Rats vs. Mice: Which are Worse?

mouse crawling on ground

A rodent infestation of any kind is not ideal. After all, they are nasty little creatures that spread disease and destroy your belongings. Not many people out there hope for an abundance of rats and mice in their home. However, you may be wondering, which is technically worse: rats or mice?

There are many different types of both rats and mice out there. Typically, however, when you think of a rat or mouse, you’re thinking of the domestic or pest variety, which includes Norway rats, black rats, and house mice. No matter what you’re dealing with, rats and mice both have the potential to carry and spread a number of diseases, many of which can be potentially deadly to humans. Mice and rats can also cause dangerous allergies in many people.

Rats and mice also contaminate homes by leaving droppings and urine behind and infiltrating food sources. They may also bring in fleas or ticks that may be carrying disease.

Not only can these rodents cause problems with health issues, they can also damage your home. They will eat basically anything they can sink their teeth into, including insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring. In fact, the exposed wires that mice leave behind are suspected to be responsible for 25% of house fires in the United States!

Norway Rats

Norway rats are one of the largest species of rat, and may reach up to 10 inches, not including their tail. If one of the females of this species gets into your home, you may be looking at a problem with lots of baby rats soon. They can produce up to five litters a year, with an average of seven babies in each litter. Imagine how much damage a mama rat stowed away in your attic could do! These rats have been known to carry Weil’s disease, cryptosporidiosis, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Q fever and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Norway rats, also known as Brown rats, are known to be highly adaptive. They are considered one of the most difficult and aggressive of all pests, so it’s essential that you enlist the help of a professional pest control technician for removal.

Black Rats

Black rats are known for being disease carriers, causing structural damage to homes, and contaminating food. Unfortunately, they are also incredibly common. These rats are large, up to 16 inches including their tail, and have prominent ears. The females produce between three and six litters each year, with an average of around 10 babies per litter. Black rats also love to congregate as a group of up to 60 members – so you should cross your fingers they don’t choose your home as their hang out! These rats are also known to spread the bubonic plague, so if you see one within your home, call the professionals at once. It’s certainly not worth the risk to deal with them yourself.

House Mice

House mice are much smaller than rats, measuring up to six or seven inches, with much of that length in their tail. They much prefer being inside a nice and cozy home versus the outdoors, so keeping them out is a challenge. The females breed throughout the year, having large litters of up to 14. As a fun bonus, the babies can begin breeding at just five weeks old – so a house mouse infestation could certainly get out of control very quickly. They prefer to live close to humans, and go around contaminating food and spreading disease throughout your home. The only bonus to mice is that they are not aggressive, and will only bite if they are threatened. Even in that case, their teeth are barely big enough to break the skin. In this way, they are much less of a threat than rats.

Dealing With Rodents in Your Home?

Obviously, it’s not ideal for any of these rodents to set up and camp out inside your home. They are all capable of spreading disease and causing extensive damage to your home and everything inside of it. If you think you may have a rat or mouse infestation, contact a local pest control company that specializes in dealing with rodents at once. These infestations can get out of control quickly, so taking action is imperative. Your local experts here at Zap Termite & Pest Control have the experience needed to quickly and effectively control your rodent problem. Give us a call today to learn more about our rodent control services!

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