Mice Or Rats: Which Is Worse To Have In Your Bay Area Home?

rat crawling in a home

While not nearly as philosophical as, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" The question presented above is no less interesting. You might immediately think that rats are worse. They are, after all, much larger than mice. This is true. But size can work against you if you're trying to get to every nook and cranny of a house. A mouse can slip through a gap the size of a dime. Rats need their holes to be at least the size of a quarter. Let's take a look at a few ways each of these pests can be worse than the other.

Mice Are The Worst

The common house mouse is a pernicious pest that loves to live in man-made structures. If we compare it to the Norway rat, which is a rat that prefers to live in the ground or in a damp sewer, it is the worst of the two because Norway rats don't prefer to live in homes. They usually establish themselves under a shed, deck, or porch. They make a burrow under a pile of objects. If a home has a crawl space underneath, they'll take advantage of it. Norway rats can get inside, but usually don't stay inside. Mice get in and stay in. They love living inside. That means all of the bad things they do will be done inside. While Norway rats are urinating and defecating under your shed, mice will be doing it in your pantry, kitchen, closets, and other more personal locations. There is a rat that will also do this, it is called roof rat. But roof rats can't easily move about your home like mice can. This can limit how often these rodents will get into your personal areas and leave their waste.   

Rats Are The Worst

mouse eating sunflower seeds

Both of the rats listed above can become permanent residents in your home, but it is far more likely with roof rats. While Norway rats prefer ground burrows, roof rats prefer holes in trees, stumps and other voids found in nature. When a roof rat chances upon your home, it will see it as the largest and most wonderful tree it's ever seen. Once inside your home, a roof rat is likely to stay. If it does, there are three unique concerns.

  • Rats breed faster than mice. Mice have five or six babies in each litter. Rats have three to fourteen in each litter.
  • Rats can be aggressive. If you go into an attic space that is infested with mice, you're not likely to get bitten. But rats are known to bite when scared, or when defending their offspring.
  • Rats are bigger and more powerful. A rat can do far more damage than a mouse when it comes to chewing on your home and belongings.

Health Threats

When mice or rats get into your home, they can make you sick.

  • Rodents are known to contaminate stored food products, counters, cutting boards, dishes, silverware, and more. This can lead to ongoing stomach illness.
  • Rodents spread ticks, fleas, and other parasites. These secondary pests can spread a long list of diseases, some of which are a serious threat.

Property Threats

There are so many ways rodents can damage your property. Here are only a few of the many.

  • Rodents chew on wood, weatherstripping, door sweeps, vent covers, and other materials to get inside. And the holes they create can be used by other pests.
  • Rodents chew on stored items and have a penchant for making a very filthy home inside stored furniture.
  • Rodents chew on interior building materials to make access routes to food.
  • Rodents chew on food packages and stored boxes.
  • If a rodent chews on a live wire, it can spark a house fire. This is, by far, the worst case scenario. It is estimated that 20 to 25 percent of all fires that originate from an unknown source are rodent-related.

Rodent Control

Are you having trouble with mice or rats in the Bay area? Remember that Bay Pest is here to assist you with all your pest control needs. Our licensed professionals know how to locate and eliminate rodents. Reach out to us. We can help.

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