Identifying the difference between rats and mice found in the UK
March 30, 2021
Whether at home or your business, have you ever heard the sound of something scurrying beneath the floorboards? From the corner of your eye did you just catch a brief glimpse of a rat or mouse peeking out of a gap under the kitchen sink? Have you come across tell-tale signs of a rodent infestation on your property?
If you live in the Kidderminster area and are facing serious issues with rodent infestation then using a professional company would be the ideal solution.
Whilst earlier because of the severe winters in the UK, their numbers were naturally culled. However, because of relatively milder winters the population or rats and mice are multiplying at an alarming rate with a growing need for Pest Control Kidderminster services needing to be called to deal with the menace.
Kinds of rats and mice in the UK
The three common species of mice and rats found in businesses and homes are the Brown rat (also known as Norway or common rat), Black rat (technically called Rattus-Rattus and also referred to as roof rat) and the common house mouse (Mus Domesticus).
The most common aspect is a pair of incisors found in the upper jaw, with a long tail and short legs. There are certain distinguishing features in each to identify the kind of rodent that has invaded your home or business.
Rats vs Mice appearance
Mouse: Probably the easiest method to identify a mouse from a rat is its size with a mouse only between 3-10 cm in length. For those that think they might confuse a mouse for a young rat look for these features.
1. In comparison to a young rat, a mouse has a longer tail and larger ears for the length of its body.
2. Mice are lighter in colour (brown/light grey) with the bellies having a lighter coloured coat.
3. A young rat will have a larger head and feet than their body in comparison to a mouse.
Rat: In size, the ship/black rat is smaller than the brown rat with the following features.
Black rat: The body is slender with a pointy nose and large ears that are thin. Their tail is longer than their body and head combined.
Brown rat: Contrastingly a brown rat has a thicker torso, a blunt nose, ears that are small and hairy with the area beneath the tail being lighter in colour. Their tail length is also less than their body and head.
While both are omnivorous in their eating habits black rats have a preference for fruit and food items with moisture. Interestingly, the mouse and black rat are partial to cereals.
Brown rat: They have a preference for cereal and when they eat, they cut into the grain that gives it a chopped like appearance. They are creatures of habit and look for food in the same location thus making it easier to bait. They also consume approximately 60 ml of water daily.
Black rat: They are fond of moist foodstuff with a preference for fruit. Look for food in different spots making it more challenging to bait and consume around 30 ml water daily.
Mice: Like brown rats, they enjoy eating cereals and chew the grain in a manner known as a kibble by which they remove the husk and eat the grain seed within. Also, tend to seek food at the same location while they do not require moisture may consume around 3ml water if they find it.
Brown rat: They look like rice grains and are spindle-shaped, wide and dark brown colourwise.
Black rat: Droppings are long and thin, and are smaller than brown rat droppings. Black rat droppings are more regular in shape with a banana-like curve and pointed ends.
Mouse: These are scattered around a property when there is an infestation, with the length of the dropping 3-8 mm. Mostly seen around areas where their nests are with the dropping granular and black coloured.
Areas they choose to live
Black rats: Because they tended to live in dockyards around ports or on ships they derived the name ship rat. On properties, they make nests beneath the roof because of their climbing skills. When the weather is warm and pleasant, they can live in tree nests in orchards and gardens. The areas they move across frequently tend to reflect smudges on the surface.
Brown rats: Inhabit burrows and underground apart from in sewers and pipes. Because they tend to burrow it can severely damage a sewer system. They move on their feet pads with the areas they frequent usually showing smudges because of their fur that is oily.
Mice: While they live in nests below the ground because of their agility they are excellent climbers. In areas where there is a large concentration of them, their excrement combined with grease from their bodies can form small pillars. They have much smaller footprints than rats.
Benefits of using a professional pest control company
Whether your property has a mouse or rat infestation it is always prudent to only hire the services of a professional rodent/pest control company that is registered with BPCA. Apart from having the latest training they have access to the most effective tools and rodenticides, which other pest services will not have access to.
They also have the experience and knowledge to handle the situation efficiently and effectively in areas with severe infestations.
They use the most current technology to monitor and track rodents/pests while finding their entry points, the infestation extent and the most suitable solution ranging from the use of rodenticides to traps.
So, if your property has a severe rat/mouse infestation do not hesitate to use our rodent infestation Kidderminster services by calling us at 01902 475175 right away!
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Having rats, mice and squirrels in your property or place of work can be traumatising, not only for the effect on your health, but also the damage that can be caused to personal property, belongings or stock.