What Is The Difference Between Having A Mouse or Rat Problem in Your Home?

In order to detect a rodent infestation, you need to know what to look out for. There are many distinguishable signs to be able to tell apart the different types of mice and rats. 

There are more than 35 diseases that rodents are notorious for transmitting to humans, with either direct or indirect contact, it’s good to know what you should be aware of for the safety of yourself and your loved ones. These rodents are responsible for many problems in homes that might be left unseen which leads to further damages and escalates the rodent infestation.

Although these rodents might look similar, there are many differences between mice and rats that you might want to know. Rats and mice cause different damages and are known to carry different diseases.

If you think you might have a rodent infestation in your home, it’s good to be able to identify the differences between mice vs rats. Contact Rodents Stop immediately for a home inspection, get the rodents out of your home for good with Rodents Stop’s proven rodent control treatment that promises a lifetime guarantee!

The Difference Between Mice and Rats

While there are many different species of mice, the following are the three most common types found in California

  • House Mice  – House Mice species look like small brown rats but with a smaller head and feet with larger eyes and ears. These mice tend to seek dried goods such as cereal and don’t need a lot of water for survival. House mice are known to dig underground and often create tunnels to enter homes. This species breeds rather fast, they reproduce up to 16 mice in a single litter and can breed up to 8 litters of mice per year. House mice commonly spread salmonella and listeria through their urine, droppings, saliva and nesting materials.

  • Deer Mice –  Deer mice are usually grey or brown on top and white underneath with large unfurred ears This species of mice are usually seen in rural outdoor areas with fields and vegetation. Deer mice are known to invade homes located in this type of area seeking food and shelter. These rodents are known to be the most common carrier of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) which is a severe, sometimes fatal, respiratory disease in humans. They are particularly destructive to items made from wood and are harmful to humans because they are a leading carrier of hantavirus. They’re also great climbers, nocturnal, and tend to find their way into homes during the colder months. 
  • White-Footed Mice – White footed mice are small rodents that are usually no bigger than four inches. They have distinct white feet and bellies with gray or reddish brown fur. White footed mice live near brushlands, forests and agricultural areas. The particular danger of this type of mouse it that they are known to be a carrier of the bacteria that causes Lyme’s Disease and Hantavirus (which is transmitted via an infected mouse’s saliva, urine, or feces and can cause serious respiratory illness in humans. The white-footed mouse is usually found in the east and west parts of the United States. They are commonly found in Maine, Alabama, California, and Arizona.

Differences in Rat Species

Rats have been blamed for spreading the plague that killed millions of people during the Great Plague in the 14th century. Rats spread diseases and cause severe damage to homes and are a real health hazard. There are many species of rats, but the most notorious is the roof rat and the Norway rat for causing the most trouble. 

  • Norway Rat – They are more typically bigger than common rats but with smaller ears and eyes. They have brown fur with coarse hair. Norway rats are sometimes referred to the house rat are usually around 10 inches in size. They have short tails that only grow between three and six inches. Norway rats invade homes and yards by digging underground. They are known to damage the foundation of your home, sidewalks, and patios. Norway rats are carriers of serious diseases, including jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis, and salmonellosis.

  • Roof Rats – Roof rats are usually smaller than Norway rats. They are as big as about eight inches. Roof rats are also known as “black rats” since they are black in color with light colored fur underneath. They also have long tails that grow to about 10 inches long. 
  • A bite from this rat can transmit rat-bite fever which is spread to humans through a bite or scratch.  Rat-bite fever is an infectious disease caused by two different bacteria, also known as Haverhill fever. If not treated, RBF can be a serious or even fatal disease. Roof rats seek shelter on rooftops and attics. They chew on walls, wires, insulation, and even pipes.

How to Tell the Difference Between Rats and Mice by Their Droppings

Since most rodents are nocturnal, you may only notice them when you find contaminated food, chew marks and droppings. You may also notice damages caused on parts of your property. 

How To Detect Rat Droppings If You Find Black Or Brown Rat Droppings

  • Brown rat droppings are from Norway rats, their droppings are identified as darker brown in color and typically look similar to a grain of rice.

  • Black rat droppings are long, thin, with sharper ends and smaller than brown rat droppings. 

Mice Droppings

  • Mice tend to leave their droppings all over the place. Mouse droppings are much smaller than rat droppings. They’re usually shaped like small granular pieces, black in color, and are a good indicator that leads to their nesting area. 

You won’t be able to find a roof rat by using a trap. And if you try to use a mousetrap for a large brown rat, it won’t work. This is why controlling a rodent infestation is best left to the professionals at Rodents Stop. Once you are convinced that your home has a mice or rat problem, Call Rodents Stop to schedule a free home inspection for the most efficient and permanent solution for getting rid of rodents from your home. 


Keep Your Family Safe and Your Home Rodent Free by Contacting Rodents Stop

When it comes to mice and rats, both carry harmful diseases, it is crucial to take immediate action so the rodent infestation does not get worse.  There are safety precautions when handling dead rodents, do not attempt to remove dead rodents without the help of a professional. If you have a rodent infestation, call in the professional Rodent Control Technicians at Rodents Stop.

Rodents Stop knows how to handle rodent infestations properly, which is followed by decontamination and safety procedures. We guarantee that you will not have a rodent infestation again after our treatment. Contact us today to rid your home from harmful rodents and the damages they cause.