Rats and mice are two of the most common pest problems for homes and businesses alike. All types of rodents share a common identifying feature: their ever-growing incisor teeth. If you spot a rodent in your house, how do you know if you’ve spotted a rat or a mouse? Both have short legs and long tails, but their similarities stop there. Mice and rats exhibit different behaviors and are typically much different in appearance. Even more notable is their habits when they infest a property—rat infestations are more of a threat than a mouse problem is. Because of this, it’s important to know how to tell the difference between a mouse and a rat. The rodent exterminators at D’s Pest Control are here to help explain the differences between these two rodents—read on to learn more!
How to Identify a Mouse
In general, mice are smaller than rats and less aggressive in their behavior. Here’s how to tell them apart from rats:
- The house mouse is usually just 2–4 inches long.
- Mice have larger ears and longer tails compared to their body length.
- Mice are often gray or brown in color, with a lighter shade or white color on their bellies.
- Mice droppings have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
- Most mice feed on fruits, seeds, grains, and occasionally meat.
- They produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.
- Mice forage at dusk and nest in attics, garages, basements, and more.
From the Norway rat to the roof rat, these rodents are known for being larger than their mouse counterparts.
- Rats have thicker bodies and tails that are shorter than the length of their body.
- They possess small hairy ears and larger feet.
- They weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 grams.
- Rat droppings are banana-shaped and much bigger than mice droppings at 10–20 mm long.
- Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
- Rats are adventurous, omnivorous eaters who will feed on a variety of grains and meats.
- They forage overnight and nest in garages, trees, and basements.
Are Rats Worse Than Mice?
More often than not, rats tend to be more aggressive than mice. However, a mouse or rat infestation can be equally dangerous in terms of health hazards and destruction. Rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of potentially dangerous diseases. They also can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. Lastly, they can cause significant damage to your home. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring, which can create a fire hazard for your property.
Do I Have a Mouse or Rat Problem?
Rodents are not subtle creatures—if they are in your home in large numbers, you will quickly be made aware of their presence. However, it’s important to leave the inspection to the professionals. No one wants to get close enough to mice or rats in order to delineate what species you’re dealing with. For this reason, it’s important to contact your local rodent exterminators for help. At D’s Pest Control, we can determine the rodent species that has infested your property and come up with a plan to get rid of the problem! Contact us today to get started.