Common Rodents in Washington State
What’s that sound in your attic? It’s much more likely to be one of the many species of rodents native to the state of Washington. While many of them live in the woods and forests, some of them find their way into your home, especially during the colder months. With the abundance of species, it can be difficult to know what animal you’re dealing with.
Mice are the most common species of rodent around the world, and the same is true for Washington. Let’s go into some mice facts.
- Mice actually prefer grains, chocolate, and even rotting veggies over cheese.
- In Washington state, deer mice are common, which can in rare cases cause the respiratory disease, Hantavirus.
- There are 8 species of mice in Washington, with the house mouse, (named because they like finding their way inside your house,) being the most common.
- Mice can have 2-12 babies every 6 weeks, so it's best to find solutions fast!
Rats look similar to mice but have some features that make them unique and more dangerous. Rats are usually much larger than mice, able to reach almost a foot and weigh as much as 1lb. While mice tend to have brown fur, rats have heavy black or gray fur. In general, rats are much more common in cities, rather than in suburbs or rural areas.
Voles may not be the most recognizable rodents, but they still are quite common in Washington. They have a more rounded face, compared to a rat or mouse, which have a pointed snout. While in general, they are a bit more rounded, they can still average about 6 inches in length. While Voles generally do not make their way into your home, they can cause problems around your property such as:
- Feces introduce parasites into your soil that can infect your plants, pets, or even you and your family.
- They can also be a threat to your landscape, eating your grass, plants, and vegetables.
- Voles reproduce quicker than other rodents, with females being able to produce 3-8 vole babies within a single month of being born!
There are two main species of Squirrels, both named for the color of their fur. Red squirrels can reach up to 18 inches, while gray squirrels can reach upwards of 2 feet. Squirrels also have a long lifespan compared to other rodents, with many squirrels living for up to 10 years. Generally, Squirrels hang out in your attic, or crawlspace, sneaking in by finding larger openings. Squirrels usually find their way into your home during colder seasons, in order to stay warm, as well as have a place to hide their acorns, and other food they are storing up for winter.
Moles have small cylindrical bodies with soft gray fur. They have large flipper-like hands and feet, which they use for digging. Moles might look cute, but don’t be deceived, they can cause severe damage to your landscape. While they may not eat your plants, they certainly will dig deep tunnels underneath them, destroying the roots of the plants themselves. This can wreak havoc on any garden.
Common misconceptions about Moles
- Moles are blind. This is not true! They have extremely small eyes, which prevent them from being damaged while digging around in all that dirt.
- Moles are rodents. While they have similar characteristics, they actually belong to their own species as moles and shrews are nocturnal animals.
- Moles may dig up your plants and vegetables. They are most interested in eating the worms and bugs in the ground below.
- Moles make nests. In fact, Moles in general are pretty solitary, and territorial animals, meaning if you find one, it’s unlikely there are more around.
Get Professional Rodent Control Today
If you are dealing with any of the above animals invading your home or garden, you might want to consider getting expert help. Sound Pest Control has been providing service for 30 years in the state of Washington, by providing family-friendly rodent control. All our rodent control is EPA-Certified as environmentally friendly. In addition to one-time services, we also offer our rodent control program, for year-round protection. Sound Pest Control’s local exterminators are certified, and participating in ongoing training, so you can sleep soundly when you’re in our hands.