Rodents are one of the most common invasive and harmful pests found in homes and businesses across Illinois. Able to squeeze through tiny openings, rodents are adept at getting into buildings, while spreading diseases and causing destruction wherever they go. Two common types of rodents found in the Chicago Metropolitan area are Norway rats and mice.


Norway Rats

a norway rat backed against a wall in a basement

What are Norway rats?

Norway rats are a species of rodent known for their keen swimming ability, and are thus commonly found in or around bodies of water. They have heavy bodies with blunt noses, small ears, and small, bulging, black eyes.

Adult Norway rats measure between 7 and 9-1/2 inches in length. Their tails are shorter than their bodies, usually between 6 to 8 inches in length, and are bi-colored, with dark coloration on top and lighter color on the underside. Their fur is shaggy in appearance, usually brown and scattered with black hairs. The fur on their underside is lighter than the rest of their body.

Beyond their physical appearance, they can also be identified by their dark, blunt-ended, rod-shaped droppings, which can be found scattered throughout homes and businesses that they inhabit.

Are Norway rats dangerous?

Yes, Norway rats are dangerous to both people and properties. Like other rodents, Norway rats need to constantly chew on objects to keep their front incisors from overgrowing; this habit will damage baseboards, walls, personal property, and even electrical wiring. Norway rats will contaminate food and food preparation areas with their urine, feces, and saliva. They also spread serious diseases and bacteria to people and pets, and they carry harmful parasites such as mites and fleas that will infest homes and businesses.

Why do I have a Norway rat problem?

Outside, Norway rats burrow in things like garbage piles, woodpiles, and under concrete slabs. Like other household pests, Norway rats are drawn inside to find food, water, and shelter. Norway rat infestations are most common inside homes and businesses in late fall and winter months when the weather outside pushes them to seek warmth, food, and shelter. This species of rats are poor climbers and, therefore, invade the basements, crawlspaces, and ground floors of homes and commercial properties.

How do I get rid of Norway rats?

Norway rats excel at getting into the hard-to-reach areas around your home, either by squeezing into small holes or by chewing their own entry points into walls and siding. Their ability to nest on hard to reach areas makes them difficult to eliminate without professional help. What's worse is, even if you can kill every rodent inside your home, you’ll still be left with the hazardous task of discarding their bodies and the biological elements such as their hair, droppings and body oil that they leave behind.

For these reasons, a rodent infestation is always best left to the professionals. At Pestmaster® Services, our expert team can locate and get rid of all the Norway rats in your home while eliminating entry points and other attractants to keep them out in the future.

Our methods include the following:

  • Full inspections & monitoring

  • Trapping

  • Exclusion methods

  • Necessary habitat modifications

  • Baiting programs

We also offer decontamination and waste removal for potential hantavirus contamination sites. Contact us today to learn more about your rat control options.


a mouse in a hole in a wall

What are mice?

Mice are rodents that are closely related to rats, squirrels, and moles. Mice are distinguishable from their larger relatives by the size of their body. Mice are much smaller, averaging in size from about 3 to 4 inches long, with an equally long, slim tail.

Some mice get into homes and stay in homes. The most common is aptly named the common house mouse. This mouse is dusty-gray with a cream-colored belly. It grows to around 2 ½ to 3 ¾ inches long. Some mice only get into homes and businesses rarely. The deer mouse is a good example. It is a tawny (deer) color, with a white underbelly. It prefers to get into barns, sheds, and other outbuildings.

Why are mice a problem?

When a mouse gets inside a structure, it can cause many issues. Mice chew holes in wood, sheetrock, and other building materials. They also chew their way into cardboard boxes that are in storage. Once inside, they soak the contents with their urine and excrete feces everywhere. They tear up fiberglass insulation and tunnel into foam insulation. As they travel through a structure, they can leave their urine, feces, ticks, fleas, bacteria, and more behind.

How can I prevent mice?

Sealing entry points around a structure is one of the first steps you should take with mice. This helps to prevent more mice from getting in. Once this is complete, you need to lay traps down to capture the mice inside. Keep in mind that mice don't make it easy for you to catch them. This process is best performed by a trained and experienced professional.

How do I get rid of mice?

The most effective way to completely eradicate mice from your property is to seek help from the rodent control experts at Pestmaster® Services. Our professionals will use a number of proven techniques to find and eliminate any mice on your property so that you can maintain the safety and fortitude of your home or business. Contact us today for more information about our rodent control solutions!