Do I have rats or mice?
When facing a rodent infestation, distinguishing between rats and mice is an important first step. Despite their shared traits—such as continuously growing incisors and scavenging behaviors—rats and mice possess some distinct characteristics. To tell if you have rats or mice, you’ll want to consider:
- Dropping Size
- Physical Appearance
- Infestation Size
- Property Damage
Differences Between Rats & Mice
Rats vary in size across species but generally possess larger bodies, spanning about 6 to 9 inches in length. They feature small, hairy ears and comparatively larger feet. Their droppings are notably larger, measuring between 10 to 20 mm in length, distinguishing them from mouse droppings. Rats exhibit prolific breeding habits, producing 3 to 6 litters per year, with each litter comprising up to 10 pups. As opportunistic scavengers, rats consume a diverse diet that includes meats, grains, seeds, and various food sources.
On the other hand, mice are significantly smaller, typically measuring between 2 to 5 inches in length. They boast larger ears and tails relative to their body size compared to rats. Mouse droppings are noticeably smaller, featuring pointed or tapered ends and measuring just 1 to 2 mm long. Mice, omnivores by nature, primarily feed on seeds, grains, and fruits. Known for their prolific breeding tendencies, mice produce 5 to 10 litters annually, with each litter yielding up to 14 offspring. These differences in size, droppings, dietary preferences, and breeding habits distinguish mice from their larger counterparts.
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Rats & Mice: Shared Characteristics
Though rats and mice are very different, they share a few similarities. A predominant characteristic among rodents is their enlarged incisor teeth, presenting chisel-shaped upper and lower incisors that continuously grow, necessitating incessant chewing behavior. Beyond this shared trait, both rats and mice showcase comparable behaviors, including their persistent chewing habits, and scavenging tendencies across diverse food sources.
Is a Rat or Mouse Infestation Worse?
Identifying the specific rodent issue is crucial, yet the reality remains that both rats and mice infestations pose inherent dangers. These rodents are potential carriers and transmitters of various hazardous diseases, posing health risks to humans. If you think you have rodents, contact the rodent control experts at Econex Pest Management! We can help you identify what species you have and will create a custom pest control plan to eliminate the infestation as quickly as possible.