Rats and mice not only look different from each other, but they also have several other characteristics that set them apart.
Knowing these 4 key differences will come in handy when you’ve got a rodent problem in your home!
Find out why these four things can help you solve your rodent problem:
- Favorite foods
- Where they live
How Common Rodents Look Different
Across North America there are seventy species of rats and mice, but in the U.S., the most common rodents you’ll find include the house mouse, the roof rat, and the Norway rat.
The house mouse is characterized by its small head and pointed snout. It also has small feet and large ears with some fur on its body. It is pretty small, only weighing .5 ounces. A house mouse is generally a light brown color and may have gray shading. The dropping of the mouse will be rod-shaped.
Quite a bit larger than the house mouse, the roof rat weighs about 7 ounces. The ears are large and the snout is pointed, but the body is slender. There is no hair on a roof rat, and its smooth coat is gray with black shading. The tail is dark, and a roof rat’s droppings are spindle-shaped.
A Norway rat is even bigger than the roof rat, weighing up to 11 ounces. Its ears are short and its snout is blunt, and the body is thick with dark hair. The coat of the Norway Rat is shaggier than the roof rat, and it is usually brown with black shading. They produce capsule-shaped dropping.
Rats and Mice Behave Differently
The single biggest distinction between rats and mice is the fact that rats are cautious and mice are curious.
These specific characteristics are important to understand if you are trying to rid your home or property of an invading rodent and their buddies.
Since rats are cautious, it is better to put out unset traps first. This is because rats need time to cautiously investigate new things. It may take a while for them to get used to a new addition to the environment, so an unset trap is. Once you have put the unset traps out for a few days, you can switch to the set trap.
A curious mouse, on the other hand, will investigate new things right away. If you put a set trap down right in the suspected path of the mouse, you should catch in within a day or two. If you don’t, try moving the trap to a new location.
Favorite Foods for Mice and Rats
While a mouse will feed on just about anything it can find in your kitchen, it prefers to eat grains and plants.
Your cereals, oatmeal, and fresh veggies will be especially tasty for a mouse.
Rats will eat pretty much anything (including mice), but they prefer to eat either fresh grains or meat. A rat also needs about an ounce of water per day unless it gets fluids from the food it eats.
Habitats and Breeding
Mice will build their nests in a hidden spot close to their favorite food source, and a mouse will often use shredded paper or fabric to line its nest.
Mice are quick to breed. A female mouse can produce up to sixty babies in one year’s time, and those babies are of age to reproduce themselves in as little as six weeks. The lifespan of a mouse is somewhere between nine and twelve months.
While a house mouse sets up a nest, a Norway rat will burrow. You can find them digging under your home or your fences. They will also burrow under a pile of debris.
Roof rats prefer to nest in attics or trees. They may also build nests inside walls.
Rats breed at a similar rate to mice.
Norway rats have been known to have up to six litters of up to twelve offspring in a single year, and those rats can breed on their own in about three month’s time. Roof rats have slightly smaller litters with only eight babies, but they can have up to eight litters per year. The life span of a rat is twelve to eighteen months.
Getting Rid of Rodents
As you can see, there are quite a few differences between rats and mice, but with proper knowledge, you can get these rodents out of your home!
If you see signs of rodents on your Baton Rouge or New Orleans property, or if you’ve been waging a war on these pests and they are winning, request a free consultation or call us at (888) 606-9282