You’ve been recently noticing some weird things in the home. There are gnaw marks on the furniture, and you’ve spotted tiny black-rice looking pellets behind one of your counters. Worst of all, you hear scratching and squeaking noises at night. After a while, you realize that the signs are clear – you have a rodent infestation. But are you dealing with rats or mice? Let’s find out.
Are rats and mice really that different?
Rats and mice are quite different, despite appearances. You could make the comparison between a dog and a wolf, and you’d come close to how a rat and a mouse are different. They’re both part of the same family, and they do have a lot of similarities in diet and behavior, but the differences between them are quite stark.
In terms of appearance, the most glaring difference is the size. Rats are much larger than mice. Rats can grow to lengths of up to 19 inches, tail included, while mice only reach about eight at most. When it comes to weight, a rat can weigh as much as a pound and a half, while a mouse will usually clock in at about half an ounce.
Which is worse, the rat or the mouse?
While both rodents can damage the home and carry diseases, the rats are more dangerous due to their size. Both also have very fast reproductive cycles growing to dozens or even hundreds from a small infestation in just a few months. In terms of damage done to the home, these rodents will chew on furniture, walls, insulation and even electrical wiring.
How do you deal with rat and mouse infestations?
Mouse and rat infestations are treated using either poisons or traps, but you will need different traps to deal with mice than you do with rats. This is because of the size difference. A trap designed to catch a mouse will be too small for a rat and vice versa. Some poisons may also target only one species, being either too strong or too weak to affect the other.
In general, it’s best to work with a pro when you have a mouse or a rat infestation, because they can be quite hard to remove. If you would like to know more about the differences between rat and mouse infestations, or if you currently have a rodent infestation in the home, contact us right away.