How to know if you have rats or mice

How to Know if You Have Rats or Mice

Rats and mice look different in size, shape, and even character, there’s also a few other differences between them. Knowing these differences could go a long way in helping you through your rat control efforts. Getting to know their behaviours, preference in food, and where they love to nest will help make your control efforts more successful. The most common rat and mice pests in Canada are the house mouse, roof rat, black rat and the Norway rat.

In case you own a home, then the chances of inviting these destructive critters are higher than you might have thought. A simple rat or mice infestation could turn into an expensive affair. Rats and mice are known to harbour contagious diseases, and if left to thrive, they could pose a health risk to both you and your family. If you have pets rodents can even be a burden to you and your pets because of the fleas they carry. In reality, everyone is at risk of a mice or rat invasion, and it doesn’t matter how new your house might be.

Rat and mouse behaviour

Rats and mice are different, and one of the distinguishing factors is that rats are cautious and mice are curious:

  • Rats are very careful, making them very hard to spot around your home apart from the destructive mess they leave. They will avoid new things unless they have had enough time to get used to them. That is why you need to place unset traps in their paths before putting set traps where they frequent.
  • Mice are very curious, and in case you have them in your house, you will bump into them more times than noticing the signs they leave behind. Also, mice have a higher reproduction rate compare to rats. But how fast do mice reproduce? One female mouse can provide between 5-10 litters every year. Therefore, you will do things a little bit differently when setting up traps for mice. Put the set traps right in the path of the mice, and according to professionals, if you haven’t trapped anything in the first few days, then the trap might be in the wrong place, to begin with.

Signs of rats in your house

There are certain signs that can indicate that you have a rat in your house. Some of these signs will also show the size of the population. In case you can see the critters at night but not during the day, the population might not have grown too large and can be controlled by simply buying poison bait or rat traps that can be found at your convenience store. When you start noticing rats during the day, your problem might have gotten out of hand, and it might be time to call in the professionals. Here are common signs of rats in your house:

  • New rat poop is dark and moist, but as the droppings age they get grey and crumble to touch. You will notice these droppings where rats frequent; feeding areas, nests, in drawers, packages, hidden areas and along the rodents’ runways. However, the greatest number of dropping will be discovered where the rodents are nesting or feeding. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you inspect the areas where you discover dropping to make better judgments if the infestation is new or old.
  • Gnaw Marks. Compared to droppings, gnaw marks are usually lighter and turn darker as they age. You are likely to discover this around your house and in food packaging they invade. You can be able to determine the age of the gnaw marks by comparing them to similar material that you are certain of its age. In case the new gnaw marks you find are lighter, it could be an indication of continued infestation. These marks could also be used to determine the kind of rodents you are dealing with.
  • Trackson rat runways. In case you have active rats or mice in your home, their tracks are likely to be distinctive and will become fainter as time passes. The best way you can trace these tracks is by using a backlight or a flashlight. You can also determine their activity by inspecting their runways for droppings, smudge marks and urine stains. In case you suspect the area is frequented by mice or rats, you can try placing a thin layer of baby powder or flour. If you have active rats, you will see their trails in the powder.

If any of the methods yields results that you might have an active rat infestation in your house, the best way to control them is by contacting a professional rat removal service. They might be in a better position to track, trap and get rid of your problem effectively. Call the Exterminators at 647-496-2211 or check our online shop for some rat control products.