Even though the screams that rats and mice elicit from a homeowner may sound the same, the rodents themselves are actually very different. And thankfully, it’s pretty darn easy to distinguish between the two with just a little homework. Below is a quick guide to identifying which little creepy rodent you are dealing with.
Appearance: Mice are much smaller (1-4 inches long). Rats are bigger (5-7 inches long). Mice are light brown or grey, with a lighter colored underbelly. Rats are dark brown or black. A mouse’s tail will be as long as it’s body. A rat’s tail will be about half the length of its body. For perspective, a mouse can sneak through a hole the size of a dime. While the larger rat needs an opening the size of a quarter.
Droppings: A mouse dropping is about the size of a rice grain and are very familiar to most people. Rat droppings are different – about the size of an olive pit.
Bathroom habits: Mice are incontinent and go to the bathroom wherever they are. Rats are a little more conspicuous and keep their droppings concentrated to one single area.
Where they live: Mice usually live near humans because that’s where the food, warmth, and comfort is. Rats burrow underground, or in the case of the roof rat, live up high on the roof or in trees. The Norway rat will also inhabit the lower level of a home if given the opportunity.
Reproduction: A female mouse can produce 12 babies (or more) per litter and have multiple litters per year… EEK. A female rat, up to 5 litters per year. So both are prodigious reproducers, but mice win this one. Two mice can become HUNDREDS in one year. So imagine what those hundreds can become? Bad idea… don’t imagine it!
Lots of similarities also exist between these two rodents. But for the sake of a short, and helpful blog, we will stick to just the differences today. As always, for help with ANY pest problem, call Sheridan Pest Control! 518-935-7162