Rats and mice are both a part of the rodent family and, on the surface, they have similarities in appearance. However, there are certainly not the same. The differences between rats and mice mean different treatments for each. It’s important for you to know which rodent you have infesting your home or property.
There are just two species of rats and one species of mice that have become the most common pests in homes and businesses, and this is due to their ability to adapt to the human environment. These are:
The house mouse has several subspecies that are common in different parts of the world and are increasingly being recognised as separate species, but these are all virtually indistinguishable from each other.
All rodents have the common identifying feature of a pair of incisor teeth in the upper jaw. They tend to have short legs and a long tail, but a closer look at their body characteristics and habits show that they have easily distinguishable features that you can use to identify their differences.
The easiest distinguishing feature is the small size of the house mouse at 3-10 cm long.
However, a mouse can be confused with a young rat.
The brown rat is larger than the black rat and they have the following differing body features:
Physical appearance of black rats:
Both rats and mice are omnivorous but the brown rat and house mouse prefer cereals, while black rats prefer fruit and foods with a high moisture content.
Rats and mice live in a variety of areas, they can survive well in the inside and an outside environment.
The droppings of the three animals differ in size and shape, according to the body size. Rat droppings can often been mistaken for mouse droppings and those from a cockroach.
Brown rat droppings are wide and are dark brown colour. They are typically found in a tapered, spindle shape – resembling a large grain of rice.
Black rat droppings are long and thin, and are smaller than brown rat droppings. Black rat droppings are more regular in form with a banana like curve and pointed ends.
Mouse droppings are approximately 3-8mm in length, and are often found scattered randomly during a infestation. Mouse droppings are granular in shape and black in colour and can be found near nesting areas.
Mice reach sexual maturity earlier and produce larger litters at a more frequent rate than rats. The new borne of all three rodents are blind, hairless and completely dependent on the mother for feeding and protection.
If you think that you have mice or rats in your home or business, contact the experts in rodent control and prevention available at Rentokil.