When it comes to dealing with rodents in our homes, it’s no secret that rats and mice are equally unwanted. They’re both rodents that can do a lot of damage. Not to mention, they both look very similar to the untrained eyes. But what makes them different, and how does this affect their impact as pests? There actually is a significant difference between the two and the impact does differ. Regardless, it’s always important to better understand how to identify these pests. The quicker you learn, the quicker you’ll be in taking back your homes from them. One feature that stands out from the rest is that despite their similarities, rats tend to be significantly larger and bulkier in size. A rat’s tail is also much longer with less fur. To learn more about what else makes them different from one another, keep on reading.

How to Tell the Difference Between Rats and Mice

Let’s start off with the physical characteristics and the behaviour of mice and rats. It’s far more likely for you to encounter a mouse than a rat. This is due to the fact that mice are smaller in size. They can fit into holes that are about ¼ of an inch in size or as small as a dime. So, look out for any holes, cracks, and gaps because mice will find a way to enter your homes. Once they get inside, they’re more inclined to be curious and will take risks to travel around the house. You can tell the mouse apart from a baby rat by their bigger ears, and longer tail compared to the rest of the body.

Rats on the other hand are bigger but don’t make the mistake of underestimating them. A small rat can fit through a hole about the size of an inch or a quarter. As rats are slightly bigger, they’re more reluctant on mobility. This is why they’re less likely to get caught in traps. Rats typically have larger heads and feet compared to a mouse. Keep in mind, mice are actually scared of rats because they’re more aggressive. Rats will not hesitate to defend their offspring from external threats; which ultimately includes you. Take extra precautions if you do find yourself facing a rat.

Which One is More Problematic?

Even though rats and mice are different, it’s crucial to know that rats are evidently worse to have as pests. Maybe you could’ve guessed that due to their size but there are other reasons as well. Rats reproduce incredibly fast. Female rats can produce about 5-8 litters a year with each litter containing about 5-12 rat pups whereas a female mouse can birth about 5-10 litters per year with an average of 6-8 pups. With that being said, rats will lead to an infestation much quicker.

Not only do they populate quickly, but rat infestations can also be detrimental to human health. Both rats and mice can carry numerous diseases such as salmonellosis, Weil’s disease, rat bite fever, hantavirus, the plague and more. Nonetheless, because rats are more aggressive and can repopulate faster, the chances of you contracting a disease from them increase. Not to mention, rats are overall smarter as well. Which means they’ll learn from their past mistakes. If you’ve placed a trap and the rat gets caught but somehow escapes, the rat will most likely never go near that area again. This makes them the more troubling pest to find at home.

Preventing Rats and Mice From Entering

Think of it this way – rats and mice are sneaky and persistent by nature. Right off the bat, there are obvious tactics that will help you prevent a potential infestation. For instance, don’t leave food out and exposed in your home. Don’t leave cracks and crevices that lead to the outdoors unattended and fix them right away. All these factors will help to prevent a potential rat or mice infestation.

A few other overlooked methods to prevent an infestation are ensuring your yard doesn’t have any food waste or debris. Seal all your garbage cans so that they don’t have access and so that the smell doesn’t draw them in. Keep your garden in check by clipping tree branches and clearing bushes as those are great hiding places for them. Tree branches that are too close to your roof or window could also allow them to jump down into your homes. Be sure to keep things tidy – if necessary – purchase traps or baits to eliminate the rodents outside before they can come in.

Contact Action Pest For Rodent Control & Removal

As soon as you detect a rodent infestation – whether rat or mice – you should take immediate action. Besides those health risks we’ve mentioned previously, rats and mice will chew through your home’s structure and contents. Not to mention the amount of food they could’ve rummaged through. They can cause significant damage to you, your home and your wallet. At Action Pest, we specialize in pest control and removal.

With over 40 years of experience, we provide our customers with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We’re experts in the field, leading pest and rodent removal in the safest and most cost-efficient way possible. We know how uncomfortable the process of dealing with a rodent infestation can be. But don’t worry, confidentiality is also something we keep in mind. We arrive in simple unmarked vans with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure our customers get the results they want. Visit Action Pest today to learn more about how we can make your house feel like home again.