Rats tend to eat most of their food at one time.

Rats are excellent swimmers and can swim up to 1/2 mile in open water and go through sewer lines.

Norway rats prefer food with high carbohydrate and protein content, although they eat almost any types of food.

Roof rats prefer to eat grains, fruit, sweets and peanut butter and nut butter but will eat what is available in their environment. They are “picky” eaters, due to their natural suspicion of new items in their environment. Roof rats do not readily accept meat or fish.

Rats tend to be cautious and with new objects. Since they are cautious of new elements in their environment, it is helpful to place unset traps around.

Rats cannot survive long with without water, while mice may survive longer.

Norway rats are not often found indoors, they typically nest outside in burrows. A young norway rat may be mistaken for a mouse. The young norway rat has a rounder body than the slender house mouse.

Roof rats like habitat in attics and trees. They may enter your home with a power line or a tree. Like mice, the roof rat is an excellent climber. The larger norway rat is not as agile as the roof rat or mouse. Since roof rats are often found in the upper levels, they may be undetected for a while.

A norway or roof rat will move within a diameter of 98 to 164 ft. and a house mouse, 10 to 33 ft. If conditions are unstable or there are changes such as new building, they may expand the diameter. They may also expand their range in protected areas such as in sewers, in passages between buildings, and under groundcovers.

Roof rats and norway rats are both opportunistic and will eat almost anything that is available.


Mice will nibble a little at a time. If food is plentiful, they may make 20-30 visits to their food source at night. They feed heaviest at dawn or dusk. Mice prefer grains and seeds, but may eat meats, peanut butter, and sweet items.

Mice are curious about new objects, so it is easier place new traps or bait placements in their habitat or running space. It is easier to trap mice than rats.

A mouse may spend its entire life in a building in an urban/city setting. In rural/suburban settings, they can be found both inside and outside among foundations, shrubs, below structures, or in ground burrows. Once inside, they may establish their nests close to a food source. Common inside nesting sites include within appliances, in walls, closets, cabinet and ceiling voids, storage boxes. Mice make their nests with soft material that has been chewed up from paper, insulation, furniture stuffing, etc.

Mice constantly explore their territory. They investigate any changes due to their curiosity. Their average territory ranges between 10-30 feet, but mice readily adapt to their environment. They nest close to food sources. Their territory is less when they have abundant food sources close to their nests.

What Mice and Rats Have In Common

Mice and rats reproduce rapidly with major activity at night.

Rats and mice have poor eye site. When placing our rodent bait, place the bait where they travel and live. Do not randomly make rodent or trap placements. The rat’s territory is larger than the mouse’s territory. Generally speaking, place rat baits out every 25 feet and mice bait out every 10 feet. Rodents have a strong sense of touch from their whiskers. They explore with these whiskers. They prefer a stationary object on one side of them as they travel, so they commonly travel along walls. Place rat traps spaced 15-20 feet apart. Place mouse traps every 3-5 feet.

Both rats and mice can squeeze through tiny openings; 1/4 inch for mice and 1/2 inch for rats. If they cannot get around an object, they may chew through it. They can gnaw through cinderblock, lead sheathing, aluminum siding, and glass.

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