Rats are rats and mice are mice, right? Actually, in practice, there are countless different species of rats and mice. In fact, there are at least 14 different species of rats and mice in Oklahoma alone. There are plenty of other rodents to be found in the Western Hemisphere as well. Let’s take a look at how many types of rate are in OK and then we’ll look at mice.
Rats Typically Found in Oklahoma
Brown rats are one of the most common rodents found across the world. These rats are often found in sewers and other urban environments and are believed to have originated in China and Mongolia. To the surprise of none, these rats are typically brown.
The black rat is also very common but not as widespread as the brown rat. For example, the brown rat is found throughout Africa and South America, black rats cling to the coasts in these regions. Both types of rats are common in Oklahoma, however. Besides having black fur, these rats are smaller than brown rats.
Eastern woodrats are typically only found in the United States and lower Canada, east of the Rocky Mountains. They’re often a bit bigger than black rats but smaller than brown rats. Typically, their fur is primarily gray-to-brown but white underbellies are common. These are packrats that often live in communal dens.
Mice Commonly Found in Oklahoma
So what types of mice are in OK? First up, the house mouse has adapted to living alongside humans. Typically, they lack fur on their ears and tails. Light underbellies are common. Fur coats are often brown or black.
Many rodents aren’t picky eaters, but that’s not true for the Golden Mouse, which almost exclusively eats seeds. Somewhat rare in Oklahoma, they sport golden, sometimes-yellowish fur and have long tails. Eastern Deer mice are very common and are identifiable by their large, round ears and large, black eyes. White-footed mice feature similar fur colorings but typically have much shorter legs.
Cotton mice also have round ears, along with brown fur. They often look similar to golden mice. Some cotton mice have reddish-brown fur and white underbellies reminiscent of foxes. These mice like to use cotton when building nests. Pinyon mice have very large ears and typically gray fur. They enjoy rocky environments.
Fulvous harvest mice, on the other hand, enjoy grassy environments. Often, they sport lighter brown fur with lighter-colored undersides. Eastern harvest mice also enjoy grassy plains and typically have dark brown fur with lighter underbellies. The Western Harvest Mouse typically has grayish-colored fur. The Plains Harvest Mouse, on the other hand, has light brown fur and often a white underbelly.
Finally, there’s the Northern Grasshopper mouse, which also has light brown fur with a lighter underside. These mice are primarily carnivorous, eating bugs and even other mice.