Is It a Mouse or a Rat?

Is It a Mouse or a Rat?
February 17, 2015 Cure All Pest Control
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Rodents are a class of mammals including mice, rats, squirrels, prairie dogs, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs, and hamsters. With changes in climatic conditions, rodents, which are well adapted to living closely to humans, move indoors to search for food and shelter. Autumn is the most likely time when rodents move indoors to prep a warm nest for the hibernation and mating seasons. They will burrow into any protected crevice within your home: newspaper or cardboard boxes that have been stored; in clothing or linen cupboards; in the pantry. They have even been known to make their nests in roof voids where possums have established their homes.

Both rats and mice are considered serious pests due to their eating and contaminating food, damaging property, and spreading diseases. So how do you distinguish between them and know whether it is a mouse or a rat? It is difficult to identify them by colour as both rats and mice can vary from white and grey to brown or black.

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  • Average size: 12-20cm
  • Average weight: 10-50g
  • Thin, slightly hairy tail
  • Triangular nose
  • Smaller feet
  • Big ears relative to head size
  • Faeces are smaller than a grain of rice

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  • Average size: 18-28cm
  • Average weight: 110-350g
  • Thick, hairless, scaly tail
  • Elongated nose
  • Larger feet (especially hind feet) with long claws
  • Small ears relative to head size
  • Larger faeces, approx. 5-10mm in length

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It is also important to note that a baby rat can easily be mistaken for an adult mouse or vice versa. One of the key distinguishing factors would be proportion. A baby rat’s feet will appear oversized for its body. It will have much smaller ears, whereas adult mice typically have larger ears in relation to their overall head size. A baby rat will also have a visibly thicker tail in comparison to an adult mouse’s thin tail.

Both rats and mice are notorious for spreading a wide range of bacterial diseases and should therefore be eliminated from your home. Rats are also known to become aggressive if threatened and therefore are definitely not safe around pets or children.

Most mice and rats eat plant material, but many will eat pet food and meat scraps around the home as well. They multiply quickly and will easily overrun a dwelling and attract other pests as they find and store food scraps.

Rodents can seriously damage the structure of your home. They will gnaw through the insulation and walls. They have been known to chew on electrical cables causing shortages in the circuit and electrical fires. Their burrowing can leave structures such as walls with no support as they hollow out the soil underneath.

Cure All Pest Control can take care of any rodent issue you may be experiencing, with minimal inconvenience to you. We ensure correct identification of the species so that precise and specific control methods are undertaken. Our methods involve a complete site inspection and sanitation and hygiene matters being attended to. Prevention of entry and baiting are then carried out with a regular program to eliminate and deter future intrusions.

Contact our team of experts today for more information and advice.

Related Article: Does your pest controller know as much about rodents as we do?


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