British Columbia is home to at least 20 types of rodents. Norway rats are the most common species of rat, and are the ones most commonly found in British Columbia. Rat bodies are 7 to 9 inches long with the tail being an additional 6 to 8 inches long. Most rats weigh one-half to one pound.
Rats and other rodents can carry and transmit diseases via their feet, urine, feces, or through their bite. The average rat can produce up to 100 droppings and up to 2 teaspoons of urine in a single day. Rodents can carry ticks and fleas which also spread diseases.
Rodents cause building damage by chewing through wires, wallboard, siding, insulation, plumbing pipes, and woodwork. They will chew through storage boxes and food packages, leaving contamination and a mess.
Rodents are easier to detect because of the mess left behind by their chewing, and because of dark brown rodent droppings. Mouse droppings are about one-quarter inch long, rat droppings measure up to three-quarters inch.
Rodents will dig under sheds, garages, and foundations, and also in between walls. They breed rapidly, so it is important to get rid of them as soon as you become aware of their presence on your property. Generally, it is not a good idea to use poison.