Are there giant mice as big as cats? Do you know what their names are? Among the different species of mice and rats, there is a huge one and it is the giant rat of the Gambia, also called African. This giant mouse also lives in Italy and it is not so rare to meet it in our cities, spreading terror. But not everyone knows that this rodent is less dangerous than it seems, despite its considerable size.
Another giant mouse is the Norwegian rat, a true concentrate of intelligence and adaptability, but also a powerful vehicle for infections and diseases. It was introduced in Europe before the industrial revolution, supplanting the pre-existing species, the Rattus rattus.
Of the two giant mice (it would be more correct to call them “giant rats”), the Norwegian is by far the most widespread and often visits our cellars, warehouses and food processing companies, always looking for food and water.
Today, giant mice are a serious problem for many communities that can no longer be countered with cats guarding our homes. Their size and aggression put even the most daring cats on the run. By crossing the obstacle of predators, access to food allows their uncontrolled reproduction.
Fortunately, there are very valid remedies that will allow you to get rid of giant rats and mice in a few hours, blocking that vicious circle that leads them to always increase in number and size.
Giant mice: the Gambian giant rat
The African giant rat (Cricetomys Gambians) is native to the region from which it takes its name, but can be found in almost all of Africa and is truly enormous. It weighs almost 3 kg and can reach a length of 50 cm to which another 40 cm of the tail must be added.
Although it is called rat, it does not belong to this species, but the largest of the Muroidea and has great similarities with another giant mouse, the Rattus norvegicus.
Contrary to popular belief, in Africa, it is normally used as a companion animal like cats and dogs and does not represent a danger to humans at all. If properly trained, the giant rat also manages to be useful to humans who use it to detect anti-personnel mines thanks to its powerful sense of smell.
Being too light to trigger an anti-personnel mine, they can identify it by sniffing the explosives or metal and reporting the unexploded device to the soldiers involved in the demining of vast areas.
In addition to this interesting quality, the Gambian giant rat is cleverly able to identify the presence of tuberculosis by smell alone. Human mucus samples are made to analyze by these rodents who can examine 100 samples in 20 minutes with a reliability of 77%. Modern laboratories cannot break this record as they examine 100 samples in 4-5 days.
We report some data:
- TB (tuberculosis) was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2016, counting 1.7 million deaths!
- In 20 years, the giant rat has found 100,000 unexploded mines, saving as many lives.
Therefore, to say that the giant rat is dangerous is false because more lives are saved than those lost thanks to the use that man is resurrected to make of it.
Unfortunately, this rodent has become famous due to its spread in New York and Florida where it lives undisturbed thanks to its adaptability to city life. To him goes the primacy of giant rats, so large that specimens of 8 kg have been found.
Giant mice: The Norwegian rat
The Rattus norvegicus is the typical sewer rat that, thanks to its resistance and adaptability, has colonized the sewers of the whole planet. By creating its nest in the sewer systems, it turns out to be the most dangerous and infesting species among giant mice, causing many diseases and victims due to its aggressiveness in dangerous conditions.
Due to its frequentation and its appearance, it has acquired numerous names and appellations: some call it a grey rat, others brown, sewer rat.
Other smaller mice and rats, such as the common or field mouse, are not seen in the sewers for a very trivial reason, they are eliminated instantly. Given a large amount of food present, the sewers have become an ideal habitat for mice and rats.
Their colonies get bigger and bigger until they reach a “critical level” imposed by food resources. When there is barely enough food to feed a colony, the excess mice are removed or eliminated (even devoured).
There is a stratification around the source of nourishment, in the centre, there are the stronger species and specimens, while, going towards the periphery, the weaker subjects are gradually found.
The Norwegian and Gambian rats are the largest and strongest species and dominate the sewers and places where humans are absent, relegating all other mice to the poorest areas of food.
Giant mice and rats, how to eliminate them
The remedies for the capture or the ‘ elimination of giant rats and mice are different from common rats. When we are dealing with an 8 kg specimen, it will certainly not be a snap trap to stop it. For mice and giant rats, there are, in fact, different remedies that take into account their size and strength.
First, you will rarely find a giant rat on the top floors of a building. In those places, the most common species are the common mouse (Mus musculus) and the black mouse (Rattus rattus), which often nest in attics. If, on the other hand, you live on the ground floor or have a cellar, the probability of hosting a larger mouse increases for reasons related to their habits.
Secondly, the giant mouse is more likely not to live in your home, it just comes to feed. This is an advantage, as it will be easier to block the mouse outside than to try to get it out. Furthermore, being mice of considerable size, they will not easily find a place to hide and reproduce.
The remedies to eliminate a mouse or a giant rat are thus classifiable.
- Elimination of causes
- Technological bollards
- Physical bollards
- Biochemical bollards
Eliminate the causes
Mice enter your environment hunting for food, warmth and shelter against predators. Just one of these reasons would be enough to make your home, office, boat, camper, car, etc. attractive. Often the source of food is not within your spaces, but reside in a garbage can or food depot nearby. The sewer rat lives within 50 meters of its source of livelihood and this will help you understand why it is in your territory.
However, it is not always possible to remove the foods that attract them both because you have a pantry at home and because you use these products in the factory. But, leaving food reserves in your RV, car, or boat is a reckless gesture that will attract all sorts of animals and rodents. Leaving unprotected food, compost bin open, and accessible waste is also not good practice.
The use of these devices is an almost mandatory solution on many occasions. If you find mouse droppings or you realize that you have been visited, it is not enough to use simple measures to remove them. Giant rats and mice are very reluctant to leave the places they have colonized and find hiding places that are not reached by the bollards.
The ultrasounds or the repellents for mice do not reach the cavities or all those sound-absorbing materials inside which they find heat and protection from predators. The mere suspicion that, in the environment where you sleep or keep expensive and important material, a rodent may live, should prompt you to take all precautions to eliminate it as soon as possible.
In this case, it is important to be able to track them down, catching them or killing them with mousetraps. This remedy is the cheapest and fastest ever, unlike all the others which may take weeks to work and which should only be used for preventive and maintenance purposes.
We have identified the best traps for mice and rats that could help you clean up the environment effectively and definitively. After and during their use, do not forget to also associate bollards, which will protect you from other intrusions.
Among all the deterrents for rats and giant mice, the most effective is certainly the ultrasonic ones. They are often discouraged and derided by those who consider themselves experts in the pest control sector and this is for various reasons. Many rodent control companies do not look favourably on a simple, economic and ecological system, because it affects their large business.
Another reason is the experience with older ultrasound devices. In the past, several errors have been made on the frequencies used for repellent purposes. Mice are disturbed by frequencies of 35 kHz, but they also can adapt quickly.
To overcome the problem of habituation to fixed frequencies, variable frequency or double diffuser systems have been developed which guarantee excellent results.
We have created a special section relating to ultrasounds that will help you in choosing the best products, avoiding rip-offs and waste of money.
These bollards are essentially the protective barriers against these animals. They are used to prevent giant rats and mice from entering or coming into contact with food.
Therefore, we do not mean only the devices, but a series of suitable practices to avoid the entry of marauders.
- Protect the composter with a wire mesh
- Keep food tightly sealed in glass or metal containers
- Use metal bins
- Seal all access to your home
We covered the subject extensively in the article on mice in the house, and those tips will be of great help to protect you.
Biochemical-type bollards are all those biological or synthetic repellents that keep rats and giant mice away.
Even if the rodent finds an open passage towards the inside, in the presence of these repellents, it will not enter because the survival instinct will prevail over everyone.
The mouse is an extremely intelligent being and the presence of some element, which could jeopardize its safety, will make it desist from entering a warehouse or an environment rich in food.
Biological bollards are all those elements spontaneously present in nature that repel mice and rats in various ways. Some disturb the olfactory organ, others the orientation, still others imply that their life is in grave danger.
The presence of some substances that we have listed in the article on natural remedies will clarify your ideas about it better.
We remind you that these giant mice pose a threat to your health even after you have eliminated them due to their urine and feces scattered everywhere. The list of diseases and infections brought by giant mice is very long also due to the environments they frequent. Good rodent control must be followed by a thorough cleaning of the premises.
If you don’t know how to do this, the guide on how to clean mouse droppings can help. We will suggest all the products and the procedure make your home clean and sanitized.