Houston residents often ask us whether they have rats or mice in their homes. The idea is that rats are a lot more dangerous than mice.
There are ways to tell whether you have a rat problem or a mouse problem. Here are four signs we look at.
Rat droppings are nearly an inch long. You'll tend to find them along walls, in corners, in ductwork, and your attic. You might also find them near food sources, like your pet's food bowls.
Mouse droppings are a lot smaller than rat droppings. You'll find them in many of the same places.
You can also look at the shape of the droppings. Rat droppings have blunt ends, whereas mouse droppings have pointed ends.
Lots of scratching and scurrying indicates the presence of rats. "Quiet as a mouse" isn't just a saying. They really are a lot quieter!
Rats do far more damage to your home than mice simply because they have larger bodies and stronger teeth. If you see bitemarks on wood, metal, and drywall, there's a good chance you have a rat problem.
Mice will typically stick to the cardboard. Rats will eat cardboard too.
In addition, rats will leave "rat runs," greasy streak marks on the walls that show where they've passed.
Mice come out during the daytime. Rats tend to come out at night.
Rats are typically more cautious but may grow bold as their swarm increases in size. We've seen houses where they start sunning themselves on exterior window sills like cats or wander up to stare challenges at homeowners who weren't fast enough to correct the problem.
Rats are more intelligent than mice. They avoid bait and traps like pros.
Yet mice catch on eventually: once they see a mouse get caught in a trap, they start avoiding them, too.
Does the difference matter?
Both rats and mice carry serious diseases, and you don't even have to come face-to-face with one to be at risk. Once they start leaving droppings in your ductwork, there's a good chance you'll start breathing in particles of whatever disease they carry. Once that happens, it's only a matter of time before you get sick.
Both rats and mice like to tear up insulation and chew on wiring, so your home becomes less energy efficient and has more fire risk.
Both rats and mice attract snakes who want to prey on them.
In short, either type of rodent is a problem, and either should send you to call us for rodent control services. We offer fast, humane rat control and mouse removal that returns your clean, safe home to its former, rodent-free condition.
Call us to get help today.
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