You’ve started to notice strange things around the home – gnaw marks here and there, droppings that look like black rice, and squeaking noises at night. Naturally, you suspect that there is a rodent in the home. But what type of rodent is it exactly? Being able to tell if you have a mouse or a rat infestation is important, because it will influence the type of control methods that you need to use against them.
Telling mice and rats apart
It’s fairly easy to tell mice and Norway rats apart when you actually get to see them. Rats are much larger than mice, with rats reaching lengths of up to 10 inches with a tail that is about the same length as their body. So you can come across Norway rats that are up to 20 inches long when you include the tail. Mice on the other hand reach about eight inches in length, tail included. The weight difference is also very noticeable. Norway rats can weigh up to a pound and a half, while mice will usually weigh as much as half an ounce.
More importantly, you should be able to identify the species in an infestation by their droppings. It’s fairly rare to see a live rat or mouse in the home, since they will do their best to be active at night and stay hidden. But they are not so careful with their droppings. Both species leave droppings that look like black rice, but mice droppings are much smaller, while rat droppings are thicker and bigger.
Sometimes, you will come across a young rat, which you might mistake for a large mouse, since they are roughly the same size. However, there are some small differences. Young or baby rats have big heads compared to the rest of their body, and if you’ve seen a puppy, you know what the head-to-body ratio is on baby animals. Adult mice on the other hand will have heads that are proportional to their body.
Controlling a rodent infestation
If you have a rat infestation, and you confuse it for a mouse infestation, your pest control efforts will not really be effective. So it’s important to know which type of rodent you are dealing with. If you have any questions, or if you need some extra help when dealing with an infestation, contact us today, and we can set up an appointment.