Have you seen a picture of identical twins? You often cannot distinguish between the two individuals. The only way to determine which twin is Bob and which is Harry is to study them for differences. For example, Bob may have a small mole on his right earlobe, and Harry may have thicker eyebrows, but unless you know these disparities between the boys, you struggle to distinguish them from each other.
Rats and mice are like two identical twins. They are similar in appearance, and since most of us shriek in terror when one darts from behind the couch, we don't have the time to assess whether it is a rat or a mouse. This brief article will help you understand the differences between these rodents and give you several tips to prevent rodents from infesting your house.
Although what you are about to learn is necessary to stop rodents, the first step in the process is to secure pest control in Colorado Springs from High Country Pest Control. Our locally-owned company has removed rats and mice from Colorado Springs homes since 1987. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction and take pride in being a Denver Bronco Pick company. Our longevity in the pest control industry has given us the experience, tools, and knowledge to resolve your rodent problem.
What's The Difference Between Rats And Mice?
Rats and mice can be difficult to distinguish because they both have four feet, a long, scaly tail, eyes, ears, fur, and a white or creamy underside. However, if you look at a side-by-side picture of a rat and a mouse, you will see the following differences:
- Total length: When measuring from the head to tail, rats are about 16 inches, and mice are about 5 to 7 inches.
- Weight: Rats have a stocky, heavier body weighing around 11 ounces, but mice have a round-shaped body and weigh about 5 ounces.
- Color: House mice have a dusty grey topside, but rats have brown fur with interspersed black hairs.
- Muzzle: Mice have a pointed muzzle, but a rat's muzzle is blunt.
What if you don't see the rat or mouse? Can you tell which type of rodent is infesting your Colorado Springs house? Yes. Rats and mice produce feces, but not all droppings are created equal. Rat droppings are the size of an olive pit, but mice leave grain-sized rod-shaped feces. Norway and roof rats are common in Colorado Springs homes; you can tell which one is in your house because Norway rats have droppings with blunt ends, but roof rats have pointed ends.
Rats and mice are rodents, and the feature distinguishing rodents from other mammals is an upper and lower pair of ever-growing incisor teeth. Rodents gnaw on thin metal, plastic, wood, glass, and even concrete to keep their teeth from growing too large and hindering their eating ability. Although rats and mice chew on various items, rats use their teeth to create two to three-inch holes in walls and floors to enable direct access to their nests and food sources. You probably have a rat infestation if you find holes in your walls or floors.
If you wonder how to get rid of mice and rats, then High Country Pest Control is your answer. When a service professional arrives, they will investigate your house for signs of rats or mice. Using their training and experience, they will determine which species is causing problems.
Which Is More Dangerous, Rats Or Mice?
Both types of rodents are dangerous to have in your Colorado Springs home. Rats and mice forage in sewers, drains, trash bins, compost piles, and animal feces, where their greasy fur attracts disease-causing organisms. These rodents do not have good eyesight and continually bump into walls, corners, and objects as they scurry through a house in the dark. When they rub against surfaces, they leave grease marks impregnated with pathogens. Furthermore, as they travel through homes, bacteria and viruses fall from their fur onto eating and cooking surfaces and exposed food products.
Rats and mice spread leptospirosis, tularemia, and salmonellosis, but each rodent type also transmits specific diseases. For example, mice carry hantavirus and adult respiratory distress syndrome; rats spread rat-bite fever, jaundice, cowpox virus, and trichinosis.
Rats and mice serve as a transporter for fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. Although lice and mites cause issues for the occupants of a house, ticks and fleas can spread diseases to pets and family members. In addition to tularemia, which rats and mice also spread, fleas spread murine typhus, tungiasis, bartonellosis, and tapeworm. Diseases spread by ticks are similar to those transmitted by rats and mice but vary depending on the tick species. For example, some ticks spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever while others spread Lyme disease.
Diseases spread from rats and mice from unprotected physical contact, bites, saliva, scratches, or the consumption or usage of contaminated products by unsuspecting people. Whether it is rats or mice in your home, you need to call High Country Pest Control to get rid of rodents to protect your family.
Regarding physical destruction, rats are worse than mice, but not by much. The distinguishing feature is that rats chew holes in walls and floors; however, both species gnaw on furniture, food storage containers, and other items. Although damage to plastic, wood, and glass items is frustrating and costly, nothing is more devastating than a house fire caused by rats and mice chewing through electrical wiring. Both species create nests in wall voids, and roof rats build nests in attics, often underneath insulation where there is wiring. Rats and mice like to chew on the coating over wires and may create short circuits or spark fire due to exposed wires contacting each other or another metal surface.
Like all living creatures, rats and mice urinate and deposit feces as they travel through homes. Rats produce an estimated 25,000 droppings, and mice release 18,000 droppings annually. Both rodent species release urine which stains floors, walls, and objects; rats consume more water than mice daily, therefore producing more urine stains throughout a home.
The best way to remove these house rodents is to start with the High Country Pest Control. We know how to stop an infestation so your family can enjoy living in the house without fear of disease, fire, or damage from rodents.
How Do You Prevent Rodents?
While rats, mice, and other rodents play a role in our ecosystem, they do not need to be in your house. Yet, because rodents live around our homes, the question is: how do we keep rats and mice out of the house? The following tips, combined with rodent control in Colorado Springs from High Country Pest Control, will stop rodents from moving into your Colorado Springs home:
- Remove animal feces and rotting fruit from the yard.
- Eliminate standing water on the property.
- Remove debris and junk from the location.
- Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the house.
- Seal exterior openings larger than one-half inch.
- Cover outdoor garbage containers.
- Place wire screens over the attic and crawl space vent openings.
- Install door sweeps on exterior doors.
- Repair holes in window and door screens.
Food, water, and shelter attract rodents to a property. Therefore, maintaining a clean and dry exterior and interior will deter rodents from remaining on the property or in the house since they cannot find food and water sources. When a service professional from High Country Pest Control inspects your location, they will identify potential attractions to your property and entry points into your home.
Professional Rodent Control Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Mice Or Rats
If rats and mice are already in your Colorado Springs house, your first step for effective rodent control is to contact High Country Pest Control. Many people set a few traps hoping that will solve their rodent issues, but that approach seldom works because rodents multiply quickly.
When you contact High Country Pest Control, we will dispatch a highly-trained and experienced service professional to inspect the interior and exterior of your Colorado Springs house. Before investigating your home, our technician will listen to your concerns to understand your experiences. After explaining what to expect, so you feel confident about the inspection, we will investigate to determine the type of rodent infesting your home by looking at the signs left behind, attractants, entry points, and hot spots. Upon completion of our inspection, we will create a custom treatment plan based on the rodent species invading your house and review our findings with you. With your approval, we will deploy baits and traps (if needed) and use other techniques to remove the rodents from your house.
In addition to rodent removal, we provide sanitation and exclusion services. The sanitation service cleans the crawl space or basement to remove droppings before they dry and begin infiltrating the indoor air spreading disease and triggering allergic and asthma reactions. We also offer exclusion services. This service closes all entry points into the house using the appropriate building materials to prevent a future infestation.
Contact us today to learn more about our rodent pest control programs and get a free over-the-phone estimate.
What High Country Pest Control Customers Are Saying
"Excellent communication and customer service. We are very impressed with the high level of care they give to our home. I highly recommend!"
"I had a very peasant experience with this company! The professional that came to my house went above and beyond, was extremely patient with me, and was very knowledgable on the infestation problems I was having. I highly recommend calling in for a quote. They make it very easy for you and send professionals out really fast."
"High Country does an excellent, thorough job. At one time I had a mouse, ant, spider, and wasp problem. No longer, ever since High Country has been coming to the house. They are always on time, very friendly. If I do have problems they are back timely."