What is the difference between Mice and Rats?

How to Get Rid of Rats – Lakewood Ranch

 

Call Nuisance Wildlife Removal, Inc. for a free estimate on eliminating your nuisance animal problems, today! 1-866-263-WILD or 941-729-2103.

Hi, I’m Jeff Norris. Today, we’re gonna talk about mice versus rats and the differences between the two and some misconceptions. We are also going to talk about how to get rid of rats in Lakewood Ranch so stay with me if you can. I’d like to put up a picture, so you can see and kinda follow along with me. As you see the roof rat otherwise known as Rattus rattus has a different body style and stuff of the Norway. If you look at the right where it says young rat and house mouse, you can see why they’re easily confused. A lot of times, people come to Florida and they don’t want to admit that they have rats on the house. They’re from the Midwest and dealt with field mice all their life, two completely different animals here as you can see in the thing.

A field mouse, the head will be smaller. The tail will be about the same size but their feet will be small also. With the young juvenile roof rat, they have a larger head and large feet. Also on a house mouse, the ears are usually noticeably a little bigger. That kinda tells you the difference between the two. You will find house mouses or field mice in areas of Central Florida because they’re primarily grain eaters. That’s what they like and that’s where they are found. They’re not so much a commensal rodent where they’re living in houses but … they do enter at times. We found them in Parrish, Florida and Myakka City, Florida. Or we have actually found them in downtown areas where they’ve been brought in with shipments, office supplies one time and a couple of different things. You really can’t stop them when they come in with shipments.

The difference between the Norway rat and the Roof rat, we’ll get to in a little bit. But let’s talk about mice or the house mouse first. Normally, they live outdoors in the fields and stuff like that. They occasionally migrate into  structures like I said. Mostly found out in the rural areas where there’s gonna be grains and stuff, kept to feed livestock and such. The house mouse only requires, 1/10 of an ounce of food and 1/20 of an ounce of water per day. If it’s a moist food, they can obtain their water from that. That’s enough water. They need very little water and very little food to survive. They usually will have a lifespan of about one year on a house mouse. They are prolific breeders. They reach sexual maturity in six weeks, six weeks! They will have five to six young per litter and up to eight litters a year. If you do the math on that, you’re gonna in a matter of no time, have thousands of mice just from one.

Roof rats. Roof rats are also called the Palm rat, the Citrus rat, all those are different slang names that people have given these rats. But the proper name is a Roof rat, it’s Rattus rattus. Is the scientific name. They live in the attics and roof spaces. They love to breed and mate and stay up in those places. They do come out to eat and look for food and stuff on the outside. But again, they don’t need a whole lot of water. They reach sexual maturity in three to five months and have six to eight young per year. It takes a little longer for rats to breed. They have six litters per year. They’re not as prolific as mice but they still do a good job of expanding their colonies.

Norway is a little burrow and put in tunnel systems and stuff like that. But again, not a big thing here in this area. Usually on coastal areas is where they’re at and they’re not too much too much of inland, they just don’t do well there. Most of the inland stuff that we have, between let’s say State Route 17 to the coast is a roof rats, they’re the most common.

Let’s talk about equipment for trapping or getting rid of rats. There’s a procedure that needs to be followed if you want to get rid of Roof rats. I’m gonna talk about in your houses right now or domiciles. First thing you have to do is you have to seal the house. You have to find the entry points and seal them. Guys and gals, not the insulating foam is not the way to do it. They will chew right through that stuff. There are some products out there that you can put behind that foam to keep them out. We’ll do another video on that also to explain the proper ways to exclude the home. The home has to be excluded or sealed up. Then the second step is to trap the rats better inside the dwelling. That will be done over a several day period and remove.

That’s why we wanna talk about equipment. There’s all sorts of equipment out there. One thing I will warn everybody against is do not put any type of rodenticide, commonly known as Decon or something in your attic. This is opening up Pandora’s box for you. You will have dead rats sometimes in the areas that you cannot even get to. You have to cut walls open, have drywall repairs, have to try to find matching wallpaper. You guys get the idea. It’s not pretty. Mechanical traps is the best. But one problem we find is people try to handle this on their own. They try to go Home Depot or something and do it themselves. What ends up happening is they’ll use the wrong trap like a mouse trap or they’ll use the right trap like a rat trap but they don’t know how to do it. They don’t know the proper positions. What happens is these traps end up hitting the rat, stunning it and making them what we call trap shy in the industry. Trap shy, then we have to resort to using different types of traps and different ways of doing it. There’s also live traps that are available. If people want them humanely removed and taken off the properly, there are live traps available. But for the most part, the good Victor rat trap is the best one that you can use. Here at Nuisance Wildlife, we prefer the professional series. Had good luck with them for 19 years. You know what they say, you can’t build a better rat trap. That’s exactly what we found.

The long and short of it is these rats aren’t good in your home. They carry parasites and diseases. They get into your air conditioning ducts. They soil your insulation. As soon as you see them or hear them or something, you should start a process to get rid of them. Rodenticides are okay to use but only when a house has been sealed and on an outside of a dwelling. We’ll have another video on rodenticides too, I’m sure. There’s so much to learn about that. But basically a three or four step process. One, sealing of the home. Two, trapping of the vermin that are up there. Three is disinfecting and or replacing insulation and such. You don’t always have to do that. A lot of companies try to scare people into doing it. Not always necessary. Then the fourth option is, again, depending on your situation and the landscape and all, is rodenticide boxes on the outside. Rats are gnawing and chewing animals. Their incisors keep growing. They have to keep cut down. If they don’t cut them down, they will grow back into their jaws and they couldn’t eat. Rodenticide programs are really great ideas in certain situations. Remember this, there was a big push for native landscaping a few years ago. It’s great stuff. It’s low water, low maintenance. But please remember, when you install this type of landscape, you are also welcoming the critters. Native plants, native landscape, they’re gonna bring those in. Another good way to get rid of rats around your home or yard is get rid of any bird feeders. Everybody likes them but they spill grain out. What have I said all day? Rats, mice and Norway rats, Roof rat, they all love grain. Bird feeders, not a great idea if you’re trying to keep rodents out of your area. Another thing is black snakes and stuff are beneficial. They keep poisonous snakes away and they keep the rat population down.

That’s it for today. I hope you guys learned a little bit more about mice and rats and the confusion between the two at times. You can always call us at Nuisance Wildlife at 941-729-2103 and we’ll come out and give you a free estimate on rat proofing your home. Just remember, sometimes it’s cheaper and easier to call a professional.

Call Nuisance Wildlife Removal, Inc. for a free estimate on eliminating your nuisance animal problems, today! 1-866-263-WILD or 941-729-2103.

 

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