In our area, we have three types of rodents that can present a threat to human health and property. You can probably name them. They're very common. Mice, rats, and sometimes squirrels come into Sacramento yards and, when given the opportunity, get inside our homes and businesses. The secret to keeping them out is understanding what motivates them. Here is a quick guide to Sacramento's most common rodents to help you do just that.

a large rat in a basement of a california house

How Rodents Differ

All rodents do not present the same problems. The first factor you must consider is how they differ.


There are a few species of mice in Sacramento. The most common structure-invading mouse is the house mouse. While it isn't the only mouse species that gets inside, it is the most pernicious. If you see a dusty gray-colored mouse, that is a house mouse. If you see a mouse that is tawny-colored, like a deer, that is a deer mouse. A deer mouse doesn't prefer to live in your home. If you find a stocky brown or grey rodent in your yard, it could be a meadow mouse, commonly referred to as a vole. You don't need to worry about voles getting into your home at all. They don't.


There are primarily two pest rat species in Sacramento. They are Norway rats and roof rats. Norway rats are brown rats that burrow in the ground. While they can be structure-infesting pests, they have a preference for being outside. Roof rats are black rats that get into attic spaces. These rats prefer to be indoors and can be incredibly difficult to control.


These animals do not commonly invade homes. When they do find an opportunity and the incentive to get inside, they typically stay in attic spaces or secluded locations.

Access Points

Once you've considered how likely a pest is to get into your home, the next step is to consider how they might do it.

  • Gaps - If you have gaps around your water pipes or wire conduits, this is an open invitation for mice and rats to get inside. Use a caulking gun to seal these and other foundation gaps.
  • Doors - Your exterior doors don't just allow you to go in and out of your home. A mouse or rat can chew through weather stripping, door sweeps, and wood frames to get inside. Do routine checks and repair the damage.
  • Branches - A squirrel isn't going to get into your home unless it sees an opportunity and believes it is a good option. When tree branches hang over your roofline, this can lead to trouble with squirrels, and also roof rats (which don't need much of an invitation to enter your home). Trim branches back to prevent this from happening.
  • Downspouts - Rodents can climb right up your downspouts and gain access to your roof. Put wire mesh in there to prevent this from happening.

Rodent Attractants

Now that you know a little bit about which rodents will get inside your home and how they might do it, you need to consider what attracts those rodents. The last thing you want to do is give a rodent the wrong idea.

  • Seeds - All rodents love seeds. If you have bird feeders near your home, you're asking for trouble. A mouse, rat, or squirrel will feed on the seeds that fall to the ground, and they are likely to climb up and access the feeders directly. The more rodents you have exploring your exterior in search of seeds, the more trouble you will have with rodents on the inside of your home.
  • Nuts - Squirrels, rats, and mice all eat nuts. If you have trees that produce nuts or acorns, you may have more rodent activity in your yard. When you pick nuts up, never store them near your home. If you like to feed the squirrels in your yard, be aware that this can increase your chances of squirrel problems developing. It can also increase your problems with rats and mice.
  • Garbage - The scent of rotting organic matter can attract mice and rats. Keep your receptacles as clean as possible to remove odors that can lure mice and rats near to your home. Keep in mind that mice and rats are great climbers. Don't think for a second that they can't get into your trash because your receptacles are too tall. They will surprise you.
  • Dense Vegetation - An often overlooked attractant is dense vegetation. Make sure your bushes and shrubs are trimmed, particularly near the base of the plants. Remove unnecessary vegetation. Get rid of any objects in your landscaping, or in your yard, that mice and rats can hide under.

Added Rodent Protection For Sacramento Properties

If you seal entry points, remove access, and get rid of the attractants that bring mice, rats, and squirrels close to your home, you can reduce rodent problems below your threshold of comfort. When this isn't enough, or if you're unable to stay on top of the required home and yard maintenance, targeted rodent control treatments are necessary. For this, reach out to HomeShield Pest Control.

Rodent trapping and monitoring is a complex process. Through our proven process, we'll get the results you're looking for. If you live in the Sacramento Region, reach out to us today for rodent control treatments or to learn more about our other Sacramento pest control and extermination services. We can help!