Do I have rats or mice?
No pest infestation is pleasant. However, the first step to getting rid of an infestation is knowing what type of pest you are dealing with. Since rats and mice are so similar, it can be challenging to tell which rodent is invading your space. To tell whether you have rats or mice, you’ll need to focus on these main differences:
- Size and appearance
- Extent of the infestation
- Amount of damage to your property
Similarities Between Rats and Mice
Rats and mice are very similar to one another, and not just in terms of their appearance. They also share a lot of habits and behaviors, which can make it challenging to determine which type of infestation you’re dealing with. Some key similarities between rats and mice include:
- Enlarged incisor teeth: Like many other rodents, rats and mice have long incisor teeth that never stop growing. For that reason, rats and mice gnaw on a variety of hard objects in an attempt to grind their teeth down.
- Winter burrowing: As temperatures drop in the winter, many critters try to get indoors. Rats and mice are among these pests. Starting in the fall, you may notice the signs of an infestation – likely in your basement, wall void, or other protected area.
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Differences Between Rats and Mice
Though rats and mice are very similar, they have a few key differences that can help you tell them apart. Here are some key characteristics to look for when determining if you have rats or mice:
- Size: Perhaps the most obvious difference between rats and mice is their size. Rats are much larger and can measure between 6-9 inches, while mice are usually just 2-5 inches in length.
- Body proportions: Mice have larger ears and tails compared to their body, while rats have small and hairy ears. Rats also tend to have much larger feet.
- Droppings: Along with their larger body size, rats have much larger droppings. Theirs tend to measure between 10-20 mm in length, while mouse droppings are just 1-2 mm long.
- Reproduction rate: Mice breed at a much faster rate than rats, sometimes producing up to 10 litters per year, each containing up to 14 mice. Meanwhile, rats produce 3-6 litters per year with up to 10 pups.
- Feeding habits: Though mice are omnivores, they primarily eat grains, seeds, and fruit. However, rats are opportunistic scavengers that will eat a wide range of foods including meat, grains, seeds, refuse, and more.
Which is Worse: Rats or Mice?
When it comes to rodent infestations, there isn’t really a “good” option. Both rats and mice are capable of transmitting serious diseases and causing extensive property damage. Regardless of what type of infestation you are dealing with, it’s crucial to contact a trained rodent control professional as quickly as possible.
If you are struggling with a rodent infestation, call the experts at Griffin Pest Solutions. With 93 years of experience serving Michigan, our state-certified exterminators know how to keep your home or business safe from rats and mice for good.