How Can I Tell if I Have a Mouse or Rat in My Home?

July 1, 2020

Rodents are common household pests that can get into food, spread diseases and destroy building materials. To get rid of rodents, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re dealing with, but it’s not always easy to determine whether you have mice or rats on your hands. With this in mind, consider the following advice to help you distinguish between mice and rat infestation signs in Central Illinois.

Identifying a rodent problem

Before determining whether you’re dealing with mice or rats, it’s important to understand how to identify a rodent problem to begin with. Here are some of the most common signs of rodent infestations around the house:

  • Scurrying noises: Listen for scurrying noises at night to determine whether there are rodents in your home. It’s especially common to hear scurrying in and around the kitchen once the household has quieted down and rodents come out to look for food and water.
  • Droppings: Mice and rats leave behind droppings and urine that can create an unpleasant odor. Keep an eye out for droppings in the pantry, basement or attic, and pay attention for a musty smell that might indicate that rodents have begun nesting in your home.
  • Rub and chew marks: Rodents have oily fur that leaves marks along floors and baseboards as they scurry from place to place. Look for rub marks along the floor to determine if you’re dealing with rodents in your home. Pay attention to any chew marks in your home, as well.
  • Damaged food containers: Mice and rats often rely on pantry items as a source of food. If you notice that boxes of pasta, bags of flour or sugar or other packaged foods in your pantry have been damaged or have holes in them, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a mouse or rat problem.

Rats vs. mice

There are some key differences between mice and rat infestation signs in Central Illinois. One of the best ways to tell the difference is by looking at droppings and gnaw marks. Rat droppings are typically ½” or larger while mice droppings are usually less than ¼”. Rat gnaw marks are also bigger and usually have rougher edges. Holes that are bigger than a quarter typically belong to rats, while holes smaller than a dime are usually the work of mice. Mice are also more likely to shred up paper, furniture and other items to make nests, while rats tend to nest outside. Some rats nest in attics, but mostly they tend to nest in vegetation or burrow underground.

Rat infestation signs in Central Illinois

If you notice any of these common mice or rat infestation signs in Central Illinois around your home, reach out to Crist Termite and Pest Solutions, Inc. We have been serving customers in Central Illinois for 70 years, and we continue to be the premier provider of pest control solutions in the community. Our experts will identify your pest problem and provider lasting solutions to get rid of insects and rodents once and for all. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today.

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