Did you know that there are more than 2,000 different rodent species? With so many different species, they are one of the largest groups of mammals on Earth. While you may think you could spot a rodent from a mile away, you may be surprised to discover which mammals are indeed rodents, and which ones are not. 

Join the pest control pros at Stomp Pest Control in Raleigh as they share a list of rodents, as well as the characteristics they have. As we explore these topics, we will share valuable information that will provide you with what you need to know to discover a rodent infestation, and how Stomp Pest Control can help you get rid of your rodent problem for good.

Characteristics of a Rodent

What is a rodent? The word rodent comes from the Latin word “rodere”, which means to gnaw. Rodents have sharp teeth that continuously grow. They must gnaw on hard objects to keep them from getting too long. This is one of the reasons why rodents are considered to be dangerous pests. By chewing on objects, they can cause a great deal of damage. Before we dive into a list of rodents, let’s first discuss the characteristics of a rodent.

list of rodents in North Carolina

Rodents are found in most terrestrial habitats, but you won’t find them in New Zealand, Antarctica, or several oceanic islands. In fact, rodents commonly find their way into homes in the winter in an effort to escape the cold weather.

Characteristics of a rodent include:

  • A long tail
  • Sharp incisors
  • One pair of incisors in the upper and lower jaw
  • A large gap behind incisors
  • No canine teeth
  • Agile
  • Warm-blooded
  • Have four limbs

Rodents are herbivores that usually weigh less than 7 pounds — Rodents munch on seeds, bark, leaves, and fruit. When it comes to their activity, some are active during the day, while others tend to be nocturnal. Interestingly enough, rodents hibernate in the winter, just like their much larger mammal friends, bears.

Types of Rodents (A List of Rodents)

Rodents are divided into several taxonomic groups:

Hystricognath Rodents

These rats have unique jaw muscles that are different from all other rodents. Rodents that are a part of this group include:

  • Old World Porcupines
  • Cane Rats
  • Agoutis
  • Spiny Rats
  • Guinea Pigs

Myomorpha (Mouse-like rodents)

Many rodents in this category are nocturnal and like to eat seeds. These include:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Muskrats

Sciuromorpha (squirrel-like rodents)

Squirrel-like rodents have a different arrangement of their jaw muscles compared to other rodents. Members of this group are:

  • Beavers
  • Squirrels 
  • Chipmunks
  • Flying Squirrels

Anomaluromorpha (scaly-tailed squirrels)

Nine different species types of scaly-tailed squirrels and springhares exist today. 

These include:

  • Pel’s flying squirrel
  • Long-eared mouse
  • East African springhare

These rodents have membranes that stretch between their front and hind legs that allow them to glide.

Common List of Rodents

While there are several different taxonomic groups of rodents, not all are common. A diverse list of rodents is as follows:


Mice are one of the most common types of rodents. They are small and quick, which makes them difficult to catch. They are known to reproduce quickly which is why when you find one mouse in your house, there are likely several more lurking around or potentially roaming in your walls.

House mice are typically brown or gray and have long tails. You may also encounter a field mouse near your home. These mice are found in fields and other open areas. They are small with brown or gray fur and white bellies.

There are also wood mice that are brown or gray. They have a long tail like the field mouse but are smaller. They are found in the woods and other rural areas.


A rat infestation can be more serious because rats carry diseases. They are also larger than mice. As soon as you see or suspect these rodents, call a professional to start the removal process.

There are several different types of rats that you may encounter. A Norway rat is larger than a house mouse and has a shorter tail. Norway rats are usually brown or black and have shaggy fur. They are known to be very aggressive and excellent swimmers, which is why they are often found near bodies of water. 

Black rats are also commonly found in homes and businesses. They are smaller than Norway rats and have longer tails. They are typically black or brown with smooth fur. While they’re not as aggressive as Norway rats, they can still pose a danger to animals and humans. Since they are good climbers, they tend to live in trees and other high places.


Many people think chipmunks are small and cute, but they are very pesky. They can build nests in your home and will dig holes in your yard as they look for food. Unfortunately, these rodents can dig into your roof, cause structural damage, and decrease the value of your home, so it’s important to exterminate them before they cause damage beyond repair.


If you’re local to Raleigh, you’ve most likely seen squirrels rummaging around your yard, foraging for nuts and running up trees. While these creatures may appear cute and fascinating, they can become a problem if they start to dig in your yard or eat your flowers.

Gerbils & Hamsters

Many people keep gerbils and hamsters as pets for their children. While they can be pets, they are still classified as rodents.

Is a Skunk a Rodent? 

Skunks are often mistaken as rodents but they are a type of mammal that belongs to the Mephitidae family. Thus, skunks do not make it on our list of rodents.

Is a Possum a Rodent? 

Many people call possums large rats, but they are actually marsupials. In fact, they are the only marsupial that lives in North America. With that said, possums do not make it on our list of rodents either.

Is a Raccoon a Rodent? 

Raccoons are also mistaken for rodents. They are actually from the procynoid genus and are distantly related to cats and dogs. In conclusion, raccoons are not on our list of rodents.

Are Rabbits Rodents?

Rabbits are also not rodents. They are different than rodents because they have an extra pair of incisors and other skeletal features. You guessed it – rabbits did not make it on our list of rodents either, thanks to their extra pair of incisors and skeletal makeup.

Signs You Have a Rodent Infestation

Now that we have shared a list of rodents you may encounter in North Carolina, let’s transition into sign that you might have a rodent infestation in your home. Here are some things to look for:

  • Gnawed furniture or food containers
  • Droppings
  • Strange noises coming from walls and ceilings (signs of nesting)
  • Halls chewed through walls and floors
  • Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter 

Any of these can be red flags that rodents are lurking in or around your home. It’s best to call a professional, like Stomp Pest Control, to assess the situation and develop a plan to remove these rodents from your home.

Rodents like to hide inside, under, and behind kitchen cabinets as well as behind appliances and around floor air and dryer vents. You may also find them lurking inside the attic or in the basement or crawl space. This is not to say you won’t find them in other areas, but these are the most common places you’ll want to look.

How To Keep Rodents Away from Your Home

There are several things you can do to keep rodents away from your home in the first place. Consider these tips:

  • Keep food sealed in thick containers with tight lids.
  • Clean up spilled food right away and wash dishes and utensils soon after using them.
  • Put pet food away and don’t leave food or water bowls out overnight.
  • Keep any inside garbage in thick containers with tight lids.

Also, if you notice any holes around your home, you’ll want to seal them to prevent rodents from entering. This is a good way to keep rodents away altogether.

Rodent FAQ

How long do rodents live?

While some rodents can live up to 10 years in captivity, most only live for 2-3 years in the wild.

What sort of damage do rodents cause?

Rodents can gnaw on electrical wiring, insulation, and wooden beams. This can cause potential fires and structural damage. They can also eat crops, eat food in your pantry, and cause contamination with their droppings. 

How fast do rodents reproduce?

Rodents reproduce quickly which is one of the biggest problems. On average, the litter size of a house mouse is 6 to 8. This means one mouse can have anywhere from 32 to 56 babies each year.

Call Stomp Pest Control to Remove Rodents from Your Home

If this blog post containing a list of rodents indicates that you have a rodent problem, our pest control exterminators are here to help. If you suspect a rodent infestation in your home, call Stomp Pest Control in Raleigh. Our pest exterminators know the damage rodents can cause in your home or business and have the expertise to get the job done. Call us today at (919) 231-3292 or fill out the form below to learn more about our services and sign up for a monthly pest control plan that starts as low as $25 per month!


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