Mice and rodents can be cute pets, but uncontrolled populations invading your home can spread disease and cause property damage. These rodents do tens of billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses each year. While they look very similar at a glance, they are far more different than many people realize. So how do you tell these unwanted visitors apart?
One of the easiest ways to tell if you have mice or rats is by looking at what they leave behind. Mice leave poop that is very similar in shape and size to grains of rice. They defecate whenever they need to poop wherever that may be. This can be helpful in revealing how they get in and out of your property.
Rats, on the other hand, leave larger, curved feces in the shape of tiny dark-colored bananas. Unlike mice, rats have designated waste sites where they leave their droppings, making it fairly easy to tell which rodent you’re dealing with.
Both mice and rat droppings and urine contaminate the area and make food items inedible. They also dry out and cause some people to have allergic reactions, so curbing your rodent problem is critical to your health.
Shape and Size
Another way to tell mice and rats apart is by their different sizes and shapes. Mice grow to be around 3-4 inches long from their nose to the base of their tail. They weigh roughly 40-45 grams and have much larger ears relative to their head size than rats.
Rats grow to be around 8-9 inches long from their nose to the base of their tail. The pest rats we have in the US reach sizes up to 500 grams, over one pound. Side by side the size difference between each rodent makes them easily distinguishable, and even at a glance, you can differentiate types by how big or small they are.
Mother nature equipped these rodents to infiltrate seemingly impossible spaces. Mice and rats have highly flexible rib cages and can fit through most spaces they can get their head through. Mice can fit through spaces almost as wide as your everyday pen. Rats fit through 20mm holes when they’re younger and 25mm holes as full-grown adults.
These master infiltrators cause property damage in many forms. They can easily chew through packages of food, spoiling anything inside with the bacteria they track.
Mice and rats may also chew through electrical wiring in cars, boats and homes, costing you thousands of dollars in damage. Imagine the staggering cost of a house fire caused by exposed electrical wiring.
Be sure to tightly seal up any food items and clean your garbage and recycling bins regularly to prevent the smell from attracting rodents.
Getting Rid of the Rodents
While rats prey on and eat mice, it requires far more effort to effectively control their population. You might be able to handle a single mouse or rat with a few traps but to prevent a full infestation you should call the experts.
Contact the Bill’s Home Service team if you notice signs of mice or rats on your property. We’re here to help you stop them before they do significant damage!