Mice and Norway rats are both rodents, so they share many similarities. However, in many other ways, these two pests are quite different, from their appearance to their behavior and the methods used to control them. Let’s take a closer look at these differences.

Is there really a difference between the two?

A major difference between these two rodent species can be seen right away – rats are much larger than mice. Mice can reach a length of 8 inches at most, with the tail included, while Norway rats usually double that. Rats are also much heavier with a rat weighing up to 18 ounces on average, and mice barely reaching an ounce. There are differences when it comes to the severity of the infestation as well. Since rats are much bigger, they are capable of doing more damage in the home, and they tend to be much filthier than mice. The two species also carry different diseases.

How to tell if you have mice or rats

Rats and mice tend to have similar behavior patterns when they are in the home – both will build nests, forage for food, be most active at night, and tend to stick to dark areas of the home. As such, the best way to tell whether you have a rat or a mouse infestation is to find their droppings. Rat droppings are much larger, about the size of a grain of rice, while mice have tiny droppings. You may also see one of these rodents out in the open, but that is fairly rare, and by the time it happens the infestation has gotten quite big.

How are the two pests controlled?

Rats and mice are both controlled with traps and poisons, but you will have to use species specific instruments. Since rats are much bigger, they cannot be captured with mouse traps, and vice versa. Some poisons can be used against either species, while others are once again species specific.

With that being said, the best way to get rid of a rodent infestation, whether you’re dealing with Norway rats or mice, is with the help of a pest control professional. A pro is able to identify the species right away and then implement the adequate control measures immediately, making short work of the infestation as soon as possible. If you have any questions about these two rodents, or if you have an infestation in the home that has to be removed, contact us today.