How Can I Tell If I Have a Mouse or Rat?

rat exterminationNo one wants to deal with a rat or a mouse running loose in their house. Both rodents can carry diseases and wreak havoc in your home. The treatments and traps may need to be different depending on the animal since rats tend to be quite a bit larger than mice.

General Signs of an Infestation

The general signs that you may have a rodent problem include scratching sounds late at night. The sounds may be in your walls or your ceilings.  You may see signs of droppings around your home, especially along the walls or near food sources. Another sign is chewed up boxes or bedding or even a whole in your wall. They are both voracious chewers as they create a nest to make their own.

Differences Between Rats and Mice

The most obvious difference between the two is their size. Rats can be up to eighteen inches long including their tail, while mice can grow up to seven inches long including their tail. While rats and mice can come in a number shades from light brown to grey, only rats are black. The tails are also different. A rat’s tail is longer and hairless while a mouse’s tail is covered in fur.Sometimes it can be difficult to spot the offending rodent to make a visual confirmation of what you are dealing with. There are other ways to tell the difference. One is to look at the size of the droppings. A mouse’s droppings are shaped more like a grain rice and are black. A rat’s droppings are more similar to a raisin in shape and size. They also tend to drop fecal matter more often than mice, so you may see more of it.

Dealing with an Infestation

If you find out if you have a rodent infestation, you will need to act quickly to deal with it. Once you have identified the rodent, you will know what types of traps you should buy and use. However, if you are worried about your safety or your family’s safety, you should contact a professional who can sets traps that will keep your family safe and help with the decontamination process.Find out How Do Bed Bugs Enter Your Home? and what you can do to prevent them from ever entering your home.