Rodents Vs. Rodent Cousins: Understanding Their Differences In Order To Control Them

If it is furry and it scurries, you might think it is a rodent. Before you pick up the phone to call rodent control, there are a few things you should know. Not everything that is furry and scurries is a rodent. In fact, there are many small critters that are not rodents at all and are in a class by themselves. In order to control non-rodents as well as any rodents you have, you should know and understand the differences.

Non-Rodents (or Cousins of Rodents)

Non-rodents are any animals that scurry or move out of sight and look like mice or small rodents but are actually other animal families. These animals frequently include:

  • Moles, which are actually insect-eating mammals
  • Shrews, which are also insect-eating mammals

People often confuse the above critters as rodents, but these animals do not fit the criteria used to describe rodents. The most prominent of rodent features is the long, sharp, gnawing incisors that continue to grow throughout a rodent's life. Moles and shrews have spike-like teeth for grabbing and biting insects, and grinding molars in the back to help pulverize their insect diet. They are actually very good for your yard because of the number of bad insects they eat underground, such as grubs and locusts. Still, if you want to get rid of them, pest control can provide you with some deterrents and/or live traps.


There are literally hundreds of different rodent subspecies in the world today. This family order of animals does not just cover rats and mice, but also squirrels, rabbits, hares, jumping mice, jumping rats, voles (which are actually rodents as opposed to moles), and many larger varieties of rodent like muskrat and beaver. Ones most commonly confused for rats or mice are voles, ground squirrels, and their jumping cousins.

Most rodents are not beneficial to humans and/or human structures. These creatures will go in search of an easy meal, scavenging whatever they can find. They will also look for warm places to live that require little effort in which to nest. This is why you will frequently see these creatures indoors. Since most, if not all, rodents carry diseases that can be fatal to humans, it is important to eliminate these pests promptly. You can do so b calling a rodent control specialist who will set up dozes of lethal traps and help remove these creatures from your home or building.