Animal That Looks Like a Rat but Bigger?

Here’s a detailed list of all the different types of rodents you can find in and around your home. Some are more common than others. Photo examples included.

They are also characterized by their affinity to burrow and dig in the ground to make homes for themselves or search for food sources. Most common rodents discovered in houses and commercial buildings are usually referred to as rats.

The term has acquired a negative connotation throughout history due to rats being the carriers of the bubonic plague which is also known as the Black Death. A mouse is a small rodent with a high breeding rate and can be found in the wild as well as in domestic settings. Squirrels are commonly known as wild rodents that are found in forests and jungles, but also in gardens and parks.

It has become quite rare due to excessive hunting in the 19 th century and can be found in southwestern South America. They are usually considered prey for hawks and falcons, skunks, felines, snakes and canines. A lemming is a small rodent that is found in cold places like the frozen tundra.

It has a particularly long tail compared to its body and can cling to small plants quite easily due to its lightweight. The Dormouse gained popularity amongst the masses due to Lewis Carrolls classic novel, Alice in Wonderland. The Muroids are a large family of rodents that include hamsters, gerbils, rats, and voles.

They include the largest living rodent, the Capybara, and can be found across the moist savanna to the thorn forests and scrub deserts. They are the most populous group of rodents in the northern hemisphere and are found in fossil occlusions of bones cached by predators like owls and other birds of prey. Its tail is thin, with a tufted, black tip, and dark, sparsely furred ears.

Its hind feet are bristled, and its check teeth are shaped like the number eight, which is why its called an octodon degu. The Peromyscus, which is most commonly referred to as the deer mouse, is one of the so called new world mice because they were found in the newly discovered continent of America. The Blemosl or the mole rat is a burrowing rodent that is found strictly in Sub Saharan Africa.

They can range from 9 to 30 centimeters, and weigh from 30 to 1800 g. Blesmols have reduced eyes and ears compared to other fossorial mammals and have short tails, loose skins, and velvety fur. The Pack rat has a ratlike appearance with a long tail and large ears, as well as black eyes. They have cylindrical bodies with very short legs, and they range from black to light grey in color.

The Old World Porcupine, so called because it is found in Africa, India, Europe, and the Levant. They have rounded heads, mobile snouts and a coat of thick, flattened spines which cover their bodies. They are herbivorous, eat fruit and roots and even gnaw on dry bones for calcium.

They live in marshy areas along river banks and have bristly brown fur, which is speckled with yellow and grey spots. Rodents are found in nature around the world and are considered as pets, pests, and food as well as luxury prey for their furs. They are found in various shapes and sizes and have attained various skills from long jumps to storing food in their cheeks.

They are some of the fascinating animals on earth due to the diversity in their ranks, and they have adapted well to both domestic and wild environments.

What animal looks like a rat?

One animal that is sometimes seen and mistaken for a rat is in fact a small carnivorous marsupial – the antechinus. While there are several species of antechinus in Australia, they share several traits in common, which, taken together, can set them apart from rodents such as rats and mice.

What looks like a large mouse?

Pack Rat. The Pack rat has a rat-like appearance with a long tail and large ears, as well as black eyes. They are larger than deer mice and grasshopper mice and even larger than cotton rats. They resemble overgrown squirrels and are native to the US, Mexico, and the Sonoran desert.

If you hear scuttling in the attic or scurrying in the basement, you likely have one of the most common uninvited houseguests in America: rodents. According to Jim Fredericks, Ph.D., chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association, Every winter, 21 million homes are invaded by mice and rats, posing a major health and property threat to homeowners.

Agile acrobats, squirrels can easily jump from tree limb to rooftop. So if you hear scurrying noises, come across droppings or notice chewed and damaged entry points, you may have a squirrel nest in your attic .

Keep tree limbs trimmed far from your roof and seal holes and crevices to keep the neighborhood squirrels out. These skilled gnawers can compromise heating and air conditioning systems , wiring, insulation, roofing, fascia, soffits and storage boxes. With their black-and-tan racing stripes, chubby cheeks and twitching tails, these squirrel cousins may seem harmless.

If they get into basement or attic spaces, they can chew through electrical wiring, pipes, insulation and flooring. Avoid unwanted guests by limiting brush, sealing holes and crevices, installing a chimney cap and placing trash cans, bird feeders and vegetable gardens far from your homes foundation. If you come across signs of infestation like chew marks or droppings, call a professional pest control company, since chipmunks can carry multiple diseases.

Native to the Great Plains, this member of the squirrel family is unlikely to damage your home but can devastate your yard and garden. Light brown with a white belly and black-tipped tail, prairie dogs burrow underground in colonies. A single animal can consume up to two pounds of grass, flowers, shoots, roots and seeds a day, making short work of your lawn and vegetable garden.

Installing fences and hay bales that impede the animals view of their surroundings discourages prairie dog infestations.

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What Are Rodents?

If you hear scuttling in the attic or scurrying in the basement, you likely have one of the most common uninvited houseguests in America: rodents. According to Jim Fredericks, Ph.D., chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association, “Every winter, 21 million homes are invaded by mice and rats, posing a major health and property threat to homeowners.”Rodents — that vast class of mammals characterized by prominent front incisors, perfectly evolved for gnawing to get at food and shelter — are a particularly destructive pest.“Known for their ability to squeeze through tight spaces,” says Fredericks, “these pests are capable of transmitting over 35 diseases to humans, triggering asthma and allergy symptoms, and causing serious structural damage due to their propensity to chew through electrical wiring, plastic and drywall. Because of rodents’ ability to reproduce quickly, infestations can rapidly get out of hand, making proper prevention crucial.”Act quickly once you spot signs of infestation. A DIY solution is fine for mice, but you’ll need a professional pest control expert for larger and more aggressive rodents. First, though, determine what type of rodent you’re dealing with. Here’s a list of the most common and how to identify them.

House Mouse (

Small, gray or light brown, and topped by Mickey-size ears, the house mouse is the most common invasive rodent found across the U.S. Although it rarely grows longer than four inches, don’t let its small size fool you. These incessant gnawers can wreak havoc on your home, and their rapid reproduction leads to a full-blown infestation in just weeks.Check common nesting spots like attics or suspended ceilings, wall cavities, crawlspaces and kitchen areas (behind refrigerators, under stoves and inside cabinets and pantries). Look for telltale signs like gnawing marks, 1/4-in. droppings that are smooth with pointed ends, ammonia-like urine odor and tracks.Prevention is the key to deterring these little pests, which can squeeze through an opening the width of a pencil. So regularly check and seal all gaps and cracks, from basement to rooftop.

Deer Mouse (

This small brown rodent lives outside in rural areas most of the year but often takes shelter inside country houses and vacation homes when temperatures drop. Growing no longer than eight inches, deer mice can pass through a hole as small as a dime. They settle in attics or basements by gnawing nests into boxes or drawers, cushions and stuffed furniture, and wall voids.Deer mice are common carriers of the hantavirus, which can cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome for those who come into contact with their urine or carcasses. Be sure to properly seal your home before winter and use heavy gloves and a mask when setting and emptying traps.

Norway Rat (

Growing up to 10 inches long, with another 10 inches of tail, this brown rodent commonly known as a sewer rat is startling to come across indoors and out. These formidable pests can chew through almost any material — including PVC and metal pipes — and fit through a hole as small as a quarter. They nest in ground-level areas like basements, crawlspaces, garbage cans and woodpiles.Norway rats live across the U.S. and are known to be social animals, so if you find one nest there are likely to be others nearby. They also reproduce rapidly, giving birth to a litter every two months.These rodents bring with them serious health threats, as carriers of trichinosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, jaundice and other diseases. To prevent attracting them near or into your home, place woodpiles or other debris far away and carefully seal all holes and crevices along the foundation.

Roof Rat (

Smaller and darker than ground-dwelling Norway rats, roof rats (also known as black rats, house rats, ship rats or fruit rats) tend to nest in attics or upper parts of buildings. Found primarily in the coastal and southern states, these dark-brown or black rodents generally grow no larger than about eight inches long and have a thinner, more elongated body than their heftier Norway cousins.The most common signs of roof rat infestation? Shiny black droppings that are soft and moist if fresh or hard and dried if old. as well as scurrying noises from the attic or walls, gnawed furnishings or wiring and tracks or grease marks along the lower walls or baseboards. Like Norway rats, roof rats live in colonies, reproduce rapidly, and carry parasites and diseases, including the bubonic plague.Prevent infestations by carefully sealing crevices and holes as small as a nickel on the roof and upper parts of your home.

Squirrel (

The squirrel family comprises tree squirrels, ground squirrels and flying squirrels, as well as chipmunks and prairie dogs. The most common culprit in home infestations is the tree squirrel, found throughout the U.S. and recognizable by its gray or tan fur and signature bushy tail.Agile acrobats, squirrels can easily jump from tree limb to rooftop. So if you hear scurrying noises, come across droppings or notice chewed and damaged entry points, you may have a squirrel nest in your attic.Keep tree limbs trimmed far from your roof and seal holes and crevices to keep the neighborhood squirrels out. These skilled gnawers can compromise heating and air conditioning systems, wiring, insulation, roofing, fascia, soffits and storage boxes. Never trap an animal and let it die in your attic. The carcass poses significant health and hygiene risks.

Chipmunk (

With their black-and-tan racing stripes, chubby cheeks and twitching tails, these squirrel cousins may seem harmless. Common in all 50 states, chipmunks aggressively gnaw to keep their incisors from overgrowing. If they get into basement or attic spaces, they can chew through electrical wiring, pipes, insulation and flooring.Avoid unwanted guests by limiting brush, sealing holes and crevices, installing a chimney cap and placing trash cans, bird feeders and vegetable gardens far from your home’s foundation. If you come across signs of infestation like chew marks or droppings, call a professional pest control company, since chipmunks can carry multiple diseases.

Prairie Dog (

Native to the Great Plains, this member of the squirrel family is unlikely to damage your home but can devastate your yard and garden. Light brown with a white belly and black-tipped tail, prairie dogs burrow underground in colonies. A single animal can consume up to two pounds of grass, flowers, shoots, roots and seeds a day, making short work of your lawn and vegetable garden.Installing fences and hay bales that impede the animals’ view of their surroundings discourages prairie dog infestations. But keep watch for signs like a clutch of small holes in the ground, mounds of dirt and clipped vegetation.

Vole (

Like prairie dogs, voles compromise your yard and garden by burrowing extensive tunnel systems beneath the ground and feeding on roots, bulbs and small plants. Also known as meadow mice or field mice, these small brown or gray rodents have a long mouse-like tail, but small eyes and ears, and grow up to eight inches long.There are dozens of species of voles across the U.S. Their rapid reproduction can quickly lead to an infestation that spells trouble for your property. Keep your lawn and outdoor plants well trimmed and limit weeds and other wild vegetation to discourage voles.

Gopher (

If crescent- or horseshoe-shaped mounds of soil with small circular holes start showing up in your yard, you probably have a resident gopher. Common in most of the U.S., this small rodent can be black to light brown in color and is often called a pocket gopher, due to its fur-lined cheek pouches.Gophers live in underground burrows made of connecting tunnels. They eat roots, bulbs and tree bark, all of which spells trouble for your lawn and garden. Gophers can have litters every few weeks, leading to a population boom that can quickly devastate your property.

Groundhog (

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck? Enough to make a serious dent in your trees and plants, if left to its own devices.Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are found in most states. Often mistaken for gophers, they are significantly larger and heavier than their fellow burrowing rodents. Their chunky bodies are covered in grizzled brown fur and they can grow up to two feet long. Their front paws have long, curved claws for digging.Although groundhogs can sometimes take shelter in crawl spaces and may gnaw through electrical lines while tunneling, the more common threat they pose is to your lawn and landscaping.

Porcupine (

The third-largest member of the rodent family, porcupines live primarily in the western states and can be easily identified by their long, spiky quills.They rarely take up residence in residential areas, preferring to inhabit woods and wild grasslands, but their large appetite for bark branches and vegetation can damage your landscaping. Plus, their sharp, needle-like spines are coated with an oily substance that irritates the skin if pricked.

Importance to humans

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Natural history

Rodents may be diurnal, nocturnal, or sometimes active part of the day and night. Although some species are herbivorous, diets of most include vegetable and animal matter. Others are opportunistic generalists, and some are specialized predators, not only of arthropods (see grasshopper mouse) but sometimes of vertebrates. Food is either eaten where gathered or carried to burrows and stored (see pocket gopher, pocket mouse, African pouched rat, and hamster). Species living in arid habitats and on oceanic islands are able to obtain their water requirements from their food. A wide variety of shelters are used or constructed; these range from tree holes, rock crevices, or simple burrows to hidden nests on the forest floor, leaf and stick structures in tree crowns, mounds of cut vegetation built in aquatic environments, or complex networks of tunnels and galleries. Rodents may be active all year or enter periods of dormancy or deep hibernation. Breeding time and frequency, length of gestation, and litter size vary widely, but two of the most prolific are both associated with humans. The brown rat (