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Mice vs rats

Mice vs rats

You have heard the scurrying sounds in the walls. You have seen the holes, the droppings and maybe even a few quickly moving gray shapes running around the baseboards of your property. Do you know that you have a rodent problem, but you are unsure what kinds of rodent are infesting your property? Do you have mice or do you have rats? It’s important to know the difference so that the proper treatments can be enacted to solve the pest problem.

Rats and mice are both a part of the rodent family and, on the surface, they have similarities in appearance. However, they are certainly not the same. Having rats or mice means a difference in treatment. It’s important for you to know which rodent you have infesting your home or property.

The main differences lie in the size of the rodent and the size and shape of their droppings. However, knowing the difference in appearance between a rat and a mouse can help save you time and money when it comes to pest control, helping to streamline the approach to managing your rodent problem. Below is a graphic outline of the mice and rat differences which can help you determine which pest you have.

Standing up and leaning against wild deer mice isolated on white.

Mouse Anatomy

  • Mice are usually smaller than rats – about 12 – 20 cm in length
  • Mice usually have larger, floppier, ears than rats
  • Mice can be gray or brown, usually with white on their bellies
  • The shape of a mouse’s head is usually triangular
  • Mice have very long whiskers
  • Mice have long tails and they usually have hair on them

Rat Anatomy

  • Rats are larger than mice, usually about 40 cm or more in length
  • Rats leave behind larger droppings than mice
  • Rats can be black, gray or brown in color, also with white stomachs
  • A rat’s head is less triangular and more blunt in shape and appearance than a mouse
  • A rat’s tail is usually pinkish, long, and without hair

Rodent behavior

Rodents are generally shy and prefer to hide. Mice and rats are both nocturnal, preferring to venture out from their nests at night. Although both mice and rats are known to walk around in dirty places, rats, being the larger of the two, tend to have greasy, dirty fur that leaves smudge marks on walls and along baseboards.

Mice and rats seek a warm and secluded place to set up their nests, find food and give birth to their young. Rats and mice can both give birth to several babies and can start an infestation in a home or business very quickly. They will seek out food around the property, chewing their way through storage containers and even wood or drywall.

Mice and rats have sharp teeth that continually grow, which is why they gnaw and chew on things. Rodents are also known to chew through electrical wires and insulation around the property.

Call the mouse experts

Whether mice or rats are infesting your property, call in the experts at Pest Guard to help. We will find out where the pests are hiding and how they are getting in. We will also find the most effective way to get rid of them and offer advice on how to prevent mice from returning. Just call us at 011 568 9721 or 063 653 4897 for an appointment or use our online contact form.

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