Identifying Common Mice

A Guide to Identifying Common Mice and Rats: Taking Back Your Home from Unwanted Guests With Friendly Pest Control Melbourne

Have you heard unsettling scurrying sounds in your walls at night? Discovered tiny droppings near your pantry? These signs might indicate unwelcome guests – mice or rats – have invaded your home. These common rodents not only cause property damage but also pose significant health risks.

This guide, brought to you by Friendly Pest Control Melbourne, the leading provider of pest control services in Melbourne, will equip you with the knowledge to identify the type of rodent causing trouble and the steps you can take to reclaim your home.

Why Identifying Rodents Matters

Knowing the specific type of rodent you’re dealing with is crucial for implementing an effective removal strategy. Different species have varying habits, nesting preferences, and vulnerabilities.

For instance, house mice, a common Melbourne resident, are adept climbers and can squeeze through tiny openings. This knowledge helps Friendly Pest Control Melbourne tailor their approach, focusing on sealing entry points and setting appropriate traps.

Here, we’ll delve into the characteristics and behaviors of the most common house-invading rodents in Melbourne:

House Mouse (Mus musculus): The Stealthy Intruder

Identifying Features:

  • Size: 2.5 to 3.75 inches long body, with a tail measuring 2.75 to 4 inches.
  • Color: Light brown to dark gray fur, with a cream-colored belly.
  • Ears: Large and round, with little hair.
  • Nose: Pointed.


  • House mice are nocturnal creatures, meaning they’re most active at night.
  • These agile climbers can scale walls and squeeze through openings as small as a dime.
  • They build nests in dark, secluded areas inside homes, like attics, wall cavities, and behind appliances.
  • House mice are omnivores, feeding on crumbs, seeds, grains, and even pet food.

Health Risks:

House mice can contaminate food and surfaces with their droppings and urine, potentially transmitting diseases like salmonella, hantavirus, and plague.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Droppings resembling dark rice grains, typically found near food sources or nesting areas.
  • Gnaw marks on furniture, wires, or food packaging.
  • Greasy rub marks along walls from their fur.
  • Musty odor, particularly near nesting areas.

Prevention and Control:

  • Address any gaps or cracks around windows, doors, and the foundation to improve security.
  • For better food preservation, use airtight containers for storage. Keep your trash cans clean to prevent odors and pests.
  • Regularly clean up crumbs and spills.

If you suspect a house mouse infestation, contact Friendly Pest Control Melbourne immediately. Our experienced technicians can assess the situation, implement safe and effective removal methods, and advise on preventative measures to keep your home mouse-free. To learn more about it click here.

Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus): The Rural Invader

Identifying Features:

  • Size: 5 to 8 inches long, with a round body.
  • Color: Brown fur with white feet and belly.
  • Tail: Bi-colored, with a brown and white split down the middle.


  • Deer mice are primarily found in rural areas like fields and forests, but they can occasionally enter homes seeking shelter during winter.
  • They are active at night and primarily feed on seeds, fruits, and insects.
  • Deer mice build nests in burrows, under logs, or in human structures.

Health Risks:

Deer mice carry hantavirus, a potentially fatal respiratory illness transmitted through their droppings and urine.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Droppings similar to house mouse droppings but slightly larger.
  • Gnaw marks on food containers or furniture.
  • Nesting materials like leaves or twigs found near entry points.

Prevention and Control:

  • Store firewood away from house walls to deter nesting.
  • Seal potential entry points around windows, doors, and foundations.
  • If you suspect a deer mouse infestation, contact Friendly Pest Control Melbourne for safe and effective removal solutions.

Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus): The Sewer Dweller

Identifying Features:

  • Size: Larger than house mice, with a body length of 7 to 10 inches and a tail measuring 6 to 8 inches.
  • Color: Brown or grayish-brown fur.
  • Eyes: Small and beady.
  • Ears: Short and covered in fur.


  • Norway rats live in burrows near water sources and can enter homes through sewer lines, pipes, and cracks in foundations.
  • These nocturnal creatures are omnivores and will consume a variety of things, including food scraps, pet food, and even electrical wires (which can cause fires).

Health Risks:

Norway rats can transmit various diseases through their droppings, bites, and urine, including leptospirosis, plague, and typhus.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Droppings larger than house mouse droppings, typically pellet-shaped and blunt at the ends.
  • Gnaw marks on wires, furniture, and walls.
  • Burrows around the house foundation or near water sources.
  • Greasy rub marks along walls from their fur.
  • Musty odor, particularly near nesting areas.

Prevention and Control:

  • Seal cracks and holes around pipes, windows, doors, and foundations, paying particular attention to areas near water sources.
  • Eliminate potential nesting sites by clearing away debris piles and overgrown vegetation around the house.
  • Store garbage in sealed bins and avoid leaving pet food bowls out overnight.

If you suspect a Norway rat infestation, contact Friendly Pest Control Melbourne immediately. These larger and more aggressive rodents require professional intervention to ensure safe and complete removal. To learn more about it click here.

Roof Rat (Rattus rattus): The High Climber

Identifying Features:

  • Size: Similar to the Norway rat, with a body length of 6 to 8 inches and a tail measuring 7 to 9 inches.
  • Color: Black or dark brown fur with a lighter underside.
  • Eyes: Large and prominent.
  • Ears: Large and hairless.


  • Roof rats, as their name suggests, are excellent climbers and prefer to live in upper parts of structures, like attics, roof voids, and trees.
  • They are agile and can access buildings through gaps as small as half an inch.
  • Roof rats are omnivores and feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. They can also enter homes searching for food scraps and pet food.

Health Risks:

Similar to Norway rats, roof rats can transmit various diseases through their droppings, bites, and urine.

Signs of Infestation:

  • Droppings resembling those of Norway rats, but typically found in higher areas like attics and crawl spaces.
  • Gnaw marks on electrical wires, insulation, and wooden beams.
  • Nesting materials like leaves, twigs, and insulation found in attics or roof voids.
  • Tracks on dusty surfaces, revealing their climbing ability.

Prevention and Control:

  • Trim tree branches away from the house to prevent roof rats from using them as access points.
  • Seal gaps around rooflines, eaves, and soffits to prevent entry.
  • Store food in airtight containers and keep attics and crawl spaces well-ventilated.

If you suspect a roof rat infestation, contact Friendly Pest Control Melbourne right away. Their expertise in dealing with these agile climbers is crucial for effective removal.To learn more about it click here.

When to Call Friendly Pest Control Melbourne

While there are DIY methods for rodent control, professional intervention is often the most effective and safest solution. Here are some signs indicating it’s time to call Friendly Pest Control Melbourne:

  • You see live rodents or signs of their activity, such as droppings, gnaw marks, or nests.
  • Unexplained scratching or scurrying sounds come from behind your walls or ceiling.
  • You suspect you have a large rodent infestation.
  • You’ve tried DIY methods without success.

Why Choose Friendly Pest Control Melbourne?

Friendly Pest Control Melbourne is your one-stop shop for all your rodent control needs. We offer the following benefits:

  • Experienced and Licensed Technicians: Our team comprises highly trained and licensed professionals who understand the biology and behavior of different rodents.
  • Safe and Effective Solutions: We utilize safe and effective methods for rodent removal, prioritizing the safety of your family and pets.
  • Long-Term Prevention Strategies: We go beyond just removing existing rodents; we also recommend preventative measures to keep them from returning.
  • 24/7 Availability: We understand that rodent problems can arise anytime. We offer 24/7 emergency services to address your concerns promptly.

Don’t let mice and rats turn your home into theirs! Contact Pest Control Melbourne today for a free quote and professional rodent removal service. We’re committed to helping you reclaim your home and ensuring the safety and peace of mind of your family.

Remember, a prompt response is key to preventing a rodent infestation from escalating. Contact Friendly Pest Control Melbourne today and take back control of your home!


Living with mice and rats is not only unpleasant but also poses a health risk. By understanding the characteristics and behaviors of these common rodents, you can identify potential infestations early on. This guide has equipped you with the knowledge to distinguish between house mice, deer mice, Norway rats, and roof rats.

If you suspect a rodent problem in your home, don’t hesitate to contact Friendly Pest Control Melbourne. Our team of experts is here to help you eliminate these unwanted guests and ensure your home remains a safe and healthy environment for your family.

We hope this comprehensive guide has been informative. With the knowledge you’ve gained and the resources provided, you can effectively address any rodent concerns and keep your home pest-free.