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There are over 20 species of rodents native to B.C., most of which are not pests. The problem rodents are three introduced species that came with the Europeans settling in North America. These are the House Mouse, Norway Rat and Black Rat. These rodents have spread wherever humans provide them a good living, but most people do not come into conflict with them until the animals take up residence in a house or outbuilding. Removing an occasional invading rat or house mouse is relatively easy if the problem is tackled immediately. Established populations, however, can be difficult to eliminate, especially if they are in barns or in older houses that offer many entry points and hiding places. Because these pest species breed prolifically, ignoring a problem soon results in a much larger and more damaging infestation.
The house mouse is the most common animal infesting human dwellings; it also thrives in agricultural areas around barns and grain fields. It is a small, slender animal, weighing less than 30 g (1 oz.), with a pointed nose, relatively large ears and a nearly hairless tail. Although they prefer grains and seeds, mice will nibble on almost anything. Females produce 7 or more litters per year, with 5-7 pups per litter. They make their nests in hidden, enclosed spaces, using shredded paper, insulation, string or other soft materials. Their droppings are dark brown pellets, about 6 mm long (1/4 inch), left wherever mice have travelled.