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Medical Entomology
~Rodents~

Characteristic

Norway Rat

Roof Rat

House Mouse

General appearance

large, robust

Sleek, graceful

small, slender

Adult size

 

 

 

weight

7-18 oz

5-9 oz

½ - 1 oz

Length

 

 

 

head & body

7-9.5 in

6-8 in

2-3.5 in

tail

6-8 in

7-10 in

3-4 in

Snout

blunt

pointed

pointed

Ears

small, covered with short hairs; do not reach eyes

large, nearly naked; can be pulled over eyes

large, some hair

Eyes

small

large, prominent

small

Tail

dark above, pale beneath

uniformly dark

uniformly dark

Fur

brown with scattered black; shaggy

grey to black; smooth

light brown, light gray; smooth

Droppings

capsule shaped, 3/4 in

spindle shaped, 1/2 in

rod shaped, 1/2 in

Senses

 

 

 

Sight

poor, color blind

poor, color blind

poor, color blind

Smell, Taste, Hearing

excellent

excellent

excellent

Food

omnivorous; often preference for meats 0.8-1 oz per day

omnivorous; especially fruits, nuts, grains vegetables; 0.5-1 oz day

omnivorous, prefers cereal grains; 0.1 oz per day

Water

15-30 ml/day

15-30 ml/day

3-9 ml/day; can subsist without free water

Feeding habits

shy to new objects; steady eater

shy to new objects; steady eater

inquisitive; nibbler

Climbing

readily climbs; limited agility

very agile, active climber

good climber

Nests

usually burrows

walls, attics, trees

within buildings, stored food

Home range radius

98-164 ft

98-164 ft

10-33 ft

Age at mating (months)

2-3

2-3

1.5-2

Breeding season

spring and fall peaks

spring and fall peaks

year long

Gestation period (days)

22

22

19

Young per litter

8-12

4-8

4-7

Litters per year

4-7

4-6

8

Length of life

1 year

1 year

1 year