Mice & Rats: What’s the Difference?
A rodent infestation is always a homeowner’s worst nightmare, but how do you know if you are dealing with mice or rats? Both of these rodents can pose a big threat to the safety of you and your family. All rodents share a common identifying feature: their incisor teeth, which never stop growing. However, all rodent species vary in a number of ways. With rats and mice being the number one rodents to infest your property, it’s important to learn how to identify one from the other. At Heron Home & Outdoor, our exterminators are committed to helping our customers better understand the pest problems they may encounter. We’ve gathered all you need to know about the differences between mice and rats.
What do Mice Look Like?
From deer mice to house mice, everyone knows that mice are smaller in size than rats. But they differ in other ways as well:
- Most types of mice are just 2–4 inches long.
- Mice typically have larger ears and tails compared to their body size.
- The droppings mice leave behind have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
- They are more prolific than rats: Mice produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.
- Mice are omnivores but mostly feed on seeds, grains, and fruits.
How are Rats Different From Mice?
Rats are known to sometimes be more aggressive and destructive than mice. Some of the other ways in which they differ from mice are as follows.
- Most rats typically have larger bodies that are about 6–9 inches in size.
- Rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
- Their droppings are much bigger than those of mice at 10–20 mm long.
- Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
- Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat meats, grains, seeds, and just about anything else.
The Dangers of These Rodents
Rats and mice alike can be dangerous when you have a serious infestation. Rodents are known for their ability to carry and spread potentially dangerous diseases. In addition, they can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. Lastly, they can cause significant damage with their habits. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring, which can create a fire hazard in your property.
What to Do When You Have Mice or Rats
If you suspect rodents in your property, you likely don’t want to get close enough to one to identify them! A rodent exterminator should always be called when an infestation occurs. At Heron, our rodent control team will work to identify the species before executing a plan to control them and keep them away for good.
Mice & Rats: What’s the Difference? in Orlando FL and surrounding counties
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