Rats
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Rats

This page tells you how to tell the difference between rats and mice, and how to book a treatment for the control of rats.

Cost of treatment

Free of charge in your home and garden. We offer a service for businesses and other organisations, starting from £92 + VAT.

Problems caused by rats

Rats carry a wide range of diseases and parasites that are potentially harmful to humans and animals. Leptospirosis (Weil's disease) can be fatal to humans. Other diseases, such as salmonella, affect both humans and animals, and parasites can present a further hazard. Often rat infestations are a sign of a related problem, such as a drainage issue. We can give you advice on this.

Difference between rats and mice

Rats are completely distinct from mice. They have their own life cycles, habitats and health issues, and must be dealt with in their own way. Therefore it is important to make sure you know which pest you are seeing.

In the home, mice are more common than rats.

The main differences

  • Rats are generally bigger, heavier, longer and darker.
  • Mice have longer, thinner tails (relative to their bodies).
  • Mouse ears and eyes are large relative to their heads. Rats’ ears and eyes are smaller.
  • Rat droppings are more the size of baked beans or jelly beans and usually found in groups.
  • Mouse droppings are similar in size to grains of rice and scattered.
  • Rats can be found outdoors, indoors and in sewers. They leave larger holes.
  • Rats eat almost anything, including meat. Mice prefer nibbling on things like cereals.

Before you book

Before booking a treatment, please take time to note the size and shape of any droppings. This is often the easiest way of telling mice and rats apart.


Mice droppings (left) and rat droppings (right) compared to the size of pennies.

More advice about rats

For expert advice on controlling rat infestations, please read the information booklet from natural England.
 

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