Rodents, Rats & Mice

We protect you from hantavirus by getting rid of mice, rats and other rodents. Depending on the infestation, we choose the most humane form of rodent control available.

Rodent Control AlbuquerquePest Defense in Albuquerque uses all forms of rodent control and will customize a rodent service to treat infestations of any size – from small shed and home infestations to large commercial warehouses.

Domestic Rats and Mice

Rodents expose humans to dangerous pathogens that have public health significance. Rodents can infect humans directly with diseases such as hantavirus, ratbite fever, lymphocytic choriomeningitis and leptospirosis. They may also serve as reservoirs for diseases transmitted by ectoparasites, such as plague, murine typhus and Lyme disease. This chapter deals primarily with domestic, or commensal, rats and mice. Domestic rats and mice are three members of the rodent family Muridae, the Old World rats and mice, which were introduced into North America in the 18th century. They are the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), the roof rat (Rattus rattus) and the house mouse (Mus musculus).

Norway rats occur sporadically in some of the larger cities in New Mexico, as well as some agricultural areas. Mountain ranges as well as sparsely populated semi­desert serve as barriers to continuous infestation. The roof rat is generally found only in the southern Rio Grande Valley, although one specimen was collected in Santa Fe. The house mouse is widespread in New Mexico, occurring in houses, barns and outbuildings in both urban and rural areas.


Commensal rodents are hosts to a variety of pathogens that can infect humans, the most important of which is plague. Worldwide, most human plague cases result from bites of the rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis, during epizootics among Rattus spp. In New Mexico, the commensal rodent species have never been found infected with plague; here, the disease is prevalent among wild rodents (especially ground squirrels) and their fleas.

Commensal rodents consume and contaminate foodstuffs and animal feed. In India, it has been reported that rats, mice and gerbils steal almost a quarter of all stored and standing grain. In fields, rodents can dig up and consume newly planted seeds. Because rodents tend to nibble on many foods, they destroy considerably more food than they consume. They also contaminate stored foods with their droppings and urine.

Rodents cause structural damage to buildings by their gnawing and nest building activities. They may chew up wiring and cause short circuits or even fires. Upholstery, insulation, and newspapers may be shredded for nesting material.