We understand that it really doesn’t matter whether you have rats or mice scurrying in the attic or munching on the food in your pantry. They’re both unwanted guests and we all want them gone! But, did you know that there are ways to tell whether it’s rats or mice that are invading your home? A little known fact is that they will rarely occupy your home at the same time. While they may look pretty much the same to many of you, rats and mice can be very different in terms of their biology and behavior.

Knowing how each pest behaves is key to crafting a plan to remove them from your home. Here are a few interesting facts about rats and mice:

The Facts!

  • Mice are curious creatures. They’ll approach situations with much less caution than a rat. This makes them a bit easier to remove from homes. Because rats are less “trusting”, they take a bit more perseverance to eradicate from your home.
  • While both mice and rats will forage for most anything to eat, mice prefer plants and cereal grains; rats prefer grains of any sort and even meat.
  • Breeding: The average mouse can birth up to 60 young per year. And those 60 babies can start reproducing in as little as six weeks! Rats can have up to 70 babies per year who will begin to reproduce within 90 days. An infestation of either can ramp up very quickly! So its important to contact an experienced pest control company as soon as you suspect you may have either mice or rats.
  • Mice live up to a year; rats can live as long as one and half years.
  • Rats must have up to one ounce of water a day. This can come from food or from drinking water directly.
  • Rats, unlike mice, are excellent swimmers!
  • A mouse can slip through a hole as small as ¼ of an inch. Rats can squeeze into a space the size of a quarter. This is why securing your home and patching holes is an important part of any pest control program.
  • Mice are colorblind. Their sense of smell, hearing and taste make up for what they don’t see.
  • One of the most interesting and disturbing facts is that rats actually eat mice. The smell of a rat in your home is enough to drive any mice away to look for an alternate home.

Unless you see one of these home invaders up close and identify whether it’s a rat or a mouse, it can be difficult to tell which type of infestation you have.  Both mice and rats will leave droppings, gnaw on wiring and leave tracks in your attic and around your home. An experienced pest control technician will be able to “follow the breadcrumbs” to determine which rodent has invaded your home and how to eradicate them.

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While the thought of having mice or rats in your home might be embarrassing, the reality is that in our climate rats and mice simply go hand in hand with urban and country living. Neither the size of your home nor the zip code makes a difference. Anyone can get rats! There’s simply no shame in having rodents in your home. The best thing you can do is call a professional right away to make treatment plan. Call us for rodent removal.