Are Those Rats or Mice in My Home?
Rat and mouse problems are two of the most dreaded pest issues. If you happen to see a rodent in your home, how do you know whether it’s a mouse or a rat you’re looking at? While these rodents are very similar, they also differ in many ways as well. One thing’s for certain: you don’t want rats or mice infesting your home. Because they both can carry and spread disease, it’s important to know what type of rodents you may deal with in your Northern California property. Here at The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control, we want our customers to be well aware of the pest threats they face—learning how to differentiate between rats and mice can help prepare you for an infestation. Read on to learn more!
How Dangerous are Rat or Mouse Infestations?
Some mice may look cute, but they are just as much a threat as rats. One of the biggest dangers is the damage they can cause with their chewing and nesting habits. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring, which can create a fire hazard in your property. Even worse, rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of 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.
Rat vs. Mouse Characteristics
Mice may be smaller than adult rats, but there are other differences to keep in mind as well.
- While they differ between species, rats typically have larger bodies that are about 6–9 inches in size.
- Rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
- Their droppings are much bigger than those of mice at 10–20 mm long.
- Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
- Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat meats, grains, seeds, and much more.
- Most mice are only 2–4 inches long.
- Mice typically have larger ears and tails compared to their body size.
- The droppings mice leave behind have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
- Mice are omnivores but mostly feed on seeds, grains, and fruits.
- They are more prolific than rats: Mice produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.
Need Help Identifying Rats or Mice?
Rodents are not subtle creatures. If you have a rat or mouse problem, you will know. As soon as you spot the signs (or smell the odors) from their presence, contact the rodent exterminators at The Hitmen!