The most common rats found in the home are the Norway Rat, Roof Rat and the House Mouse. These rats are commensal meaning that they are able to cohabitate with humans. They are dependent on the humans for food, water and refuge.
Being able to differentiate between a rat and a mouse is very important because treatment methods vary. What might work for a mouse might not work for a rat. Mice are between 6-7 inches (15 to 18 centimeters). Some are white, brown or gray in color, Their tales are long, thin and hairy and they have floppy ears. Their eyes are large in comparison to their face and they have a triangularly shaped snout with long whiskers. They are very timid, social and territorial in nature and produce over forty (40) droppings a day.
On the other hand, rats are much larger in size ranging from 12 to 18 inches (30 to 40 centimeters). Rats are white, gray, brown, reddish brown or black in color. Their snout is blunter, their tails are long, hairless and scaly. Their eyes are smaller and beady. Rats leave behind smudge marks on areas where they travel most frequently from their body oils, feces, and urine. They also produce anywhere between twenty (20) to fifty (50) droppings a day. The mouse and rat are both nocturnal in nature. They can be found in attics, roof spaces, buildings, palm trees, warehouses, farm buildings, fields and ornamental shrubbery. They have an excellent sense of balance and they can run along pipes, utility wires and very narrow ledges. Rats are also excellent swimmers and can sometimes gain access inside a home or building through the toilet.
Although the rat and mouse are both nocturnal, they can be seen during daylight hours if there is not enough food, water or if the area where they make their home is heavily populated. Rats reproduce at an alarming rate and it is important that their populations be controlled.
It is important to note that they can contaminate (10) ten times as much food as they eat with their urine, fecal droppings, body oil and hair. They also can carry various diseases that are transmittable to humans such as leptospirosis, rabies, rat bite fever and bacterial food poisoning.
The amount of money spent repairing the damage caused by rats and mice are staggering as they are able to chew through electrical wires, pipes, wood, plastic, certain types of building material and rubber just to name a few. Rats and mice are able to keep their incisors sharp by gnawing through their surroundings daily.
Evidence to look for in determining whether or not you are dealing with a rat or mouse infestation is by locating evidence of droppings, tracks, runways, gnawing marks or burrows.
If you are having problems with rats or mice, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We can help solve your problem!