Have you heard shuffling noises in the walls of your home, or in your attic? Have you noticed that food in your cupboard has little gnaw marks on the packaging, or have you seen little brown pellets that resemble rice? If you have heard or seen these things around your home, you may have a rodent problem.
If you’ve seen rodents in your home, you may be wondering what kinds of rodents are infesting your property. Telling the difference between a mouse vs rat is quite simple; rats are larger while mice are typically much smaller. Rodents like roof rats, the Norway rat, the Polynesian rat and the common house mouse are all quite prevalent in Hawaii and it’s not surprising to find that a group of these rodents may have chosen your home as their new home. If food and water is present and they can find an area to build a safe and protected nest, your home will make the perfect new habitat for these mice and rats.
Do you have a family of rodents in your home? If so, here is some information to help you identify what kind of rodent you have living in your house!
The roof rat (rattus rattus) is a medium to large bodied rat, ranging from 5 to 7 inches long, with a long and slender tail that is longer than the length of the rat’s body. These rats can range in color from gray to black with grey to white underside. They have sharp noses with large eyes and ears and are considered excellent climbers. They will nest in the attics of buildings, trees and abandoned burrows of other rats.
The Norway rat (rattus norvegicus) is the largest of the rats you can find in Hawaii ranging from about 8 to 10 inches long when full grown. It has a shorter tail than the roof rat and the body color ranges from reddish brown to grey or even black, with a white underside. These rats have a wider head with a blunt nose and small ears and eyes. These rats spend a lot of time near dumps and garbage cans, sewers, pig sties and chicken coops. These rats are known for being relatively vicious towards people.
The Polynesian rat (rattus exulans) also known as the Hawaii rat is relatively small in size, measuring only 4 to 5 inches long with a long tail that appears to be ringed thanks to bristles on the tail that give it this appearance. Normally they are brown to grey in color with stiff black hairs on their backs and their sides, with a gray or light brown underside. They have a round and pointed nose with shortish ears and medium sized eyes. This rat tends to be considered a field rat, mostly staying away from buildings.
The house mouse (mus musculus) is the smallest of these rodent species, ranging from 6 to 7 inches from nose to the tip of its tail. The color of the body varies from tan to gray, with a darker backside and a lighter colored underside. They have large ears and small eyes with a pointed nose. They’ll nest pretty much anywhere they can find shelter, including inside buildings, rock and wood piles, in old burrows and under cane plants.
When it comes to the difference between a mouse and rat- obviously the rat is larger, but they both can cause significant damage to your home and spread serious diseases. It doesn’t really matter whether you have rats or mice infesting your home- you will want to evict the pest immediately, before it can do harm to your family or cause property damage. Rodents are a health concern to people because they are known carriers of a number of different diseases, including murine typhus, leptosopirosis (also known as Weil’s syndrome), salmonellosis and plague. For effective rodent control for both your home and business, Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions is the best choice in Honolulu to keep you safe from invading rats and mice. Contact us today for more information on our residential rodent control and commercial rodent control services.
This blog was originally published on November 28, 2011, but we have updated it to reflect the most recent and accurate information available in helping you combat frustrating rodent problems.