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How to Tell the Difference Between a Rat And a Mouse

Because rats and mice are both rodents, they are far more similar than you might think. If you have a rodent infestation in your home, it is essential to identify which pest you are dealing with. Treatment methods vary, and you are more likely to be successful at eliminating the problem if you know what you are up against. How, though, can you tell the difference between mice and rats?

Listen For The Sounds

Because both mice and rats are nocturnal, it is possible to hear them before you ever see them. Based on the sounds they make, you can distinguish between the two rodents. Mice squeak and scratch, for example. You may hear them in your walls or ceiling. While rats also scratch, they are primarily gnawers. They tend to be more aggressive with each other, and they may fight over food late at night.

Check Their Appearance

Rats are significantly bigger than mice. While a full-grown mouse can reach approximately four inches in length, a rat can grow up to nine inches. Therefore, if you have an adult rodent roaming around your house, you should be able to figure out what you are dealing with pretty quickly.

However, young rats are often approximately the same size as mice, and there is no real way to know whether you are dealing with an adult or a juvenile rodent. Therefore, to make an identification, it is important to look at other features as well. First, examine the tail. Mice have hair on their tails, but rats do not. The tails of mice are thinner, whereas the tails of rats are thicker. Also, rats may be black, gray, or brown; mice have similar coloring, but they are not black.

Examine The Droppings

Mice droppings are about the size of a grain of rice. They are dark and pointed on the ends. Rat droppings are much larger and typically have rounded ends. While the droppings are similar in that they are both dark, the size difference should make it reasonably clear what you are dealing with. Keep in mind that if the droppings are powdery, they were likely left a while ago. If the rodents have already established themselves at your property, it may be more challenging to get rid of them.

Are You Still Confused?

Rodents can cause significant damage, and they represent a health hazard. Regardless of whether you are dealing with rats or mice, it is important to handle the infestation right away. Not only can rodents cause structural damage to a property, but their tendency to chew near wires has the potential to cause a fire. They can contaminate food, and their feces have bacteria in them; rodents have the potential to carry diseases like hantavirus, bubonic plague, and salmonellosis. They can also cause an allergic reaction. A professional pest control technician can identify which rodent is in your home and create a plan to help you get rid of them. Also, they’ll work to keep mice and rats out going forward.

What Can You Do?

Start by cleaning. The floors and counters should be immaculate, not only to discourage the rats and mice from hunting for food but also to get rid of any bacteria that might be lingering. Pick up a few sealed containers and store your food in them, which is particularly important if you have pet food or items in cardboard containers (like cereal).

No one wants to deal with a rodent infestation. If you think you have a problem, stay calm. Identify the type of pest that is in your home and then take steps to get rid of the rats or mice. If the task proves too big or too complicated, get in touch with a pest control professional for help. Fox Pest Control is here to help.

Our Pest Professionals have the skills, knowledge, and experience to help you with your pest control problem. Call today for a free estimate. We work hard to get the job done and get it done right the first time. Pests … it’s what we do.

Posted on November 27, 2019.

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