These Differences between Rats and Mice Can Save You Time and Frustration


General Pest Control    Mice    Rats    Rodents   

Rats and mice are no equal when it comes to executing the best strategy to get rid of these pesky vermin. When mice or rats invade our homes and businesses they are often mistaken for each other, making it challenging for homeowners in Maryland to act on the best treatment. Follow these foolproof tactics to help you identify a rodent problem in your Maryland home and the best approach to getting rid of rats and mice.

Rats may leave no trace
Customers who call us with rodent problems often suspect that someone or some “thing” has been dining on a late-night fare of cookies, bread, and chocolate. But, in some cases, it is not always that easy to detect a rat problem. Opportunistic rats with a case of the late night munchies often LNT of said evidence. In some cases, the only indication of a rodent infestation (that can be found) is a questionably-torn package of Ramen noodle. No droppings, no sightings…nada.

Rats are twice as likely to move food
While mice typically eat a small amount of food at its source, rats are more likely to collect and take the food to another location before savoring it. This may be because rats are larger and physically more capable of hauling off a granola bar, or just personal preference. Either way, rats are notorious for moving food to a more secluded area to consume it.

Mice will leave droppings where they travel (and eat)
Where there are mice, there are droppings. The droppings are small; resembling a grain of rice with pointy ends. They will be located where mice travel and where they eat, such as behind a stove, in the pantry, or under cabinetry. Their urine also plays a vital role in communicating with other mice—whether to attract a potential female mate or warn other male mice to keep away.

Mice do not grow up to be rats
Surprisingly, many people do not realize that rats and mice belong to different species. Rats will always be larger, heavier, and longer than mice. And, their fecal droppings will be larger too. Adult mice have bodies that are 3 to 4 inches long with 3 to 4-inch tails. Adult rats can grow up to 9 to 11 inches in length with 7 to 9-inch tails.

The best approach to getting rid of rats or mice

  1. Identify the problem. The key to solving a rodent infestation begins with realizing that you have a problem. Regularly declutter areas where mice and rats are likely to harbor, such as basements, attic spaces, and areas where foodstuffs are stored. Keep an eye out for droppings, gnaw marks and nesting materials.

  2. Use the appropriate tools. You would not want to set a mouse trap for a rat and vice versa. Be sure to select the tool most appropriate for the size of the rodent and the location in which it is active. Also remember to keep rodent bait and snap traps to inaccessible areas, away from children and household pets.

  3. Utilize more than one type of bait in your traps. You may find that mice in your home prefer chocolate icing to peanut butter or bacon. If, at first, you don’t succeed...try something else. Just make sure that it’s a consistency that sufficiently adheres to the trap according to the product directions. Also remember to “refresh” bait that may become dry and flaky to keep it palatable.

When all else fails, the folks at American Pest are here to help. If you have questions about rodent control, simply contact us.


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