U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the 14th WDM Conference (2012).


Many invasive rodents have become established in the United States and its territories. The list of invasive species includes several species of rats (Rattus spp.), house mice (Mus musculus), nutria (Myocastor coypus), Gambian giant pouched rats (Cricetomys gambianus), arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus undulates), hoary marmots (Marmota caligata), voles (Microtus spp.), and deer mice (Peromyscus spp.). Some were introduced inadvertently (e.g., stowaways on ships or in cargo) while others were introduced purposefully (e.g., for the fur industry). Other less common reasons include rodents being put on islands as a source of food for people or introduced foxes and rodents put on islands to study rodent species interactions. In many cases, these rodents have caused serious damage to native flora and fauna, agriculture, and other resources and have resulted in disease introductions (e.g., Howald et al. 2007, Witmer and Proulx 2010, Witmer and Singleton 2010, Fall et al. 2011).