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Is it a Rat or a Mouse?

Is it a Rat or a Mouse?

All the signs are there:  torn (or knawed) packages in your pantry, scurrying sounds in the walls, and droppings. Yes, you have a rodent problem.  Since even a single rodent can become dozens in matter of weeks, it is important to get help as soon as you notice the signs of a rodent in your home.

Does it really matter whether you are dealing with mice or rats? Yes, it does. For one thing, the tactics for getting rid of them are different. This is because mice and rats have very different behaviors, food preferences and habits. Either way, they have to go — and quickly.

The first step to eradicating a rodent problem is figuring out which one you are dealing with — a mouse or a rat. This can be done by looking at several factors:

What They Look Like

Since both rats and mice are nocturnal, the odds of actually seeing either is slim. But if you are lucky enough to catch a quick glimpse, look for these common differences:

  • Size: the average house mouse is only about seven inches long; but a rat can be three times that size.
  • Coloring:  most mice are brown with a bit of graying. Rats, on the other hand, can be any shade of brown with some (or all) black.
  • Fur:  Rats have longer, rougher and shaggier fur.
  • Ears: mice generally have large ears that look a bit disproportional to their bodies. Rats sport short ears.
  • Snout:  mice have a pointed snout when compared to a rat’s blunter one.

Where They Live

Mice like to stay close to their food source. So, you are likely to find them near the kitchen – even taking up residence in your cupboards or pantry. Rats, on the other hand are burrowers, and tend to live under the house, burrowing their way in to grab a snack and leave again.

How They Act

When trying to decide if you have a mouse or rat problem, consider these pests behavior.  Mice are curious creatures and tend to check out anything new. That is why they are commonly caught in traps. Their curiosity can’t keep them from seeing what that new object (with food) has to offer.

Mice like to stay close to their food source. So, you are likely to find them near the kitchen – even taking up residence in your cupboards or pantry. Rats, on the other hand are burrowers, and tend to live under the house, burrowing their way in to grab a snack and leave again.

Rats, on the other hand, are much more cautious. Putting out a trap (even with food) is going to put a rat on alert. A better tactic is to put a trap in an area for a few days without setting it. This allows the rat to get used to it being there, so that once you do set it, he will be more likely to get caught.

What Their Droppings Look Like

One of the best ways to determine which rodent pest you are dealing with is to take a closer look at their droppings. Mice leave behind rod-shaped droppings (and more of them), while rats tend to void less, leaving behind blunted capsule-like droppings.

It doesn’t matter which type of rodent you are dealing with. Quick action is necessary to avoid becoming inundated with these pests. To get rid of rodents quickly, call in the expert crew from Perfection Pest Control for an evaluation and an individualized pest control strategy.

Have a PEST problem? We have the perfect solution. Schedule an inspection

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