Rats and mice are remarkably well-adapted for living in close association with humans. They also transmit a number of diseases to humans through their feces and urine. There are three common species that live in close association with humans in TN: Norway rat, roof rat, and house mouse.
Also called the brown or sewer rat, is the largest domestic rodent. Their life span is about 1 year. They prefer to nest in lower portions of buildings in wall voids, underneath floors, crawlspaces etc. They eat essentially the same foods as humans. They are nocturnal.
These are smaller than the Norway rat, 8 to 12 ounces. They are excellent climbers and are usually found above ground level. Nests can be found in attics, roof areas, or ceiling voids. They also prefer human food but can eat a more versatile range of things unlike the Norway Rat.
These are the smallest domestic rodent. However, they are prolific breeders. House mice tend to move indoors in the winter when food becomes more scarce.
First you need to identify the rodents causing the problem. You can do this by looking for droppings, runways, burrows, tracks, gnawing marks, urine, visual sightings, nest and food caches, pet excitement. Obviously, the first thing always recommended is sanitation as the first defense. Then you pest proof the place by sealing cracks, installing screen protectors. Then set up a series of traps indoors, these are very effective. Check the traps daily and dispose of the rodents in plastic bags. There are also poison baits, tracking powders, and fumigants you can use to help suppress rodent populations.