Do I Have a Rat or Mouse In My House?

You’ve heard scratching in your walls at night. You’ve spotted droppings in your cupboards. Okay, it’s unsettling, but what’s hiding out in your walls? Is it a mouse or rat? 

Want to turn detective before you decide whether to call in pest control? Here are some key differences between rats and mice that will help you determine what has invaded your house. 

Mouse or Rat: How to tell what’s in your house

Look at the droppings

Mouse droppings are only about a quarter of an inch long and have pointy ends. If it’s a rat you’re dealing with, the droppings will be bigger. Rat droppings are around three quarters of an inch long and there might not be as many. 

Look at what they have been eating

This is another way you can tell whether you have a mouse or rat in your house. Mice and rats will pretty much eat anything going, though each rodent does have preferences. Mice love grains, nuts, and anything sweet. Rats love to feast on things like animal carcasses and pet food. 

Check out where they nest

Mice like to build a nest somewhere sheltered and warm, like inside of walls or behind kitchen appliances. Rats like to burrow, so you’ll often find them underground or nesting under clutter in your loft or garage. 

Notice what they look like 

This is the main way to distinguish between a mouse or rat. They’re very different in the looks department. Mice and rats are nocturnal, so they are more active at night, but that doesn’t mean you have no chance of seeing one. Here’s what to look out for:

  • A mouse’s head will appear small compared to the rest of it’s body, where a rat is more in proportion. 
  • Rats’ eyes look beady, while mice have large eyes. This is part of what makes them appear cute. Though don’t forget, they are still pests! 
  • Mice have ears that appear larger compared to the size of their heads.
  • Mice have tiny bodies and can weigh less than an ounce. An adult rat can weigh up to a pound. 
  • Mice and rats can be brown or grey, depending on the species. Rats will often appear darker brown or even black. 
  • A rat’s tail is thick and scaly and is almost as long as its body. 

Some good news…

Even if you do have a mouse or rat problem, know that it would be very rare for both pests to be present in your home at the same time. Rats will kill mice, and different species of rat will even kill each other. 

Need help with a mouse or rat problem?

If you’re still not sure whether you’re dealing with a mouse or rat, Contego’s expert technicians can help. We’ll survey your home, determine what you’re dealing with, then recommend the best treatment for your situation. 

Want to protect your home and family, and get rid of that annoying scratching in the walls once and for all? Call in the professionals. 

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