Mice and rats both leave evidence of invasion, but not the same evidence. Knowing the difference is essential to rodent removal:
Signs of Mice in Your Home
1.Droppings—Mouse droppings look like small, brown grains of rice with pointy ends.
2.Mouse urine—Mice use urine to communicate with each other, and it’s got a distinctive musky odor.
3.Gnaw marks—Mice leave small, neatly-cut, dime-sized holes where they’ve chewed to access food or a nesting site.
Signs of Rats in Your Home
1.Moving and vanishing food—Rats seldom eat plundered food at the source; they usually hoard food in a secluded spot before consuming. If food items are mysteriously moved or gone, it might be rats.
2.Rat droppings—Rats don’t often leave obvious traces of feces or urine where you’d expect to find them in the case of mice (where you store your food). If you do find them, they’re usually about half an inch or larger. Norway rats have blunt-ended droppings, while roof rats’ droppings have pointy ends.
3.Gnaw marks—Rats are incredibly strong chewers and can chow through almost anything. Unlike the neat holes made by mice, rats leave ragged-edged holes about the size of a quarter.
Pay attention to pet behavior too: When pets sense rats and/or mice, they may suddenly perk up, sniff, bark or paw around potential rodent hangouts like the spaces underneath the stove, cabinets, refrigerators, etc. Rat and mice nesting sites may have shredded paper, string, and other soft materials.
Identify Rodent Behavior Signs for Rodent Removal Success
Rodent invasions are more common in the fall and winter as they move in to get out of the cold. Look for rodent tracks and entry ports like these:
Smudge marks along baseboards
Tiny tracks in the dust
Urine stains (detectable with a black light)
Small (half-inch or more) openings in the home (especially where wires or pipes enter). Attics and basements are popular entry ports, but there are many others.
Keep in mind, rats and mice respond to different traps, so it’s critical to identify your invader before wasting money on mouse traps that may not be effective!
McDonald Pest Control provides pest control services and lawn care in the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area. For more information, go to our web site
or call (727) 734-0963