Rats or Mice? Different Approaches to Each Pest

You are pretty sure you have a rodent infestation, but do you have rats or mice? While these are different pests and infestations are treated differently, both species tend to breed very rapidly, having between six to 18 offspring. Therefore, if you don’t deal with your problem quickly, it can easily get out of hand. Both rats and mice can damage the structure of your home and your electrical wiring, and both can contaminate your kitchen and your food.

The most common rats that infest homes are the Norway rat and the roof rat. Norway rats can be either black or brown with a gray belly. They are quite large and can weigh over one pound. They have very long tails that can be as long as their bodies. Roof rats have a more pointed nose and will travel the same path each night. Rats prefer to live outside your home, but they can nest in attics during very cold weather.

Mice are much smaller

House mice are much smaller with shorter hair and shorter tails. They are usually light brown or light gray, but sometimes can be darker. Mice like to live in warm, cozy homes and can do extensive damage to clothing and other household items. They love to gather cardboard, fabric and paper to make their nests, so if you see damage to these items, you likely have mice in your home. Mice usually nest in storage boxes, walls and even in your upholstered furniture. Yuck! Seeing the signs

Whether you have mice or rats, there are several signs to look for:

  • Droppings- Rats and mice both leave brown, cylindrical droppings, which is the most common sign that you have an infestation. In addition, rats love to urinate around the home, so if you smell a pungent odor, you likely have a rat nest somewhere in the home.
  • Food- Both pests will eat almost anything, so if you see signs that your food packages have been tampered with, you likely have an infestation.
  • Gnaw Marks- Rodents love to gnaw, so if you see gnaw marks on cardboard, paper or fabric, mice are likely building a nest. Rats chew on things like your wood structure and PVC pipes, so look for those signs.
  • Squeaking- If you hear squeaking sounds, you’re not imagining it as both mice and rats can squeak all night long. If you can pinpoint the sound, it might help you determine where the nest is.

If you have rats or mice, we will come out and do a thorough professional inspection with sanitation and removal. Sanitation is needed to remove any food and water sources, as well as access points to your home. Removal involves rodent control, and we have many options. Give us a call at Dayton’s Pest Control. We will get your Knoxville home pest-free and back to normal in no time.