underside hair of a pack rat is whiter than gray, making it look more like a deer mouse than a house mouse.
  • A pack rat has white hair around their white and pale feet, which is another commonality with deer mice.

Pack rats live in ground burrows and caves. When they come onto your property, you can expect them to live underneath your yard's junk piles, sheds, and other things. They'll likely make soft nests in your attic space if they enter your home.

What to do about pack rats and mice

Now that you know what you're up against, what can you do about these common rodents in your yard? You can alter conditions that allow these critters to find food and hiding places.

  • Remove sources of seeds and nuts.
  • Protect your trash.
  • Install rodent guards around tree trunks.
  • Remove junk piles and yard clutter.
  • Install fencing material around the base of your shed and deck.

If you have rodents in your home or want extra protection keeping them out of your home, our pest control pros can help! Your Northwest Exterminating team uses trusted products and methods to get rid of rats and mice and keep them out.

Contact us today by completing the form below. You can tell us about your rodent problem or concerns, and we can guide you and help you get on the right track. When dealing with pest problems in Phoenix, it pays to go with a company with a track record of success.

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Northwest Exterminating provides pest control services in the Phoenix-metro and Tucson as well as throughout Southern Arizona that target the pests that are found in our region's unique desert environment. We promise personalized service and state-of-the-art techniques for all your exterminating needs.
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