Is it a rat or a mouse?
Rats and mice are common pests for both commercial and domestic properties and can cause a significant amount of damage with their constant gnawing. They will damage woodwork, plastic, lead pipes and will even strip insulation from electrical cables, which can create a serious fire risk. Rodents are capable of spreading a number of diseases, including Weil’s disease, murine typhus and trichinosis and can contaminate any food they come into contact with.
Although both are classified as rodents, rats and mice are different species. They can’t interbreed and there are many physiological and developmental differences between the two. If you have a rodent infestation, it can be hard to identify whether the culprit is a rat or a mouse, and young weanling rats are often mistaken for mice. However, if you do happen to see either on your property, you can guarantee it’s not a solitary rat or mouse you’re dealing with. For each one that you spot, there could well be a colony which can produce hundreds more.
How to identify a house mouse
The most common mouse pest in Britain is the house mouse and as its name would suggest, it will infiltrate houses, but also commercial and industrial premises. Smaller than their rat counterparts, mice can still damage your property and breed rapidly, so if you suspect your property has mice, act fast and seek the advice of a mouse pest control specialist.
Characteristics of the adult house mouse:
Mice have small triangular heads
The muzzle is pointy and sharp
Ears are large in relation to the head
Tail is thin and the same length, or longer than their body
Feet are small and delicate
How to identify a young Norway Rat
The Norway Rat is the most common rat pest in Britain and once fully grown, it’s clear to see the difference between a Norway rat and a house mouse. However young rats can be mistaken for mice, but there are some key physical differences.
Characteristics of a young rat:
Rats have short stubby heads, which are large in relation to the body
The muzzle is wide and blunt
Ears are small in relation to the head
Tail is thick and shorter than its body
Feet are large in relation to the body, especially the hind feet
What are the signs of a mouse infestation?
Mice are nocturnal, but signs of mice are fairly easy to spot, and you may even hear scampering noises in the walls, roof, or under the floors. Mice defecate frequently, leaving up to 70 droppings over 24hrs. Their droppings are smaller than rat droppings (around 3-8mm long), dark and can often be found around their food source. When looking for signs of mice, pay particular attention to bins, storage boxes and the insides and tops of cupboards. There may also be an odour of urine and signs of gnawing and scratching.
How to get rid of mice?
Infestations of mice can be very hard to eliminate without the help of a mouse pest control professional. With a gestation of just 19-20 days, mice reproduce rapidly and have litters of up to 14 at a time. Mice are sexually mature at 8 weeks and can have 5-10 litters per year, so it’s important to seek the advice of a professional pest controller if you spot signs of mice in your business or home.
As approved members of the British Pest Control Association, Monitor Pest Control’s rat and mouse pest control service will identify and eliminate your rodent infestation quickly and effectively. If you have a commercial property, we will protect your business from rodents of all kinds, giving you complete peace of mind that you adhere to the highest operational standards and current health and safety legislation.
If you’re based in Kent or the South East and suspect that your property or business has a problem with mice, call Monitor Pest Control on 01474 358855 and ask about our mouse pest control services.