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Utah is home to a variety of rats and mice species, some of which are common pests in residential areas. If you have recently spotted a rat or mouse in your home or surroundings, it’s essential to identify the species correctly for effective control and prevention measures. In this article, we will explore the different types of rats and mice found in Utah, their characteristics, and the steps you can take to deal with these rodents.

Common Rats in Utah

Brown Rat

The Brown Rat, also known as the Norway Rat, is among the most widespread rats found in Utah. These rodents have a robust build, measuring around 7-10 inches long, excluding the tail. They have brown fur, small ears, and relatively short tails. Brown Rats are excellent climbers and often find their way into homes through openings in walls, foundations, and attics. Implementing proper sanitation practices and rodent-proofing your property can help prevent Brown Rat infestations.

Black Rat

The Black Rat, also known as the Roof Rat, is another rat species encountered in Utah. They are smaller than Brown Rats, measuring around 6-8 inches in length, excluding the tail. Black Rats have sleek black or dark brown fur, large ears, and long, scaly tails. They are skilled climbers and are often found in elevated areas such as attics, roofs, and trees. Proper sealing of entry points and eliminating potential food sources can deter Black Rats from invading your property.

Common Mice in Utah

House Mouse

The House Mouse is the most common mouse species in Utah. These small rodents have a body length of 2.5-3.75 inches, with a tail length almost equal to their body. House Mice have gray or brown fur, large ears, and a pointed snout. They are adaptable and can thrive in various environments close to humans. Due to their small size, House Mice can enter buildings through small openings. Maintaining cleanliness, sealing entry points, and removing potential food sources are crucial for controlling House Mouse populations.

Eastern Meadow Vole (Field Mouse)

The Eastern Meadow Vole, also known as the Field Mouse, is a burrowing rodent commonly found in Utah. They have a compact body, measuring around 5-7 inches in length, with a short tail and dense fur. Field Mice have a brown or gray coloration, allowing them to blend with their natural habitat. They primarily inhabit grasslands, meadows, and agricultural fields. You can minimize Field Mouse encounters by clearing vegetation near buildings and reducing their available food sources.

White-throated Woodrat

The White-throated Woodrat is a nocturnal rodent with a chunky body and a long, furry tail. They measure approximately 9-15 inches in length, with a tail length almost equal to their body. White-throated Woodrats have a yellowish-brown coat, large eyes, and prominent ears. These rodents are known for building intricate nests using twigs and branches. They primarily reside in rocky areas and can occasionally cause damage to property. Removing potential nesting materials and securing outdoor structures can discourage White-throated Woodrats from taking up residence around your home.

Desert Woodrat

The Desert Woodrat, also known as the Pack Rat, is a native rodent of Utah’s desert regions. They have a plump body, measuring around 6-8 inches in length, with a bushy tail. Desert Woodrats have a mixture of gray, brown, and white fur, providing excellent camouflage. They are skilled builders and create complex nests made from plant materials. To prevent Desert Woodrat infestations, it is essential to trim branches near buildings, seal cracks, and eliminate food and water sources.

Bushy-tailed Woodrat

The Bushy-tailed Woodrat is another species of woodrat commonly found in Utah. They have a slender body, measuring around 14-17 inches in length, with a tail longer than their body. Bushy-tailed Woodrats have light brown fur, large ears, and a distinctive bushy tail. These rodents are known for their unique nests called “middens,” which consist of twigs, sticks, and other debris. Bushy-tailed Woodrats typically inhabit rocky areas and can occasionally cause damage to gardens and structures. Maintaining cleanliness and eliminating potential nesting materials can deter these rodents from residing near your property.

Cactus Mouse

The Cactus Mouse is a small rodent species found in arid regions of Utah. They have a compact body, measuring around 3.5-4 inches in length, with a tail of similar length. Cactus Mice have grayish-brown fur, large ears, and long whiskers. They primarily feed on seeds and cacti fruits. Avoiding clutter and sealing openings in your home can help prevent Cactus Mouse infestations.

Canyon Mouse

The Canyon Mouse is a mouse species commonly found in rocky canyons and desert areas of Utah. They have a sleek body, measuring around 4-5 inches in length, with a moderately long tail. Canyon Mice have gray or brown fur, large eyes, and prominent ears. These rodents are excellent climbers, allowing them to navigate rugged terrains. Maintaining a well-maintained exterior, such as trimming landscaping and sealing potential entry points, can deter Canyon Mice from entering your property.

Eastern Deer Mouse

The Eastern Deer Mouse is another mouse species found in certain regions of Utah. They have a slender body, measuring around 2.5-4.25 inches in length, with a bi-colored tail. Eastern Deer Mice have reddish-brown fur on their backs and white fur on their bellies. These mice are known for their agility and ability to jump. Implementing proper sanitation practices, such as storing food in rodent-proof containers, can help prevent Eastern Deer Mouse infestations.

Brush Mouse

The Brush Mouse is a small mouse species commonly found in Utah’s brushy areas. They have a compact body, measuring around 2.8-3.9 inches in length, with a short tail. Brush Mice have gray or brown fur and relatively large ears. These rodents are skilled climbers and have adapted to living in shrubs and low vegetation. Minimizing clutter and sealing potential entry points can deter Brush Mice from entering your home.

Rodents Living in Utah

Deer Mice

Deer Mice are prevalent in Utah, especially in rural and wilderness areas. They are known carriers of the Hantavirus, a potentially dangerous virus transmitted through exposure to their droppings, urine, or saliva. Proper sanitation, such as wearing protective gloves when cleaning up rodent droppings and keeping outdoor areas clean, is essential to reduce the risk of Hantavirus infection.


Voles are small rodents resembling mice that are commonly found in Utah’s grassy areas and gardens. They have a stocky body, measuring approximately 3-9 inches in length, with a short tail. Voles are herbivorous and primarily feed on plant roots and bulbs. Implementing protective measures, such as installing barriers around gardens and removing excess vegetation, can help prevent vole damage to your plants.

Norway Rats

Norway Rats, also known as Brown Rats, are a common rodent species found throughout Utah. They can cause significant damage to structures and spread diseases. Implementing proper sanitation practices, sealing entry points, and using traps or bait stations can help control Norway Rat populations and prevent infestations.


Squirrels, such as the Gray Squirrel and Fox Squirrel, can be found in Utah’s forested areas and urban parks. While they are generally not considered pests, they can cause damage by gnawing on wooden structures and utility wires. Implementing squirrel-proof measures, such as sealing openings and using deterrents, can help mitigate potential squirrel-related issues.

Ground Squirrels

Utah is home to various ground squirrel species, including the Uinta Ground Squirrel and the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel. These rodents inhabit open grassy areas, meadows, and mountainous regions. Ground squirrels can occasionally cause damage to gardens and agricultural crops. Implementing exclusion measures, such as fencing, and using repellents can help prevent ground squirrel intrusions.

Utah Prairie Dog

The Utah Prairie Dog is a rodent species native to Utah’s prairies and grasslands. They are a federally protected species and play a significant role in the ecosystem. Due to their protected status, it is important to seek professional assistance if you encounter Utah Prairie Dogs on your property. Do not attempt to remove or harm them as it may be illegal.

Risks of Rodents

Do Rats Carry Diseases?

Yes, rats can carry various diseases that can pose risks to human health. Some of the diseases transmitted by rats include leptospirosis, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and salmonellosis. It is crucial to take necessary precautions when dealing with rat infestations, such as wearing protective gear and consulting with pest control professionals to minimize health risks.

Preventing and Controlling Rodents

Tips for Preventing Rodent Invaders

– Keep your home and surroundings clean and free from clutter.
– Seal any openings or cracks in your home’s foundation and walls.
– Store food in airtight containers and clean up spills promptly.
– Dispose of garbage properly and maintain proper waste management practices.
– Trim trees and vegetation away from your home to eliminate potential entry points.
– Keep outdoor areas well-maintained and free from excessive debris.

How to Get Rid of Rats

– Identify and seal any openings or gaps that rats may use to enter your home.
– Set up traps or bait stations in areas where rat activity is observed.
– Use rodent-proof containers to store food and eliminate potential food sources.
– Maintain proper hygiene and sanitation to discourage rat infestations.
– If the infestation persists, consider seeking professional pest control services for effective elimination.

Need Help Controlling Norway Rats?

If Norway Rats have become a nuisance on your property and you are unable to control them effectively, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional pest control company. They have the knowledge, experience, and tools to eliminate Norway Rat infestations safely and efficiently.

Rodent Control with Thorn

Thorn Pest Solutions offers comprehensive rodent control services, including management, prevention, and extermination. With our expertise in dealing with different rodent species, we can effectively address your specific rodent issues and provide long-term solutions to keep your home and surroundings rodent-free.

Closing Thoughts

Which Types of Rodents Have You Seen Before in Utah?

Rodents are a diverse group of animals that can adapt to various environments in Utah. It’s important to identify the specific rodent species you encounter to implement appropriate control and prevention measures. By understanding the characteristics and behavior of the different types of rats and mice in Utah, you can take steps to protect your home and maintain a rodent-free environment.


Q: How can I differentiate between a rat and a mouse?

A: Rats are generally larger than mice, with stockier bodies, small ears, and thicker tails. Mice, on the other hand, have smaller bodies, larger ears, and longer tails in proportion to their size.

Q: Are rats and mice dangerous?

A: Rats and mice can carry diseases and cause damage to property. It is crucial to take proper precautions and implement effective control measures to minimize health risks and property damage.

Q: Can I handle rodent infestations on my own?

A: While DIY methods can be effective for minor rodent issues, severe infestations often require professional assistance. Pest control professionals have the knowledge, experience, and tools to handle rodent infestations safely and effectively.

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