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Do You Have Rats or Mice – How to Tell the Difference

how to tell if rats or mice

Scratchings in the middle of the night, chewed wires and unexplained droppings are all signs that you have a rodent problem. But how do you know for sure and how can you tell, in the first instance, what type of rodent it is? We take a look at how to tell if you have rats or mice.

Noises in the Night

If you hear unexplained noises in the night, the chances are it is a rodent. They are mostly nocturnal which is why you will hear them when you are trying to sleep. Rats are larger and may make more noise than mice however, in the dead of night, any noise can sound loud. Noise alone will not tell you what kind of rodent you have living in your house, only that you need to carry out further investigation.

Physical Appearance – Rats or Mice?

If you have seen a rodent but aren’t sure what it is, a quick Google search may help you to determine whether it is a rat or mouse. However, there are a few key differences between the two:

  • Rats are usually larger and a bit more serious looking than mice
  • Mouse tails tend to be pink and skinny – rats have darker, fatter tails
  • Rats are often darker in colour than mice – mice tend to be brown in colour
  • Mice ears are large and round – the size of their ears is big in comparison to their heads. While rats have large ears, proportionately they are small in relation to their head
  • The eyes – rats eyes are narrower than the wider eyes of a mouse
  • Mice smell musky – you will usually smell something before you see it

The exception can be when an adult mouse is compared with a young rat. The mouse will have larger ears and a longer tail compared to its body length than the rat.

Their Droppings

Examining rodent droppings may not be something that you want to consider but it will help you to identify the source of your rodent issue and whether it’s rats or mice.

Rat Droppings

Measuring between 1/2 and 3/4 inch long, rat droppings are shiny black. This is fresh poop – older poop will be grey and dry

Rat and squirrel droppings are the same size however which is worth considering. The difference between rats and squirrels is that rats will spread out their droppings and squirrels will go in the same spot.

Mice Droppings

These are small and smooth, measuring around a 1/4 of an inch and they have pointed ends. Like rat droppings, new mouse droppings will be shiny, older droppings will be chalky and grey. Similar to grains of rice and you will see more droppings – 40-100 throughout the day in comparison to 20-50 from a rat.

rats and mice
Mice and rat droppings when compared to grains of rice

Leave it to the Experts

Of course, rats or mice, even squirrels… you don’t want any of these things to be nesting in your home for fear of the damage they can cause and the disease they can spread. You also don’t want your house to become a breeding ground for rodents so if you suspect you may have an issue in the walls, the roof space, under the floorboards or even in outbuildings such as sheds and garages, don’t hesitate – call the experts today.

Even if you don’t have a rodent problem, we can put your mind at rest, just like we did for Brenda:

“Matthew came out this morning as we had spotted a mouse – he checked the property and quickly assured us we do not have a problem and it was probably a one-off, very honest as he could have said anything!! He also took time to advise us on how to prevent any further visitors! Also Kerry on the phone was really lovely. Excellent customer service all round which can be rare to find these days. Thank you both.”

If you do have an issue, we can advise on the best method of dealing with it and then provide the necessary steps to remove the rodents, and block their access points to stop them from returning.

Don’t be enticed by DIY methods – they rarely provide a solution. Instead call Falcon on 01752 929292 and let us help. We can help you with unwanted rats or mice and make sure they don’t come back.

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Kay Soppet
Kay Soppet
2024-01-25
I was extremely pleased with Falcon Environmental Services. They were efficient, reliable, friendly and professional. I was happy that I found a local company to help with the problem of pests in my attic. They were always available to talk to explaining the situation to me and how they were going to deal with it. I really felt that they went over, above and beyond what I expected. Nothing was too much trouble, my calls and enquiries always returned with a friendly voice, care and consideration. I would honestly recommend them and use their company again if the need arises. It’s very comforting to find good, reliable professional people you can rely on. Thank you to everyone at FALCON.
Steven Newton
Steven Newton
2024-01-21
I would definitely use this company again very professional.
Marta Hawkins
Marta Hawkins
2024-01-19
Great service, super professional with a nice friendly touch. Always responsive and ready to adjust and accommodate extra needs. Highly recommend
Steve HOPPER
Steve HOPPER
2024-01-18
Fast friendly and knowledgeable, Matthew understands your problems and discusses and explains what can be done to sort the problem, uses various ways to solve or remove whatever is causing the problem, from rats, wasps, bee's, feral pigeons, you name, it Falconry Environment will work hard to find a solution for you...
Sarah Wilkinson
Sarah Wilkinson
2024-01-18
Great service, competitive pricing and friendly staff. Highly recommended
Shane
Shane
2024-01-18
Falcon is the best. Matt is and always such a professional approachable man. We have had the pleasure of using Falcon for a few reasons that they have alway had expert advice and responses.
John Adaway
John Adaway
2024-01-18
I have had the pleasure of working with Matthew and his team and would highly recommend Falcon Environmental Services their friendly and professional approach to the work they do.
Marc Payne
Marc Payne
2024-01-18
An excellent, professional and reliable service as always.
Aaron Brian
Aaron Brian
2024-01-18
Very professional service from every member of the team that I’ve dealt with. The team are extremely knowledgeable and always to willing to help when they can. Highly recommended company. Thanks Matt and the team.
Tracy Phillips
Tracy Phillips
2024-01-18
Very happy with service that we received. High level professional advice and follow-up work was provided by the company. Communication with the office was quick and responsive and colleagues who attended were prompt, helpful and skilled. Would fully recommend the service if and when required.

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