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Do I have rats or mice?

Dealing with a pest infestation is never pleasant, but the first step to resolving it is identifying the type of pest you’re facing. Rats and mice, being so similar, pose a challenge in discerning which rodent has invaded your space. To determine whether you’re dealing with rats or mice, pay attention to the following key differences:

  • Size
  • Appearance
  • Eating habits
  • Nesting behaviors
Mouse crawling through gap where a pipe is going into the foundation of a house - Inman-Murphy Pest Control serving

Similarities Between Rats and Mice

Rats and mice share not only physical resemblances but also behavioral traits, making it tricky to distinguish between the two. Some notable similarities include:

  • Enlarged incisor teeth: Both rats and mice possess long incisor teeth that continuously grow, leading them to gnaw on various objects to keep them at a manageable length.
  • Winter burrowing: With dropping temperatures, rodents seek shelter indoors, often leading to signs of infestation becoming evident in basements, wall voids, or other protected areas.

Differences Between Rats and Mice

Despite their similarities, rats and mice have distinct characteristics that can help you determine which species you’re dealing with:

  • Size: Rats are significantly larger, typically measuring between 6-9 inches, whereas mice are smaller, usually ranging from 2-5 inches in length.
  • Body proportions: Mice have proportionally larger ears and tails compared to their body size, while rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
  • Droppings: Rat droppings are notably larger, measuring between 10-20 mm, whereas mouse droppings are much smaller, averaging only 1-2 mm in length.
  • Reproduction rate: Mice reproduce at a faster rate, potentially yielding up to 10 litters per year with up to 14 pups per litter, whereas rats produce fewer litters, typically 3-6 per year with up to 10 pups per litter.
  • Feeding habits: Mice primarily consume grains, seeds, and fruit, while rats are opportunistic scavengers, feeding on a wider range of items, including meat, grains, seeds, and refuse.

Are Rats or Mice Worse?

Both rats and mice pose significant threats when it comes to infestations. They can transmit diseases and cause extensive damage to property. Regardless of the type of infestation you’re facing, it’s imperative to seek assistance from trained rodent control professionals promptly.

If you suspect a rodent infestation in your home or business, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Inman-Murphy, Inc. With 25 years of experience serving Mid-South TN, our state-certified exterminators are equipped to tackle rat and mouse infestations effectively, keeping your property safe and pest-free*.

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