When it comes to rodent infestations, Norway rats and mice are the most common species found in the home. But how do these two rodents differ, and which is worse to have in the home?
The two species are very different in appearance. Rats are much larger, usually reaching lengths of up to 16 inches when you include the tail. Mice on the other hand will not be larger than 8 inches long. If you see a rodent running around your home, you can immediately tell if you are dealing with Norway rats or mice by this alone.
The two rodents have similar infestation patterns, but you can identify whether you are dealing with rats or mice by the droppings that they leave behind. Rats leave larger droppings that resemble black grains or rice, while mouse droppings are shapeless and much smaller.
Rat infestations also tend to be more severe, mainly due to their size. Both species can spread diseases and cause damage in the home, but the rats are capable of doing more damage faster, and in terms of reproduction, they’re not that far behind the mice.
Both species are prevented using similar methods, with one difference. The two rodents have similar diets, so when it comes to food, every prevention method that you implement will work. The same goes for denying the rodents water sources. However, when it comes to exclusion efforts, the gaps and cracks that need to be sealed differ, because of the size difference between mice and rats.
Both rats and mice are controlled using traps and poisons. However, because of their size discrepancy, different traps and poisons have to be used for each species. For example, a rat trap is too big for a mouse, and a mouse trap is too small for a rat. This is why it’s important to determine the species responsible for the infestation before any control methods are implemented, and why a pest control pro will perform an inspection before starting the removal process.
When dealing with either species, the best practice is to hire a pro, because a pro will be able to remove the infestation properly, and ensure that no stragglers are left behind to repopulate. If you have any questions about Norway rats or mice, or if you suspect that you have an infestation in your home, contact us today.