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Do you have a sinking feeling your Portland or Vancouver home is suffering from a Rat or Mouse infestation? Unfortunately, here in the Pacific Northwest this is an all too common occurrence. If you’ve found droppings or noticed signs of rodent damage, you may not know whether it’s a Mouse or Rat. If you don’t know, does it matter?

In this post, we’ll answer that question. We’ll also outline the main differences between Rats and Mice and the damage they cause.

Already know you have a problem? Learn more about our Portland and Vancouver area Rat and Mice extermination services.

What’s the difference between Rats and Mice?

While both Rats and Mice are rodents, they have distinct characteristics that are important to recognize to help you identify which has infiltrated your home.

Rats

The two main types of Rats in the Portland and Vancouver areas include:

  • Norway Rats: Also known as Sewer Rats, these brown Rats are known for invading homes and will generally stay in the basement or first floor. They are larger than Roof Rats (generally 7-10 inches long not counting the tail). Their tails are always shorter than the body.
  • Roof Rats: While these black Rats are somewhat smaller than Norway Rats at around 6 inches long, they cause just as much trouble. Roof Rats have long tails and are climbers known to live in trees. When they make their way into homes, they generally live in walls, ceilings, or other elevated and enclosed spaces.

Mice

The most common types of Mice found in the Portland and Vancouver areas include:

  • House Mice: Also called “Field Mice,” these tiny creatures reside in fields when not leeching off humans. Once inside, these Mice reproduce rapidly and wreak havoc on your home. House Mice are generally 2.5-3.5 inches long not counting the tail, and have a light gray color.
  • Deer Mice: Found more frequently in rural areas, Deer Mice prefer seeking cover in less insulated structures like barns or sheds. When conditions are bad outside however, Deer Mice will infiltrate your home. Deer Mice are about the same size as House Mice, but with a gray and brown complexion.

Is it a Rat or Mouse in my home?

Though the problems Rats and Mice create are similar, they are distinct creatures with different behaviors and signs of infestation.

Rat and Mouse droppings

One of the most common ways to diagnose a rodent infestation is through the discovery of droppings. Simply put, rodent droppings will be found where they are most active. You’ll usually find the droppings near where rodents nest or eat. This could include:

  • Kitchens, including anywhere food is stored
  • Attic or basement
  • Cardboard boxes or other storage bins
  • Under furniture
  • Wherever you store clothes

Generally, you can determine the species of rodent by the type of droppings they create. Consult the below chart to determine whether your home has been infiltRated by Rats or Mice.

Take note: rodent droppings should be handled and inspected with extreme care. Rodent feces carries dangerous bacteria, viruses, and disease. If picking up, make sure you use rubber gloves and keep away from your face.

Rat

Mouse

Shape ¾ inch and curved and capsule shaped ¼ inch and spindle shaped
Quantity A few dozen droppings total a day 100-150 droppings total a day
Location

Places humans visit infrequently, including:

  • Attics
  • Garages
  • Basements
  • Roofs
  • Walls

They can also be found around kitchen areas

More apparent, Mice droppings can be found:

  • Behind kitchen appliances or furniture
  • Silverware drawer
  • Inside pantries
  • Storage boxes or containers

Can also be found in hidden places like walls, basement, and attics

Color Dark with shiny wet surface when fresh, turning gray and crumbly when old Fresh droppings will be black, with old droppings turning gray

Physical damage

Both Rats and Mice are tremendous chewers, working their way through anything in their path. A Rat’s front teeth actually grow 4.5-5.5 inches a year! This length is whittled down as they gnaw through objects.

The damage the two rodents inflict to Portland and Vancouver homes is actually quite similar to one another. Rats are bigger however, meaning that the damage they inflict is generally more severe than damage caused by Mice.

Some common household items or features of your home that Mice and Rats damage include:

  • Electrical wiring
  • HVAC units
  • Foundations
  • Ductwork
  • Plastic and even lead piping (primarily an issue with Rats)
  • Siding
  • Insulation
  • Crawlspaces
  • Roofs

The damage caused by Mice and Rats can result in serious, long-term problems for your home, such as:

  • Water damage, leading to rotting and mold
  • Fires caused by electrical issues
  • Structural weakening caused by issues in a home’s foundation
  • Energy waste, with heat and AC escaping through torn heat ducts or weakened siding and insulated walls
  • Broken appliances due to electrical or even structural damage to the appliance

Disease

Rodents are notorious for spreading disease, particularly Rats. Notably, the Roof Rat is responsible for the bubonic plague! The disease is generally carried and contracted either through fecal matter or insects. Getting rid of the rodents as soon as possible is extremely important!

This importance is compounded by the fact that Rats and Mice are notorious for making their way into stored food (The United Nations estimates that Rats alone destroy $19 billion worth of food annually).

Once they’ve made their way into your stored food, they’ll then leave droppings right where you eat. If you don’t notice, the situation can turn extremely toxic and dangerous. Don’t let this happen to you!

Diseases Rats and Mice potentially carry include:

  • The plague
  • Salmonellosis
  • Trichinosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Rat-bite fever

Pest control for Rats and Mice

The question we’ve all been asking – does it matter whether you have been infiltRated by a Mouse or a Rat? The answer is unsurprising – a little bit of both.

Both Rats and Mice require a targeted and unique approach to extermination. While both can cause similar damage, they can reside in different parts of the home and have unique behavior. Due to this, they require different methods to truly rid a Portland or Vancouver home of the issue.

Whether you have a Rat infestation or Mouse infestation, make sure to call a pro!

While both Rats and Mice require specific solutions, as a homeowner the end result should be the same – calling a professional and ecologically friendly pest exterminator like EcoCare Pest Solutions.

When you work with EcoCare, we’ll use our targeted and precise methods to rid your home of Mice or Rats. Our approach includes:

  • Inspection and Analysis: Our experienced exterminators will begin by inspecting the entirety of your home, identifying the species and how they got into your home in the first place.
  • Exclusion: Once we find where the rodents are gaining entry, we’ll make sure they stay out for good by closing up openings around pipes, crawl spaces, roof adjoinments, and more.
  • Eco-Friendly Extermination: At EcoCare Pest Solutions, we focus our extermination on eco-friendly methods. We’ll rarely use poison inside your home. This is bad for the environment and causes rodents to die inside your home, causing horrible odors and unsafe air-quality.

Talk to the Rat and Mice extermination experts at EcoCare Pest Solutions. We can help your rid your home of rodents for good. Best of all? We do it in a safe way to ensure your family and pets are unaffected.

Learn more about our Rat and Mice extermination services today!

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