Can You Have Rats and Mice at the Same Time?

Can You Have Rats and Mice at the Same Time?

Rats and mice are both rodents and while they are often mistaken for each other, the similarities really end there. These two pests don’t breed with each other and typically nest in different places. If a population is big enough that the two species cross paths on a regular basis and the food sources nearby are plentiful, then they can inhabit the same area at the same time; this is rare, however. Most often they are competing for the same food and rats will kill mice instead. In fact, mice and rats give off very distinctive odors and mice will flee when they smell rats nearby.

Rats vs mice can be confusing and the two are often mistaken for each other when they infest your home.

Mice are much smaller than rats, usually only 2″ to 4″ long. They typically have lighter brown coloring and dark tails. Their ears are proportionately larger when compared to their body size than those of rats. Mice have wide, blunt snouts, small feet, and small, beady eyes. They prefer to eat grains and plants but will eat leftover food and garbage if inside. They can also go long periods of time without water. They typically nest in hidden areas near their food sources (e.g. your kitchen). They produce more droppings per day than rats (70-150) but their droppings are smaller in size and usually scattered throughout the house. They are more curious than rats and easier to trap.

Rats are much larger than mice, usually ranging from 8″ to 10″ in length. They also have much darker coloring. Their ears are proportionately smaller when compared to their body size than their mice cousins. They have sharp, narrow snouts, large hind feet, and large, prominent eyes. Rats are omnivores and will eat anything they find, including meat. They require regular amounts of drinking water than mice do. Depending on the species, rats also nest in different areas than mice. Norway rats will often dig under buildings, along fences, and hide under debris and landscaping. Roof rats will typically nest in higher locations (e.g. roofs, attics, and rafters). Rats produce larger feces (about 2 cm in size). Rats are more cautious than mice and can be more difficult to trap. They are also strong swimmers.

Both rats and mice are dangerous to humans. Risks of a rodent infestation of any kind include gnawing through surfaces, insulation, and wires; contaminating surfaces with urine and droppings; and carrying and transmitting harmful pathogens like salmonellosis, plague, and trichinosis.

The best treatment against a rodent infestation is to prevent them in the first place. Here are some of our top rodent prevention tips you can utilize in your home.

  1. Clean up spilled food immediately.
  2. Put away all food at night, including pet food and bird feeders.
  3. Keep food, including pet food and bird seed, in sealed, airtight containers.
  4. Keep garbage can lids tightly sealed.
  5. Declutter your attic and basement, especially anything made of cardboard.
  6. Store any items you can on shelves rather than in the floor.
  7. Keep your yard clear of debris.
  8. Keep grass and shrubs cut short.
  9. Trim shrubs and trees away from the sides of your home.
  10. Store firewood off the ground and a safe distance from your home.
  11. Repair holes in your foundation, garage, and interior walls and any gaps in your roof.
  12. Seal any openings larger than 1/4″.
  13. Use rubber seals under garage doors.
  14. Use door sweeps on exterior doors.
  15. Use weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  16. Use screens that are in good repair on doors and windows.
  17. Seal around pipes, drains, and vents.
  18. Use chimney caps.

If you suspect a problem with rodents or any other pest, contact your local pest control company who can help identify which rodent you are dealing with and set you up with the most appropriate rodent control plan for your situation.

 

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9 Warning Signs Of A Rodent Infestation

9 Warning Signs Of A Rodent Infestation

Rodents can wreak havoc on your home, chewing through wires and insulation and contaminating surfaces with their urine and feces. Rodents are also known for carrying and transmitting serious diseases to humans. You may not see a live rodent in your home until an infestation is already established. It is important to know the signs of a rodent infestation so you can identify the problem before it gets out of control. Here are 9 warning signs of a rodent infestation to look for in your home.

  1. Rodent droppings around food packages, in drawers and cupboards, and under sinks.
  2. Nesting material such as shredded paper, fabric, string, and dried plant matter.
  3. Signs of chewing on food packaging.
  4. Holes that have been chewed through floors and walls that these critters can use as an entry point.
  5. Stale smells coming from hidden areas of your home such as wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, etc.
  6. Rub marks, which are oily marks left behind where rodents travel along walls.
  7. A strong, musky urine odor.
  8. Scampering, scratching, or gnawing sounds, especially at night.
  9. Unusual pet behavior such as becoming extremely alert or anxious, excessive barking, or pawing at surfaces under appliances or furniture.

Prevention is critical to keeping rodents and other pests from taking over your home. Keep them out of your home with these rodent prevention tips:

  • Seal any holes inside or outside your home with steel wool, lath screen, lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting. Some common areas to check for holes include in the roof among rafters, gables, and eaves; around windows and doors; around foundations; in attic and crawlspace vents; under doors; around holes for electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines; inside and under cabinets; inside closets near floor corners; around fireplaces; around pipes under sinks and washers; around hot water heater and furnace pipes; around floor and dryer vents; in basement and laundry room floor drains; and between floor and wall junctures.
  • Remove potential nesting sites such as leaf piles and deep mulch.
  • Keep garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Turn compost piles to cover any newly added food.
  • Bring pet food and water bowls in overnight and empty birdfeeders daily. Try to avoid feeding outdoor birds, if possible, while you have an active infestation.
  • Fix gaps in trailer skirting and use flashing around the base of your home.
  • Store food in thick plastic or metal containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Keep outdoor cooking areas and grills clean.
  • Elevate woodpiles, hay, and garbage cans at least 1 foot off the ground.
  • Get rid of any old tires, vehicles, etc from your property.
  • Keep your grass mowed short and shrubbery well trimmed, especially if it is within 100 feet of your home.

If you suspect you have a problem with rodents or any other pest, your local pest control company can perform a thorough home inspection which will help determine the type of rodent you are dealing with, their patterns of activity, what’s attracting them to your home, and which treatment method is best for elimination and ongoing prevention.

 

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Common Invading Rodents

Common Invading Rodents

Unfortunately, we haven’t quite gotten over the cold weather yet. Lower temperatures means there are plenty of pests and wildlife creatures looking for warmth inside your home. Common wildlife, such as rodents, can be a major nuisance during the colder seasons. If found inside, these pests can damage electrical wires, insulation, and even spread disease. Identifying the type of rodents that have entered your home is the first step in the wildlife exclusion process.

Norway Rats

Norway Rats
Norway rats are known as one of the largest species of rats, measuring about 10 inches in body length. These rats have thicker bodies with fur that’s usually brown with black shading. In addition to having a pale color underneath their tails, the tail itself is shorter in length when compared to their bodies. Norway rats, if desperate enough, will eat just about any food source they can find, although they prefer to eat meat. If they find food in a particular place, they will continue to return to that same spot. This can make baiting and removing them easier. These rodents make their habitats in burrows but can also be found throughout buildings and in sewer systems.

Roof Rats

Roof Rats
Roof rats have gray fur with black shading and smooth coats. They are about 8 inches long with slender bodies. They have darker tails than Norway rats and they are usually hairless and scaly. These rodents are extremely agile and are skilled climbers. They often prefer higher levels of buildings or homes, hence their name “roof rat.” While they prefer to eat fruit, roof rats will eat any available food source they can find. Unlike the Norway rat, the roof rat will not go back to the same location for food, making them much harder to bait.

Prevention is the key to making sure these rodents don’t enter your home. Use these rodent prevention tips throughout your home to ensure these creatures stay out.

  • Repair any roof damage such as broken tiles or gaps under the eaves.
  • Seal around utility pipes with steel wool and use either caulk or concrete.
  • Declutter any areas where rats may hide out, including your garages, attics, gardens, storage sheds, and even warehouses.
  • Apply weather stripping to your doors and windows throughout your house.

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