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.
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.
When you see a rodent scurrying around your home or business, how do you know if it’s a rat or a mouse? Although both of these types of rodents cause similar problems for property owners, there are significant physical differences between them. Keep the following in mind, so that you can tell the difference between mice and rats.
Physical Appearance of Mice
Mice are generally smaller in size than rats. These rodents tend to weigh up to 0.5 ounces when they are fully grown, while rats can weigh up to 11 ounces as adults. They have a smaller head, smaller feet, and larger ears compared to rats. They also have a more pointed snout and their coat is a light brown coloring.
Physical Appearance of Rats
Rats are typically bigger than mice. Norway rats have a brown or black body, as well as shorter ears and a blunt snout. They also have bodies that are heavier and thicker than mice and a coat that tends to be longer and have a rougher texture. Their tails are usually a paler coloring underneath and a darker coloring on top. Roof rats, another common type of rat species, are typically a grayish color with some black shading. These rats have bodies that are more slender than Norway rats, and they're also slightly smaller when they are fully grown. They have a more pointed snout similar to a mouse’s snout, as well as larger ears. Roof rats have a smoother coat and a tail that is dark all over in coloring.
Other Differences Between Mice and Rats
Mice and rats also differ in terms of their droppings. Mouse droppings are typically shaped like a rod, while rat droppings have a more blunted or capsule-like shape. Both of these rodents are known for leaving droppings behind as they move about looking for food and water. Since their feces can contain harmful germs, it’s important to have professional pest control experts inspect your home or business if you find any.
Another difference between rats and mice is where you’re more likely to find them. Mice are generally found in a wide range of habitats, including rural and urban areas, as well as indoor and outdoor areas. They can easily fit through narrow openings to gain entry into residential and commercial buildings. Norway rats are usually found in lower areas of buildings, while roof rats are mainly found in higher areas, such as on upper floors, roofs and trees. Rats and mice are both nocturnal, so you’re much more likely to see or hear them during the night rather than during the day.
If you have rats or mice on your residential or commercial property, please contact Perfection Pest Control for help. We offer dependable pest control services in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky.