National Pesticide Information Center




Rodents can damage buildings, contaminate food, and transmit diseases to people. The rodent family includes over 2,000 species of rats, mice , gophers, voles, beavers and more. They're also adaptable, capable of learning by trial and error. As a result, people who need to control them have always struggled to "build a better mouse-trap."

Control tips:

  • It's important to know which species of rodent you're dealing with; they have different habits and preferences.
  • To identify your rodent, choose a link below, or try contacting your local Cooperative Extension Service.
  • If you have holes or digging evidence in the yard, use the guides linked below to learn more.
  • Food isn't the only thing rodents are attracted to. Remove nesting materials, water sources, and travel pathways to discourage rodents.
  • Reduce clutter inside and outside to discourage rodents. Neatly kept homes and lawns are less attractive to some rodents.
  • Experts recommend an IPM approach to control rodents. Try prevention, sanitation and exclusion, and use rodenticides only as a last resort.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Information on Specifics Types of Rodents:

Information on Similar Species:

Last updated August 11, 2015