A side-by-side comparison of a mouse and a rat.

Mice and rats are annoying. They are a serious health issue, carrying dozens of diseases at a time. Rats can contaminate roughly ten times the amount of food they can consume, too. Both rats and mice present a public health concern and need to be dealt with quickly by a qualified rat removal team. Despite their perceived similarities, mice and rats are quite different. To get rid of both species, you will need vastly different tactics to succeed.

In the past, pest control experts treated both mice and rats equally with poisons. However, the dangers of using poisons for pest control has caused experts to use trapping today. Poisons pose a health risk to people, especially children, and leftover poisons must be treated as a hazardous waste.

There is more and more evidence that mice and rats have a resistance to commonly used poisons. Another compelling reason for preferring trapping over poisoning is the possibility for poisoned rodents to die inside the walls of a home.

The House of Mouse

Mice are curious creatures and will look for new things in their surroundings. They are roughly 6 to 7 inches in length and are gray in color. If you think you have a mouse infestation, look for gnawing, droppings, and small tracks. Mouse infestations are usually limited to one or two homes in a neighborhood. Many times, an infestation can be dealt with by trapping or by getting rid of food sources. They often prefer plants and grains as a food source, but have been known to eat anything.

Mice tend to build nests close to food sources. These nests are often made from shredded paper or any soft material they can locate. In terms of breeding patterns, mice have a typical lifespan of 9 to 12 months. Surprisingly, in one year, a female mouse can have ten litters. What’s more, an average litter could have up to 5 to 6 young. Typically, young mice begin to reproduce six weeks after birth.

Behaviorally, mice are nocturnal animals and can be adverse to bright lights. Mice take up homes in both rural and urban areas, with no definite preference for outdoor or indoor locations. As a species, they are color blind but have a precise sense of taste, smell, and hearing. Mice also tend to be afraid of rats as rats often kill and eat mice.

Smell a Rat?

Rats are very cautious animals and will not likely approach new things in its path unless it has time to get used to its presence. Unlike mice, rats can burrow under buildings, vegetation, and debris. After a den or nest is made, they tend to stay within 300 feet of their nest. Rats also follow set pathways and routines. As a result of this behavior, pest control experts often place unset traps in rat’s path before baiting and setting it with food.

Rats are also nocturnal creatures, but have very poor eyesight as compared to mice. They have an excellent sense of smell, hearing, and taste. In proportion to mice, rats can be physically larger, have coarse fur, and have comparably larger head and feet.

In terms of food sources, rats will eat almost anything, but have a preference for meat and fresh grains. They also require about an ounce of water per day, but can get it from moist foods. Rats will climb to access sources of food or water. They are strong swimmers who will live in sewers and enter homes through broken toilets or drains.

In general, rat infestations tend to be community-wide problems that require entire neighborhoods to assess their vulnerability. Often, permanent solutions require trapping and elimination of food and habitat sources at multiple sites throughout a neighborhood to effectively eliminate rat infestations.

Call us today and we’ll step into the ring and knock ‘em all out for the count! We’re always ready to fight the good fight. Just call us at 512-363-8070 or even contact Critter Ridder by e-Mail and we’re on the way!