Is It A Rat Or A Mouse? | Critter Control Of Tampa

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Is it a rat or a mouse

No homeowner wants a rodent infestation running amok on their property, but knowing what you’re up against can change how you approach the problem. This is why it is important to know the difference between a rat and a mouse. Here is how you can tell a rat and a mouse apart and ways to remove them from your home.

3 Common Types of Florida Rodents

While there’s over 70 breeds of mice and rats found throughout North America, the most common breeds to infest Tampa area properties include:

  1. House Mouse – The most common breed of mice, the house mouse is tiny and lightweight. The rodents have a small head, long ears, and light brown or gray fur, with dark-colored tails. The house mouse makes small, rod-shaped droppings. Fully grown, the house mouse weighs about 15 grams, which makes it much smaller than its heavier rodent cousin.
  2. Norway Rat – The very common Norway rats are considerably larger and heavier than mice. The pests don shorter ears and a shaggy coat of gray or black fur. Their tails are dark on top, with a lighter tone underneath. The Norway rat leaves droppings shaped like capsules.In adulthood, you can expect these rats to weigh about 300 grams, one of the heaviest breeds of rats.
  3. Roof Rat – Though still much larger than mice, the roof rat pales in comparison to the Norway rat. It is only 200 grams at adulthood, with a body that is longer and more slender. They also have coarse and greasy coats of gray and black, though their tails are darker throughout. The roof rats have droppings shaped like spindles.

Differences Between Rats vs Mice

While both rats and mice will eat just about anything, there are several dietary and behavioral traits unique to mice versus rats.

Grey rat isolated
Thick grey rat isolated on white background

A house mouse’s ideal diet includes plants and small grains. Their nests are constructed out of soft materials and tiny scraps of paper that they can use as insulation. If left unchecked, in a single year, a female mouse can birth up to 60 baby mice—meaning your problem can go from bad to worse very quickly.

By contrast, rats enjoy fresh grain and meat as part of a regular diet. For their habitat, the Norway rat will attempt to burrow behind soft, compromised spots under buildings, fences, and natural debris. Meanwhile, the roof rat prefers to remain off the ground by making their nests in trees, walls, and attics.

Identifying a Rat or a Mouse

You should quickly be able to tell the difference between a rat and mouse, because they have completely opposite physical appearances. Mice are smaller and softer. Rats are bigger and greasier. You can also usually discern which rodent is present through their gnaw marks, tracks, runways, and burrows.

Close up the rat in dry leaf background.
Close up the mouse in dry leaf background.

Understandably, it can be challenging for an untrained eye to identify a scurrying rodent, especially if its sudden appearance sends you into a panic. That is why you should rely on the licensed and trained rodent removal professionals at Critter Control® of Tampa to inspect, locate, identify, and remove all nuisance rodents from your property and keep them from returning.

Reliable Rodent Removal Services

Whether you have a mouse or a rat in your house, contact Critter Control® of Tampa. Our experienced technicians know the damage that nuisance rodents can cause and are equipped to quickly and efficiently eliminate their unwelcome infestation. If you are dealing with invasive rodents in your Tampa area property, call Critter Control® of Tampa today at 813-948-0870 to schedule an inspection and receive a free mice removal estimate.

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