Types of Rodents in Boise, Idaho
Its tail is as long as its head and body length combined, and the tail is practically hairless. Its fur usually is a medium brown to dusky gray color with a lighter colored belly. The House Mouse can jump straight up about 12 inches, perhaps from the floor to a shelf or drawer pull, and if they jump against a wall, using it as a springboard, they can gain additional height. They can run up almost any vertical surface that is rough, such as wood, brick walls, wire mesh, or cables. The House Mouse can run horizontally along insulated electric wires, small ropes, or the telephone line that comes from the outside pole to the house. The House Mouse can squeeze through openings slightly larger than one quarter of an inch in diameter. They are able to get through any opening that they can get their head through, being able to squeeze the skull and skeleton down a bit to facilitate entry. They can jump down to the floor from a height of 8 feet without being injured, and can jump horizontally, from a standing start, at least 18 inches.
A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes, and differently formed molars. Voles can grow to 4-8 inches depending on species. There are approximately 155 species of voles. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America.
The Norway rat is a larger, stockier rat that prefers to live near ground level. It is usually brown or grey with a body up to 10 inches long. Nests most often are in burrows dug in the soil, and it is commonly found moving through the sewer and storm drain systems under our cities and neighborhoods. Its fur is brown, its ears are small, its nose is blunt, and its tail is shorter than its body length. Norway Rats can enter through an opening no wider than half an inch. Preferred foods may include meat or fish, so it is common around seaports and waterfront areas. In residential areas it may feed on snails or pet food, and other names that have been applied to it are Wharf Rat, Sewer Rat, Ship Rat, Burrowing Rat, and Brown Rat. Rats are somewhat color blind.
The Roof rat is a thinner, more sleek-looking rat than the Norway rat, with its tail noticeably longer than its body length. Its nose is more pointed, its ears are larger in relation to the head, and its fur is a much darker brown color. It is usually black to light brown in color with a lighter underside. A typical rat will be 6-8 inches long. It prefers to nest above ground level, in structures or foliage, perhaps as a way of distancing itself from the Norway rat, which is the more dominant of these two species. Roof Rats can enter through an opening no wider than half an inch. Preferred foods may include snails, nuts, grains, and fruit, so nicely landscaped yards are a preferred environment. Other names for this rat are Climbing Rat, House Rat, Black Rat, and Fruit Rat. Rats are somewhat color blind.