In this article we will discuss the difference between mice and rats in terms of pest control as well as in terms of their physical appearance and behavior. Next time you see a rodent in your house you will know for sure if it is a mouse or a rat.
When it comes to mice vs rats, there are several identifying factors. They are usually identified by the traces they leave behind like their droppings or holes left by them. We will also cover some interesting facts about mice vs rats. We’ll cover the various peculiarities of the rodent family and how to identify types of rodents that you might encounter.
We will cover which rodent causes more damage to the house structure and how to prevent rodents from taking up residence. You will learn the difference between mice and rats in terms of the damage caused by them.
More importantly, we’ll cover the various preventive measures you can take and the pest control services you should call for help. We’ll show you how Safe Pro Pest Control is the most preferred solution to helping Texas residents get rid of mice and rats.
Mice vs Rats – What’s the Difference and Why it Matters
Once you realize there is some kind of rodent in your house, you first need to determine whether it is a mouse or a rat. It is important to know the difference between mice and rats in terms of pest control as the measures will vary in every case.
If you see a rodent that looks like it needs to cut back on the sweets, most probably you are looking at a rat. Let us look at more peculiarities of mice vs rats. Mice are curious and like to explore new things, that is why they can easily be trapped. Unlike mice, rats are intelligent and very cautious about new things. It takes rats a lot longer to trap.
In order to determine what is in your house, you also need to recognize the physical differences between rats and mice. Generally, rats are bigger in size, but sometimes it is easy to take a young rat for a large mouse or vice versa. But size is not the only physical appearance that separate mice from rats. We will look more into that later on.
In some cases, you will not see the rodent itself, but only its droppings. Actually even from the droppings you can understand whom it belongs to. Both droppings of mice vs rats are dark in color. However, the rat’s droppings are bigger in size and have more rounded ends than the droppings of the mice.
In some cases, you will see only holes left by the animal. You can typically guess by the size of the hole if it is left by a mouse vs rat. Rats chew large holes. They can also chew through things that mice cannot, such as brick, aluminum, wire mesh, cinder blocks, and even concrete.
If you have noticed a mouse or a rat, its droppings, or the hole, call a Plano pest control specialist immediately. Safe Pro Pest Control is a family-owned and operated extermination company with the best trained, licensed, and experienced technicians. We are experts at exterminating pests and protecting your family and property from rats and mice.
How to Tell the Difference Between Mice & Rats
Most times you can tell the difference between a mouse or rat simply based on the size of the rodent. Generally, mice are smaller than rats. However, in some cases, the difference between a young rat and a large mouse is not so obvious.
Even more than their physical appearance, mice and rats are very different in terms of their behavior and eating habits. Let us have a more detailed look at some of them.
Physical appearance of a rat
Rats are generally large rodents. Adult rats measure about 12 inches. They weigh about a pound.
There are many rat species. Depending upon their species, they have coats that are white, grey, brown, or black. They have heavy, chunky, and blunt heads. Their ears are smaller than the ears of a mouse in relation to their heads. Rats have whiskers that are more sensitive than human fingertips.
Their eyes positioned on either side of their head can move in opposite directions which allows them to see what is happening above them. Rats generally look fatter than mice. Their tails are thick, almost always absent of fur, and are lighter in color, often pink. Rats use their tails for balance and keeping themselves cool.
Physical appearance of a mouse
The main difference between mice and rats is the size of the rodent. Mice usually measure around 4 to 8 inches. They typically weigh around .2 pounds. There are many different varieties of mice. They can have a white, brown, grey, or black coat of fur.
A mouse’s head is much smaller in relation to its body than the head of the rat. Their tiny heads have a form of a sharp triangle. Their noses are pointed. If compared to the size of its body the tail of a mouse is longer than the rat’s tail. The tails of mice vs rats are also thinner and match the color of the body.
Mice prefer to eat vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and meat. However, they are not fickle and can eat a vast array of stored food items or pet foods. If the food is stored in a cardboard box or paper wrapping, mice will eat it too with pleasure.
Even though mice eat only about three grams of food daily, they contaminate and destroy 10 times more food than they eat. Mice leave their droppings and numerous partially eaten foods behind.
If mice are very hungry, they can eat dead bodies of other mice or even their own tails. Even without the food inside, they will gnaw on wooden items and plastic containers for their nests.
Mice usually live between 1.5 and 2.5 years. They are nocturnal, social, timid, and territorial in their nature. Mice like to explore new things and can be easily trapped.
Mice are able to mate as early as 4 weeks old. One female mouse can produce over 300 offspring in her life. This means that one mouse in the house can cause a serious problem.
The droppings left by mice are typically around a quarter of an inch long. They are pointed and dark in color. If they are moist, it means they are fresh. If the droppings are dry, they have been there for a while.
Rats are nocturnal animals. Although they outnumber humans, we rarely see them, as they are experts at staying out of sight. Rats are great swimmers and they can hold their breath for several minutes. The difference between mice and rats is that rats are very careful and intelligent rodents. It will take more than a baited trap to trick a rat.
Rats typically live between 2 and 3 years. One pair of rats can give 2,000 offspring in one year. However, it is worth saying that rats do not mate with mice.
Rats eat larger items such as cheeses, stored meats, and dry pet food.
Another difference between mice and rats is in the size of their droppings. Rats’ droppings are ¾ inches long. They are dark in color and have more rounded ends than the droppings of mice. A single rat leaves 25,000 droppings per year.
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Rats vs Mice – Who Causes More Damage?
Both mice and rats cause damage to a structure and to belongings. However, the difference between mice and rats is in their size. Texas Rats are bigger in size, and therefore are able to do more damage in a shorter period of time. Let us look at the damage caused by mice vs rats.
Mice have weaker teeth, which means any food stored in glass or metal is safely protected from contamination. However, mice will chew on anything that can be used to build their nests. This can be paper, cloth, wood, books, etc.
Mice create hidden, snug nests in upholstered furniture or discarded clothing. They have no respect for any item. Mice will gnaw on any chewable item stored in the basement, attic, garage, or closet, including important documents and valuable paintings.
As they seek nesting materials, food, and water mice will leave behind fecal droppings and urine trails. These not only contaminate the surfaces but also cause the potential spread of disease. A scent trail left by a mouse attracts other mice letting them know that this is a good place to live.
Mice can cause damage to a structure or houses in their attempt to get inside. They will chew a hole in the building until it is big enough to squeeze into the house. Mice can also dig up newly planted crops in the gardens causing damage.
The difference between mice and rats is also in the strength of their teeth. Rats can chew through things that mice cannot, such as brick, aluminum, wire mesh, cinder blocks, and even concrete. Another problem caused by rats is heat loss through the large holes left by them.
Rodents can also transmit bacteria and other disease agents. Rats transmit dangerous diseases that could affect humans through their fecal droppings or urine. The most common disease carried by rats is rat-bite fever, leptospirosis and Weil’s disease.
Rat-bite fever, or streptobacillus, is caused by a bite or a scratch from an infected rat, or even by ingesting food or drink contaminated with rat’s droppings or urine. Leptospirosis and Weil’s disease are transmitted through contact with rat urine, or water contaminated by urine from rats.
Both mice and rats have a set of incisors that grow throughout their life. For this reason, rodents must constantly chew to stop their incisors from becoming overgrown. Both mice and rats can chew through electric wires, posing a serious fire hazard. They may easily short-circuit electrical components when the cable is exposed.
If you notice rodent activity in your home, contact a local rodent removal company before your home is significantly damaged. Safe Pro Pest Control is an extermination company with the best trained, licensed, and experienced technicians protecting your family and property from rats and mice.
How Can Safe Pro Pest Help with Mice and Rats?
Rodents like mice and rats are common visitors to houses in Texas. There are various types and species common in our area. Mice and rats cause great damage and havoc to homes. That is why rodent control is critical.
Why do rats and mice love Texas? Climate defines the habitat of mice and rats. Rodents do not like to live in cold conditions. The subtropical climate of Texas is the perfect environment for Texas rats and other rodents. In wintertime infestations increase as rodents search for a warm place to stay.
Mice and rats spend the vast majority of the wintertime inside homes. Our mild winters and hot summers are perfect conditions for rodents to mate. Rodents cause damage and destruction of home structures and spread diseases. It is very important to control the spread of rodents.
SafePro Pest Control is a family-owned and operated extermination company with the best trained, licensed, and experienced technicians exterminating and protecting your family and property from termites, rats, insects, mosquitoes, and other rodents and pests.
We specialize in both residential and commercial properties of all shapes and sizes, Safe Pro Pest Control offers sniper-precise solutions that destroy, exterminate and defend your property from just about every pest you may encounter living in North Texas.
Our technicians will easily examine if you have rats or mice infestation and can create a suitable pest control solution for your problems. SafePro Pest provides the full cycle of pest control solutions for Texas residents.
Once you have noticed a rodent or traces of a rodent, contact us immediately. We take the implementation of preventative rodent control and maintenance for rodent-free homes very seriously. We are here to provide you with these services and help you get rid of the rodents safely.
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How The Difference Between Mice Rats Affect Rodent Removal Service
Unless you are an expert in rodent removal service, you might think that mice and rats may look similar. In fact, they differ in physical features, size and behavior. If you have a rodent problem, it’s important to know which type of rodent you are dealing with to successfully control the issue.
Rodent Damage and Disease
Rodents are found in restaurants, supermarkets and factories as well as in homes. Their gnawing and burrowing activity can create a great deal of damage to any structure. They have been the source of some awful diseases throughout history. Thankfully, today’s advances in sanitation and rodent control have greatly reduced the potential for damage and disease from these pests.
Do I Have Mice or Rats?
The common house mouse is generally about an ounce in size and typically has a slender body. Rats range in size between five and eighteen ounces depending on the species. Some rats and mice can be mistaken for one another, however, upon closer inspection, it is possible to tell them apart. While the feet and heads of younger rats are larger when compared to their bodies, the feet and heads of mice are proportional to their bodies.
Both mice and rats are active at night and tend to reproduce quickly. In a stable environment mice and rats display limited movement. Rats move about within an area ranging between one hundred and one hundred fifty feet. House mice travel in smaller circles, ranging from ten to thirty feet. If the environment is unstable and there are changes taking place within a structure, these rodents may increase their areas of movement. They may also increase their movement in protected regions like sewers and building passageways. Mice use their tails to balance on their hind legs. They stand up to determine their location, eat and fight. They are great at jumping, swimming and climbing. They can even get themselves up vertical structures. Rats are also strong swimmers and can enter buildings through toilets and drains. They climb in order to find shelter, food and water.
While mice prefer to eat small amounts at a time, rats tend to enjoy eating larger meals at one time. Mice are curious about new objects and rats are typically cautious. Both mice and rats can fit through small openings between one-fourth and one-half of an inch in size. The scat created by mice and rats varies as well. The excrement droppings of mice are quite distinct. They create large amounts of small bead-like droppings. Rats excrete smaller amounts of larger droppings.
For more information on controlling mice and rats, contact the best rodent removal service in the Frisco TX area. Call (972) 435-0700 to speak with one of the pest control experts at Safe Pro Pest today!