Rats and mice are among the most common rodents in the UK. If you have a rodent problem in your home or business, you need to find out which pest is responsible as soon as possible. The signs of mice and rat infestations are very similar, but there are some subtle differences that can help you determine which one is on your property.
For example, both mice and rats will leave behind droppings as they scurry around your home or business. However, their droppings are slightly different in nature. Mouse droppings are small, brown, and shaped like grains of rice. They are usually left in trails. On the other hand, rat droppings are dark, moist and can be as large as a current. You will find their droppings in similar locations; in attics, on top of or inside cupboards, beneath sinks, and along any runways they use. The majority of their droppings will be near to where they nest or feed. If you find large numbers of droppings in a small area, check around for signs of a nest.
Both rats and mice like to gnaw on whatever they can get their teeth on, but they both have very different teeth and jaws. Rats produce much larger gnaw marks than mice and can chomp through much tougher materials. If you find gnaw marks of different sizes, it could indicate you have both mice and rats.
Rodents smell—a lot. Cats and dogs will pick up these scents long before people will and from a greater distance. They tend to become excitable when they’re near a rodent’s nest, although they won’t distinguish between mice and rats. If you notice a strong ammonia-like smell with no apparent source, it could well be from rodents.