At AMS Pest Control, we consider Rats and Mice are probably the most common pest we get phone calls about and although we think they are easy to recognise it can be tricky to differentiate the two, from a distance, especially if you panic!
Neither one is an appealing prospect to take up residence in your home as a pest, they can cause significant damage, spread disease and often an unpleasant smell.
The Brown Rat and the House Mouse are the most likely types of each species you will come into contact with, this is because they are commensal rodents, they live with or in close proximity to humans.
The saying of you are never more than six feet from a rat might not be entirely accurate but we do see plenty of them and given the right environment, their numbers can quickly multiply leaving you with a problem that requires a professional approach.
When it comes to professional rodent control it is important to carry out correct identification as to the species of rodent, the likely entry points to the building or harbourage and the reason they are there if you are going to be successful in gaining control. There are other factors to consider for example non-target species in the area, pets and also children living in the residence.
There are signs to spot when establishing if you might have a rodent issue. Droppings are the most common sign people spot, droppings are often found under the sink, alongside skirting, across loft spaces, or under decking in the garden. A strong odour can be a telltale sign, mice urinate frequently in order to mark their territory, not only an unpleasant thought but a big contributor to their disease spreading ability. Rats often come into contact with the sewer systems, along with their unfussy food habits is the likely cause of many rat odours.
How can we recognise the difference?
A baby rat can often be mistaken for a mouse. Mice have big eyes and ears, their tails are equal to the length of their body and have a pointed snout. Rats have small eyes and ears, a tail that is shorter than their body and a blunt snout. Unfortunately, they have such good hearing it is unlikely they will wait around for us to have a good look at them or sit still long enough to carry out an identification. Rats and mice are social animals, we often hear “there’s only one” whilst I’m certain this is wishful thinking of the homeowners.
What about non-toxic control?
With a push towards everyone being more environmentally conscious, we must consider the future of the way we operate and non-toxic pest control is an idea that is becoming discussed more and more, some countries are looking at the restriction of rodenticide. In non-professional and DIY use it can be a big problem, the CRRU works hard to promote the responsible use of rodenticides. According to the barn owl trust in 2015 94% of Barn Owls contaminated by SGAR (Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides).
Rats and mice are extremely successful animals, breeding quickly, highly adaptable to their surroundings and can often be stubborn pests to get rid of. As with all pests we highly recommend getting the advice of a professional, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or are suffering from a pest control emergency.