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Rodents are known for leaving messes, gnawing through homes, and spreading disease. Without proper treatment, a rodent infestation can be a severe problem that may lead to serious damage or health issues. But, these pests are small and sometimes tricky to spot. Knowing what signs to look for can help you identify an infestation before it gets out of control.
Signs of a Rodent Infestation
Being on the lookout for signs of rodents can help keep your home and family safe. Some clues that these pests are entering your home include:
- Gnaw marks along your walls, cabinets, or furniture.
- Droppings, often near the kitchen or inside drawers.
- Scratching noises in your walls or ceiling.
- Seeing live or dead rodents in your home.
If you notice any of these signs, you may be experiencing a rodent infestation. But, how can you tell what type of rodent you’re dealing with? Rats and mice are the most common invaders, though they can seem very similar from a distance. Learning the differences between the two can help you identify the intruders and find the right plan to get rid of them.
Differences Between Mice and Rats
Since rats and mice look so similar and share many of the same habits, it can be challenging to determine which is inside your home. Some ways you can tell them apart is by looking at these clues:
- Size and appearance of the droppings. Mice droppings are usually pointed on the end and measure around ¼ of an inch, while rat droppings are typically flat on the end and measure closer to ¾ of an inch.
- Size of gnaw marks. Mice teeth marks are usually smaller, and mice tend to chew on softer materials such as books, clothes, and wood. Meanwhile, rats have larger teeth and often gnaw on harder materials, such as bricks, wiring, or drywall.
- Body size and head shape. Mice are smaller than rats and usually only measure between 5.5 and 7.5 inches. They also have a slightly pointed head with bigger ears and eyes in comparison to their body size. Rats are much larger and can measure between 13 and 18 inches. Their fur is also darker, and they typically have a blunted nose with smaller, beadier eyes.