There are many ways you might stumble upon a mouse or a rat in your home. You might be in the basement doing laundry and see a furry critter run along a wall and disappear into a low hiding place. You might be in the attic, grabbing something out of storage and notice something move quickly through the shadows and slip into a gap between some stacked boxes. You could walk into your kitchen, turn on the light, and find one scurrying along a baseboard. When you see a rodent in your home, you might not immediately know if it is a mouse or a rat or what to do about rodents in your home. Today we're going to talk about how these two critters can be hard to tell apart, and why it is important to tell them apart.
What Is It?
If you look at an adult mouse and an adult rat side-by-side, you're not going to have much trouble figuring out which is which. Mice have big ears. Rats have small ears. Mice have thin tails. Rats have thick tails. And mice are smaller than rats. The problem with identification usually happens when baby rats are seen. This is because baby rats look to be about the size of an adult mouse. But you can still tell a rat is a rat.
- Rat snouts are rounded. Mice have cone-shaped noses.
- Rats have a thick tail, even when they are young. It is quite a bit thicker than an adult mouse tail.
Mouse and Rat Problems
There are four types of rodents that get into Pittsburgh homes. They are the house mouse, deer mouse, roof rat and Norway rat. They each have their own behavior patterns.
House Mouse — House mice are the worst because of their love for man-made structures. When they get in, they stay in, and they multiply quickly.
Deer Mouse — You are more likely to find deer mice in your barn, shed, or outbuildings. They can get into homes but they don't prefer to.
Roof Rat — These rats get into attic spaces and they behave in a similar way to house mice. Their large size leads these rodents to go after food that is more substantial. This can limit their population growth, as compared with mice.
Norway Rat — These rats are ground-burrowing animals. They prefer to create burrows underneath piles in your yard. They can get inside and remain inside, but only under certain circumstances. They are considered worse than roof rats because they can be aggressive.
You Aren't Likely To Have Both
Mice and rats don't like to live together. If you have one, you're not likely to have the other. So, if you determine you have one of the rodents above, you can focus your efforts on controlling that type of rodent.
All of these animals can present a threat to your health and property. Here are some of the many things rodents do inside your home:
- They chew holes to get inside.
- They chew holes in stored furniture, boxes, and other items.
- They destroy property as they collect materials to build their nests.
- They deposit feces everywhere.
- They soak areas with their urine.
- They spread harmful bacteria, parasitic worms, and ectoparasites, such as ticks and fleas.
- They chew on wiring.
- They contaminate and destroy packaged food.
If you have a rodent problem, contact Witt Pest Management. We use tamper-resistant traps to monitor rodent activity and remove rodents from your property. When trapping is performed by an experienced and certified pest management professional, mice and rats can be completely excluded from your home. Reach out to us today. We're here to help.