Are you hearing scratching at night? Has your pet been examining walls and barking or scratching at cabinets? Maybe you’ve noticed droppings or chewed boxes in the pantry.
Did you come down for breakfast only to see something scurry away into the dark recesses of the kitchen? How do you know if you have a mouse or a rat problem?
There are many questions to be answered on how to identify what rodent you are dealing with, so here are effective rodent control tips to help you keep your home rodent-free!
A wide variety of mice inhabit the world, but they share the common characteristics of having a longer snout, an oval body shape, and large, rounded ears. The average mouse is between an inch and seven inches long with a tail about equal to their body length. They weigh about an ounce.
Mouse Habitat and Eating
Mice live in fields and burrows, but have adapted to urban life. Many species are able to live quite easily with humans. They will enter homes searching for food, water, and shelter.
Mice are omnivorous, but particularly enjoy grains and berries.
They will eat up to 20 times a day, causing havoc within the home. Chewed boxes or other similar gnawing on objects are frequently the mouse collecting to build a nest.
If you see a single mouse, there are almost always more mice out of sight. Mice only live 2 to 3 years, but the females become capable of reproducing at 4 to 6 weeks old!
Then, they can have litters of five to ten pups every six weeks. A mouse problem can quickly get out of control.
The other rodent culprit is the rat. Again, there are species around the world, with the most common being the Brown rat, also known as the Norway rat. In the DFW area, roof rat is common as well.
Rats are frequently distinguished from mice because they have a more slender body and are larger both in length and weight.
Rats will often be over five inches long and weigh up to eighteen ounces.
Rat Habitat and Eating
Rats can be found living in fields, forests, or even on islands. They adapt readily to many environments, including urban landscapes and homes. Rats are also omnivorous and many species will eat anything they can scrounge up. Any signs of chewing or gnawing could mean access to food or the possibility of a nest being built.
On average, a female rat will be able to reproduce at three months old. She can have 12 litters a year with an average of 8-9 pups in each! However, the Brown rat can have litters with up to 22 pups!
A slight reprieve is that rats often live for only a year.
A Mouse or a Rat?
So how do you tell whether you have a mouse or a rat in your home? If you can catch a glimpse of the intruder look at the body shape and size. Mice tend to have a more oval shape and be smaller.
Rats are more slender and larger. Without seeing it, you can look for other signs like droppings or chewed boxes. Since mice are smaller they have smaller droppings and smaller entrances to access food.
Rats will have larger droppings and, since their teeth grow incredibly fast and big, bigger bite marks.
Rodent Control with Gecko Green
Mice and rats reproduce quickly, so at the first sight or sign of them it’s important to call Gecko Green for your pest solutions! You do not want a mice or rat infestation, and you especially do not want any damaged walls or electric systems.