Rats & Rodents
These adorable creatures are certainly misunderstood. While it is true that they can carry diseases, the same can be said for pretty much any animal. (including humans!) Clever, curious rats can carry pathogens—but that doesn’t mean they deserve cruelty. Sadly, humans trying to rid their homes of this animal often utilize lethal rodenticides (rat poison) leading to the unintentional death of many other animals.
Rats are are affectionate, intelligent, and sociable animals, not that different from dogs. Mice and rats are resourceful and clever and would risk their own lives to save their friends. In nature they can form life long relationships. They are great mothers and are empathetic when they see others in distress.
Raccoons are beneficial to have around. They are a working part of our ecosystem and help to control the populations of insects, rodents, and other animals. Occasionally, they will feast on carrion making them part of nature's clean up crew. They are a necessary part of our ecosystem and contribute to maintaining a healthy balance in the natural food web.
Rats are primarily nocturnal. Building nests for young out of sticks and leaves, and sometimes locates nests in burrows. Depending upon habitat, individuals may be arboreal or terricolous. Often these rats use their climbing abilities to make a home in upper floors of buildings. This species has a highly adapted tail that is longer than its body.
Often considered to be cousins to bears. These omnivores are adaptable and opportunistic feeders. Litter size can range from 3 to 7 kits after 2 months gestation period. Females with young will avoid males to protect her young. Mom often has 2 den sites. A tennis ball soaked in apple cider vinegar will usually convince mom to move her brood as it mimicks the male scent.
Signs of Rodents
Shiny black droppings about half an inch long.
Gnawed holes up to two inches wide in baseboards or at doorframes.
Smudge marks (body oils) on walls.
Scratching noises in walls, attics, and vents.
Pets staring intently at blank walls.
Burrows and tunnels about as wide as a baseball outdoors, especially near foundations and walls. Cover openings with soil and check the next day to see if they have been reopened.
Unpleasant ammonia smell (urine).
Cereal bowl-sized nests made of cardboard, paper, insulation, dryer lint or fabric in attics and walls and under eaves.