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.


You May Also Be Interested In:

Wildlife Creatures to Lookout for this Winter

3 Ways to Prevent Cockroaches From Your Home

Why Enclosing Your Crawlspace Matters

Energy Saving for the Holidays

Bed Bug Holiday Surprise

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

While rodents will typically infest your home during the colder months of the year, it is still possible for these pests to be found inside the home during the warmer months too. If a rodent, like a mouse or rat, is found inside a house during spring and summer months, it’s likely that they’ve been there since winter! Rodents can cause expensive damage to your property. Learning some common signs of rodents in your home is the first step in identifying an infestation and establishing a rodent control plan.

One of the most common and telling signs that a rodent is in your home is finding their droppings. Measuring around 1/8 to ¼” long, droppings are left behind in places where food is stored, such as the kitchen and pantries. Rodent feces can be dangerous as it can carry harmful bacteria and transmit dangerous diseases such as salmonella. When looking for these droppings, make sure to check under the sink, in pantries, in cabinets, along baseboards, and on top of wall beams.

Mice and rats are always in search of food and water and will often chew their way to it. Both rodents can cause serious damage by chewing through materials found throughout the house, such as plastic and lead pipes. House mice and Norway rats are known to gnaw on wires that are behind walls, causing the dangerous risk of a fire. Check throughout the house for any suspicious chewing marks on wires, pipes, or even plastic containers as these can be an indication that a rodent is inside your home.

Hearing strange noises at night is always concerning, but it’s also a common indicator that rodents have made their way inside. These pests are typically active during the night and, if inside, hearing them scurry around the house is common. Rodents usually prefer dark, secluded spots to build their nests, such as in attics or in between walls. Checking these areas could give you the answer on whether rodents have been infesting!

If you suspect a rodent infestation in your house, contact your local pest control company who can safely remove them from your home.

Is That A Rat or A Mouse and Why It Matters

Is That A Rat or A Mouse and Why It Matters

You’ve found all the signs and you’ve confirmed it – there’s a rodent in your house. But is it a rat or a mouse? Does it really matter? How can you tell? Although there are significant differences in rat vs mouse, it can be hard for the average homeowner to distinguish between the two. The behavior, diet, and habitat of each of these pests affects how they are eliminated and prevented. Proper identification is essential for effective rodent control.

There are over 70 species of mice and rats in the United States. The most common are the Norway rat, the roof rat, and the house mouse. Let’s take a look at the difference between rats and mice and why it matters.


Mice are curious and will investigate anything new they come across. Because of this, you can put set mouse traps directly in their path. Mice can stand on their hind legs when they are supported by their tails. They are excellent jumpers, swimmers and climbers and are extremely fast runners. Mice are nocturnal and most active from dusk until dawn. They do not like bright lights.

Rats are more cautious than mice. They will avoid new things until they get used to them being there. Because of this, unset traps should be placed in their path first to let them get used to them and then replaced with set traps later. Rats are strong swimmers and will often live in sewers, allowing them to enter buildings through broken drains and toilets. They will climb to get to food, water, and shelter. They follow regular routines and paths each day.


House mice are much smaller than their rat cousins. They have small heads, small feet, pointed snouts, and large ears with some hair on them. They are usually light brown in color with some gray shading and dark tails. Their droppings are shaped like small rods.

Norway rats have heavy, thick bodies. They are the largest of the three common rodent species. They have blunt snouts and short ears with dark hair. They are usually brown with black shading and shaggy coats. Their tails are dark on top and pale underneath. Their droppings are shaped like capsules.

Roof rats have light slender bodies. They have pointed snouts and long ears with no hair. They are usually gray in color with black shading and smooth coats. Their tails are dark. They have droppings shaped like spindles.


Mice prefer cereal grains and plants but they will feed on almost anything.

Rats will eat nearly anything, as well, but prefer fresh grain and meat. Rats also need 1/2 to 1 ounce of water a day to survive.


Mice prefer to nest near their food sources. They will use any soft material or shredded paper to build their nests.

Rats will burrow under buildings, along fences, and under plants or debris. Norway rats typically live in these burrows while roof rats prefer to nest in walls, attics, and trees.


Mice will have up to 10 litters per year and typically live from about 9 to 12 months.

Norway rats will have up to 6 litters per year and live 12 to 18 months.

Roof rats will have up to 8 litters per year but have fewer babies in their litters than Norway rats do.

Fun Facts:

The house mouse is considered one of the top 100 world’s worst invaders. They are afraid of rats because rats will eat them. Mice are also color blind.

Rats are nocturnal and have poor eyesight. Norway rats and roof rats do not get along and will actually fight each other to the death. Norway rats tend to live on the lower floors of buildings while roof rats will live on the upper floors.

Why Does It Matter?

Why does it matter whether you have a rat or a mouse? Both rat and mice droppings contain pathogens that are dangerous to humans. Both are also very good at breeding and increase their populations quickly, making them harder to control. The significance in properly identifying rats vs mice affects how they are controlled and eliminated. Because they each have such different diets, habitats, and behaviors, different methods are employed when it comes to getting rid of them. What may work for house mice might not be effective in controlling rats and vice versa.

If you have an issue with rodents or any other pests, contact a professional pest control company who can not only properly identify the nuisance pest, but also set you up with the appropriate treatment and ongoing prevention plans.


You May Also Be Interested In:

Crawly Winter Insects

What Attracts Moles to Your Yard?

Holiday Pantry Pests

13 Energy Saving Tips For Winter

Is Mosquito Control Needed in Winter?

Mouse vs Rat: Can You Spot The Difference?

Mouse vs Rat: Can You Spot The Difference?

Spring makes its own statement loud and clear; the torrential downpours are soon to be here! With rain on the horizon and “social distancing” in full-force, everyone will be spending more time indoors… even pests! The last thing you want to deal with when you’re already stuck inside your home is an unwanted rodent.

There are three main species of rodent that are prevalent in homes, all of which thrive because of their ability to adapt to human environments. These are the house mouse, the Norway rat (also known as the common rat and the brown rat), and the roof rat (also known as the black rat or the ship rat). At first glance there are some commonalities between all rodent species. They all have a pair of incisor teeth in their upper jaw, short legs, long tails, and they all can cause significant damage to both your home and your health. If you look closer, however, you can see several distinguishing features in mice vs rats to help identify which pest you have.


House Mouse:

House Mouse
The house mouse is small in size, only about 4 to 6 inches long. In fact, they are often confused with young rats. They are usually light grey, brown, or white in color with lighter shading on their bellies. Mice have large floppy ears and smaller feet and heads than rats. They have triangular snouts with long whiskers. Their tail is proportionally longer than their head and body length.

Norway Rat:

Norway Rat
Norway rats are the biggest of the three species at about 10 inches long. They have thicker bodies with fur that is usually brown with black shading and shaggy in appearance. They have a paler color underneath their tails. Their tail is shorter than the length of their body and head and is usually hairless and scaly. They have small hairy ears and blunt noses.

Roof Rat:

Roof Rat
The roof rat is usually about 8 inches long with slender bodies. They have gray fur with black shading and smooth coats. They have dark tails that are usually hairless and scaly. Their tail is longer than their head and body, similar to a mouse. They have large, thin, hairless ears and pointed noses.


House Mouse:

The house mouse prefers cereal but will eat almost anything. They kibble their grain when eating it, meaning they remove the outer husk and eat the grain that is inside. They tend to seek out food in the same places which makes baiting them easier. They don’t need to drink water but will consume about 3 mL if it is available.

Norway Rat:

Norway rats also prefer cereals but will eat what is available. They cut their grains when eating, giving them the appearance of being chopped. These rats also tend to seek food in the same places making them easier to bait, as well. They drink about 60 mL of water a day.

Roof Rat:

Roof rats prefer most fruit but will eat other foods, as well. They also cut their grain when eating it, making it look like it has been chopped. They don’t usually eat in the same location on consecutive nights making them much harder to trap. They drink about 30 mL of water per day.


House Mouse:

House mice usually live on the ground and nest in burrows. They are quite agile and great climbers. They have smaller footprints than rats do. The grease from their bodies can combine with dirt and urine and build up pillars, a telltale sign of their presence. They will often build their nests in hidden areas near food sources out of any soft material or shredded paper they can find.

Norway Rat:

Norway rats live on the ground and in burrows. They are usually spotted throughout buildings and in sewer systems. Their burrowing can cause extensive damage to sewers. They tend to walk on the pads of their feet and leave continuous smudges on their walking paths from their oily fur.

Roof Rats:

Roof rats are mainly restricted to buildings and structures around ports and on ships in temperate climates. They are quite agile and very good climbers. They tend to nest up high under roofs (hence their name) and in warmer countries will even nest in trees. They tend to walk on their toes and surfaces they travel on will show scattered smudges.


The newborns of every rodent species are born blind, hairless and completely dependent on the mother for feeding and protection.

House Mouse:

House mice typically have litters of 4-16 babies. They can have 7 to 8 litters per year. The reach maturity in about 8 to 12 weeks.

Norway Rat:

Norway rats typically have litters of 7 to 8 babies. They can have 3 to 6 litters per year. They reach maturity in about 10 to 12 weeks.

Roof Rat:

Roof rats typically have litters of 5 to 10 babies. They can have 3 to 6 litters per year. They reach maturity in about 7 to 8 weeks.


House Mouse:

House mice are nocturnal creatures. They are social and territorial and tend to be bolder than rats. They are curious and will explore new things, making them easier to trap. They are skillful climbers and will fit into small holes to access areas of your home you wouldn’t expect. They are weaker than rats and are usually afraid of them as they will kill them. House mice have a musky odor and are color blind.

Norway Rat:

Norway rats are also nocturnal. They are typically fearful and cautious about new things. They don’t explore like mice do. They can climb but prefer to inhabit the lower levels of structures. They are stronger than mice and have been known to gnaw through building materials. They have poor eyesight. Norway rats don’t get along with roof rats and they will often fight to the death.

Roof Rat:

Roof rats are nocturnal. They are skilled climbers and prefer higher levels of structures. They have stronger teeth than mice and can gnaw through building materials. They have poor eyesight. they don’t get along with Norway rats and will often fight them to the death.


House Mouse:

House mice droppings are approximately 3 to 8 mm in length. They are often found scattered randomly. They are granular in shape and black in color. They can be found near their nesting areas.

Norway Rat:

Norway rat droppings are dark brown in color. They are tapered, spindle shaped droppings that resemble large grains of rice.

Roof Rats:

Roof rat droppings are long and thin and smaller in size than those of the Norway rat. They are more regular in form with a banana-like curve and pointed ends.

Whether you have mice or rats, rodent feces can cause significant health risks for you and your family. Some common diseases caused by rodent droppings include Hantavirus, bubonic plague, salmonellosis, rat bite fever, and leptospirosis. Rodents are also known chewers and can cause damage to the structure of your home and put you at risk for fires by chewing through wires and cables.

If you suspect you have a rodent problem, contact a licensed pest control company who can help identify whether you have a mouse or a rat, apply safe rodent removal techniques, and make sure you have a comprehensive rodent control and prevention plan going forward.


You May Also Be Interested In:

4 Ways To Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard

Getting Ready for Spring Lawn Care

What You Should Know About Termites This Spring

Swarm Season – Termites Vs Flying Ants

Keeping Wildlife Out This Spring

Pin It on Pinterest

Call Now Button