RODENTS AND SMALL ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION

The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

DEER MOUSE

Appearance: Round, slender, ranging from 2 3/4 to 4 inches long in body length with a pointed nose and large, black, beady eyes. Large ears with little fur covering them. Bicolored body with a light brownish-reddish top and white underbelly and feet. Short tail, distinctly bicolored (dark on top and light on bottom), and covered with short, fine hairs and can be 2-5" in length if present. 

 

Habitat: Nests within hollow logs, tree holes, under piles of stones or logs. Commonly associated with prairies, rural, bushy or wooded areas. Avoids humans if indoors, preferring attics, basements or crawl spaces. Next to the house mouse, the deer mouse is the most common small mammal in North America.
 

Diet: Omnivorous, but prefers seeds, nuts, small fruits and berries, insects, centipedes, and the subterranean fungus Endogone. 
 

Reproduction: Reaches sexual maturity in as little as five weeks. Will produce 2-4 litters a year, usually during warm months. Typical litters contain 3-5 young, but may have as many as 8. Typically live 2-24 months, but can live as long as eight years in captivity. 
 

Other info: Commonly found on the ground, although can also be an adept climber. Droppings are rod-shaped.

alerted house rat on the wooden floor wi

HOUSE MOUSE

Appearance: Small, slender, 3-4" long, large ears, small eyes, pointed nose. Light brown or light gray.  


Habitat: Nests within structures and burrows near food sources that are generally 10-30 feet from nest. Inquisitive, but wary. Excellent climbers. 


Diet: Omnivorous, but prefers cereal grains. 


Reproduction: Prolific breeders by 2 months old. Can have litters as often as every 40 or 50 days, with 4-7 young per litter. Live up to one year. 


Other info: Feeds 15 to 20 times per day. Can squeeze through a hole 1/4-inch wide. Carrier of many serious diseases. Droppings are rod-shaped.

norway rat, rattus norvegicus, sitting o

NORWAY RAT

Appearance: Large rodent, growing up to 18" long (with tail). Males are larger than females. Shaggy, grayish-brown hair with a pale gray belly. Ears and tail are bald. 


Habit: Burrows in soil, sewers, basements, lower portion of buildings 


Diet: Various foods: cereal grains, meats, seeds, cockroaches, fruits and nuts


Reproduction: Can breed any month of the year, typically with 8-12 pups per litter and 3 to 12 litters per year. Adults typically live up to one year in the wild. 


Other info: Almost always found near water. Very good at swimming and climbing.

Common vole (Microtus arvalis) feeding o

VOLE

Appearance:  Mouse like appearance but has a blunt nose, brown/ gray fur, typically 5-7 inches in length, short tail

Habitat/ Evidence : Voles burrow just below the grass but above the soil, these burrows can be highly visible when snow cover is present, springtime will usually identify vole damage created over winter which looks like trampled grass or runways

Diet: Commonly feed on grass, seeds, roots and stems

Reproduction: 1-5 litters per year with 3-6 young per litter average lifespan 3-6 months, reproduce throughout the year peaking in WI in warmer months

Other Info:  We have 3 types in Wisconsin, meadow vole, woodland vole and prairie vole