Be it a rat or a mouse, most see a rodent and PANIC. This is a natural reaction, as both are bad news for the safety and health of your home or business. While rats and mice tell-tale signs and physicality appear similar, their habits actually aren’t the same. This is important when it comes to treating one versus the other, as the rodent treatment approach will depend on the intruder.
Mouse and Rat Control Techniques
If you’re able to spot the intruding rodent, you’ll be able to tell it’s a rat or a mouse mainly by the size and color. Both roof and Norway rats are considerably larger and darker in color than house mice. Because of this, any gnawed holes or track marks will be larger for rats than they will be for mice.
This impacts what gaps and entry points need to be sealed. Rats can squeeze through anything ½ inch in diameter, whereas mice can get through anything ¼ inch or larger. Checking attics, crawl spaces, exterior drainpipes, roofing seals, and window or door jams for cracks or holes is an important step in regular rodent control.
Laying traps for rats vs mice depends on which you’re dealing with as well. Rats are more cautious by nature than mice, and while both tend to travel on the same paths repeatedly, rats will get spooked by new blockages or items along their way. Try laying un-set traps along where you see tracks or filth first, and then graduate to set traps for rats. This allows time for the rat to observe and get comfortable with the trap along their path and will lead to more successful rat control trappings in the future.
Mice on the other hand are very curious, and you’ll need to place a set trap right in their path to get them. Usually, if they haven’t bitten after a few days, the trap is in the wrong place and needs to be relocated to attract their attention better.
You can spot the difference in their droppings too. A mound of droppings that are visibly smaller and sporting pointy ends may suggest you are dealing with a mouse. Consequently, droppings that are longer and fewer in number may indicate a rat infestation.
Habits and Diet
Rats and mice tend to feed on different types of food as well. Mice stick with dried goods, grains, and plants, whereas rats are less picky. Rats particularly enjoy meat and grains but will forage for most anything. This can impact what you guard extra carefully in your cupboards, garbage, and pantry as well as what you consider leaving out on your counter (or pet food).
Both rats and mice are skilled climbers, and mice can jump pretty far as well, so be intentional about where and how you’re storing your food.
Rats in particular also need a decent amount of water per day to survive. This accounts for them burrowing into ground structures and foraging through outdoor or garage spots where water can pool. Especially along pipes, check on your exterior rain barrels, near gutter drainage, or your hose set up for any leaks or signs of rat activity.
How They Invade Homes
In search of food, water, and shelter, rats are generally very cautious. Mice, on the other hand, can be bolder and curious to investigate anything new. It means between the two, mice are more likely to fall for traps, bait, and other pest control efforts. Meanwhile, it may take more than bait to trick a rat.
Mouse vs. Rat: Movement
Mice can jump, swim, and climb. They are fast runners.
Mice can jump nearly 13 inches and even climb up vertical surfaces. They can even run along with cables, pipes, ropes, and wires.
With some support from their tails, mice can comfortably stand on their hind legs. Tail support comes in handy when they run or move along narrow passages.
Rats are excellent swimmers. So, they can comfortably live in sewers. If they come across damaged drains or toilets, they can easily enter a building and create a nest in a warm environment where food supply is available.
Rats generally stay within 300 feet of the place where they have their nest.
They explore nearby areas, follow regular paths each day, and avoid anything unfamiliar.
So if rats build a nest in your attic, the whole property is likely to be on their radar.
While pest control is in our name, rat control is also our game. Our technicians are trained on identifying rat and mouse-related damage and filth and are always transparent about our treatment methods. We proudly commit to eco-friendly procedures delivered according to your schedule, as pest and rodent control shouldn’t interfere with your health or daily routines.
From property inspection to follow-up prevention & exclusion, we are committed to quality and effective home and business rat control. Contact us on 0759292158, 013055943, 0742448334, 0756432285, or drop an email to