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There are 3 types of commensal rodents: The roof rat, the house mouse, and the Norway rat.


  • Many rodents are small, but the size varies depending on the species
  • Have enlarged, chisel-shaped upper and lower front incisors that grow throughout their lives
  • Hard enamel on the front surface and soft dentine on the back surface of teeth, making the chisel edge sharp
  • Gap between the front teeth and the cheek teeth
  • Rodents have fur
  • Have either a long, skinny tail or a very small, not visible tail
  • Nocturnal


  • Plants
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grass
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Insects
  • Meat
  • Meal preference depends on the species of the rodent


  • Damages food and other goods
  • Established vectors because of their ability to carry viruses and bacteria in their systems and are known to carry and transmit disease
  • Ability to carry many different pathogens that transmit diseases including: plague, rat bite fever, cryptosporidiosis, hantavirus, Q-fever, and much more
  • Different species of rats host different pathogens


  • Some pathogens can be transmitted through inhalation of contaminated feces, urine, or saliva from infected rodents
  • Do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up nesting materials, droppings, or urine
  • Wear rubber, vinyl, or latex gloves when handling rodents and their matters
  • Spray area with either a disinfectant or a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and let contaminated area soak for 5 minutes
  • Use a paper towel to pick up disinfected droppings, urine, and nesting
  • Immediately dispose all matter in the garbage
  • When all rodent droppings and urine have been removed, disinfect all possible contaminated items
  • Traps may also be set to capture any possible rats or mice

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More commonly known as the black rat, it ranges from black to light brown in color and is estimated to be 46 cm (18.25 in) long with a tail approximately 17 to 25 cm (6.5 to 10 in) in length.  It weighs about 110g to 340g (4 to 12 oz).  This rat is a tree-dweller by nature due to its excellent ability to climb.  The black rat is typically prone to pine trees and palm trees, building large nests among the branches.  When residing inside a building, they typically build their nest in a hole or cavity above the ceiling or beneath floorboards.   



House mice are approximately 7.5 to 10 cm (3.0 to 3.9 in) long not including the tail, which is about 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) long, and usually weighs from 10 to 25 g (0.4 to 0.9 oz).  They are typically light brown to black or white to grey in color with very little hair on their tail and ears.  House mice have a vertical jump of up to 45 cm (18 in).  Their droppings have a strong, musty-like smell, are blackish in color, and about 3 mm (0.12 in) long.  These mice have the ability to survive in an array of conditions and are found in or around homes, open fields, and commercial property.  Like its close relatives, the house mouse is also known to cause considerable damage to property, contaminate food, and transmit disease causing pathogens or parasites.



This is one of the largest, most common rats that goes by several different names: Norway, brown, common, wharf, or sewer rat.  This rat can be brown or gray and approximately 25 cm (10 in) long with a tail that is shorter than its body, weighing from 250g to 350g.  The Norway rat lives wherever humans live, especially in urban areas.