Your Questions Answered
Q: Are rats and mice the same?
A: Many people confuse rats and mice, assuming that they’re two names for the same creature. However, rats and mice are different pests.
Q: How do I know if I have rats or mice?
A: Some people will mistakenly identify mice in their home as rats, or vice versa. However, rats and mice are different creatures, each of which poses a particular set of risks.
The easiest way to tell mice and rats apart is by their size. Mice are generally quite small, measuring just 3 to 4 inches long with an accompanying 3 to 4 inch tail. Meanwhile, rats can be much larger: some rats have bodies that measure up to 11 inches long in addition to a 9 inch tail. Rats can also weigh ten times as much as mice (or even more, in some cases). You can also tell whether you’re dealing with a rat or mouse invasion based on the droppings that you find. Mice droppings are like tiny grains of rice (sometimes even smaller), while rat droppings are much bigger. Rat feces are also rounded on the edges, as opposed to mouse droppings (which generally have pointy ends).
Q: Are rodents dangerous?
A: Mice, rats, and other rodents can carry a wide array of dangerous diseases. Rodents can contaminate food and various surfaces in your home with their feces and urine, putting you at risk of contracting these diseases. Some of the infections carried by rats in particular (such as hantavirus) are lethal in many cases. If you encounter rodents in your home, contact a Home Pest Control professional for help.
Q: How do I eliminate a mice infestation?
A: Generally speaking, the best way to get rid of mice is through the use of traps. These can take a number of different forms, including the traditional mouse trap (which kills the mouse when triggered) as well as various types of humane live traps. It’s important to set traps in out of the way places where they won’t be triggered by pets or small children. In order to keep mice from coming back, you’ll need to ensure that your home is adequately sealed. This involves filling gaps around pipes, installing new weather stripping, and so on. If you see a large number of mice, it’s a good idea to contact a professional.
Q: How do I eliminate rats?
A: Traps are generally recommended over poison bait when it comes to dealing with rats. If you opt for bait, it’s possible for a rat to ingest it and then die in a hard-to-reach place (such as inside of a wall, in your attic, etc). This can lead to a strong smell as the rat decomposes. Because a rat infestation can quickly get out of hand, working with a Home Pest Control professional is often the best approach.