Differences between mice and rats may seem obvious to many, but some of the differences may be more subtle than you think. Of course they both fall into the rodent family and both can cause extensive damage if they invade your home, but if you have them in your home, would you be able to determine which one you have? Depending on which one you may have in your home makes a huge difference when it comes to treating them.
- Size: House mice measure 12 to 20 cm in length, including the tail, and weigh 12 to 30 grams.
- Color: They may be white, brown or grey in color.
- Head: Their snouts are triangular and feature long whiskers.
- Tails: Mice have large, floppy ears and long, thin, hairy tails.
- Size: Rats are medium-sized to large rodents. However, rats may grow to be as long as 40 cm or more and weigh considerably more than mice.
- Color: Their coats are white, gray, brown or black in color and are often soiled enough to leave grease marks on touched surfaces.
- Head: The snout of the rat is more blunt than that of the mouse.
- Tails: Long tails that are commonly hairless and scaly.
Mice vs. Rat Behavior
One of the most important differences in behavior between mice and rats is that mice are curious and rats are cautious.
- Cautious rats: Rats are very careful and will choose to avoid new things in their path until they have had time to get used to them being there. Because of this, you need to place unset traps in the rat’s path before putting set rat traps there.
- Curious mice: Mice are very curious and will investigate anything new. So you have to do just the opposite for them: set the trap and put it right in its path. In fact, if you do not catch a mouse in the first few days, the trap is probably in the wrong place and should be moved.
- The house mouse is considered one of the top 100 world’s worst invaders.
- Mice are afraid of rats because rats will kill and eat mice. Rat odor can be a strong deterrent to mice and affect their behavior.
- Mice have a musky odor.
- Mice are color blind, but their other senses, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are sharp.
- Mice can be found indoors and outdoors including cities and rural areas.
- Signs of mice presence include droppings, gnawing marks, and tracks.
- Signs of a rat’s presence are droppings, gnawing marks, tracks, runways, and burrows.
- Like mice, rats are nocturnal, have very poor eyesight, but have very strong senses of smell, taste, and hearing.
- Compared to mice, rats are much larger, have coarser fur, and have proportionately larger heads and feet.
- The most common rat species in the U.S. are the Norway rat and the roof rat. These two do not get along and will fight each other to the death. The larger Norway rat usually wins.
- Norway rats tend to live in lower floors of buildings and roof rats will live on
How can you proactively protect your home from rats and mice?
Since they reproduce so rapidly, it is best to implement prevention methods early on in order to keep a rodent-free home. Some prevention methods include keeping all food properly sealed and stored, seal cracks and crevices in the home, and install weather strips on the outside doors to prevent new rodents from entering. Cardboard objects are attractive to mice and rats as they like to use them for nests.
Traps are a well-known way to be rid of these invaders, but it is not the most effective method. Instinctively, rodents are wary of new things in their environment, including traps and baits. Therefore, most of them will actually steer away from these control measures and continue living contently in your home. But even if these baits catch a few of the rodents, it is not likely to permanently be rid of an entire colony with these methods. It is recommended that anyone experiencing a rodent infestation contact a professional. Pest control technicians are trained to know where rodents are hiding, their habits, and will address the infestation from the source.
Whether your infestation is of mice or rats, we can help. Feel safe in your home again! Call us at +62811 385 2772 for a FREE SURVEY