Discover 4 Rodents Creating Problems in Tennessee

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: March 31, 2023
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Although rodents can seem small and generally insignificant, they do pose a threat to your property, be it your home or business. On the one hand, they carry diseases, but they also tend to gnaw, which can equal major property damage if they’re left to their own devices. Whether you’re already dealing with these small mammals or you’re curious and taking precautions, you should know which rodents are creating problems in Tennessee.  

4 Rodents Creating Problems in Tennessee

1. Roof Rats

Roof rats are originally from Asia but came over to the southeastern state of Florida in the 1500s. These rats have made their way through most of the country, but they primarily dwell in the southern portion of the United States. You can distinguish them by their appearance. They have long tails (longer than their bodies) with white bellies. Their hair is dark gray or black, and they weigh about half a pound.

roof rat

Roof rats came to the United States from Asia in the 1500s, and today thrive in the Southern States, like Tennessee.

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2. Norway Rats

Norway rats are known by other, less complimentary names, such as “sewer rats.” They may also be known as “house rats.” These rats are originally from Mongolia but made their way over to the United States in the 1700s. This rat group, above roof rats, is the most populous throughout the country. Norway rats are hefty, weighing about a pound. As far as distinctive features go, their ears are tiny, and their tails are scaly.

Two rats on a shoe

Norway rats are originally from Mongolia but made their way over to the United States in the 1700s.

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3. House Mice

Like roof rats, house mice are originally from Asia. Their name tells of their preferred environment: your home! They may inhabit places where their presence is obvious, but they may also dwell in more inconspicuous places throughout your home, like your basement. These mice have dark fur and light-colored bellies. They’re significantly smaller than rats, weighing only about an ounce. Unlike the tiny ears of Norway rats, house mice have large ears (and they have naked tails!).

House mouse

Like roof rats, house mice are originally from Asia. Their name tells of their preferred environment: your home!

©iStock.com/Bruno_il_segretario

4. Deer Mice

Deer mice are also common in homes. In Tennessee, there are two types of deer mice. The first is cotton deer mice, and the other is white-footed deer mice. Despite their distinctive names, they are quite difficult to tell apart. When you look at them, you note that their eyes are large compared to their bodies. They also have dark colored-fur and lighter bellies and feet. You’re more likely to spot them when the weather gets colder, and they seek shelter in the warmth of your home — especially if you have snacks!

Deer Mouse

You’re more likely to spot deer mice when the weather gets colder, and they seek shelter in the warmth of your home!

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Paulpixs/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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