Section I. INTRODUCTION TO RODENTS
a. Man has been combating rats and mice across much of the earth for
hundreds of years. His control efforts have taken numerous forms, and many have
been the attempts to "build a better mousetrap." Building a better mousetrap, however,
requires that one first know something about the mouse. It is no surprise that man's
most successful methods for controlling rodents are based on knowledge of the rodents
themselves. The knowledge of the biology and habits of rats and mice is an important
weapon to use in their control.
b. In North America, the rodents include such native animals as the squirrels,
woodchucks, field and wood mice, pack rats, gophers, porcupines, and the beavers.
They also include three imported species. The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), the roof
rat (Rattus rattus), and the house mouse (Mus musculus). These last three belong to
the Old World War family "Muridae", and are often called commensal or domestic
rodents, due to their close association with man (see figure 1-1).
Figure 1-1. Rodents of military importance.