Rats and mice in Kansas City may look similar, but they can act quite differently. The main differences in behavior are most noticeable when it comes to eating habits, where they like to live, and their overall personalities. Knowing and understanding these differences can help you in your quest to get rid of them.
Feeding Style: Mice are voracious eaters and will return over and over again to nibble at their food source. During the course of a single night, mice may return to the same place to eat 20-30 times. Their largest meals tend to occur near dawn and dusk. The preferred foods of mice include grains, nuts, and seeds. They will also munch on meats, fruits, and sweets if they are available.
Personality: Mice are naturally curious animals. They like to explore their environment and are not nearly as shy as rats. Mice tend to be easier to trap because they are not as cautious around new things and will likely approach the trap.
Preferred Habitat: Mice live both indoors and outdoors without problem. Some mice spend their entire lives in buildings. It is not uncommon for them to build their nests indoors as well. Mice will use materials gathered from around the home (hair, insulation, paper, etc.) to create their nests. Common places to find indoor mouse nests include: basements, crawl spaces, attics, closets, wall voids, and under appliances.
Feeding Style: Rats are not very picky when it comes to food. They will happily eat protein, carbohydrates, and sweets. Norway rats are even known for living around and eating garbage and sewage. In contrast to mice who nibble constantly, rats typically eat the majority of their food at one time. Since they are larger, they also need a water source because they cannot get it all from their food like mice can.
Personality: Rats are very cautious critters. They are wary of new things in their environment. This presents a bit of a challenge when it comes to traps. Oftentimes, people have more success if they leave unset traps in the area where rats have been seen and give them a chance to become familiar with them. After a few days, the trap can then be set, and the rats are more likely to approach it.
Preferred Habitat: Rats often venture indoors in search of food or water, but it is pretty uncommon to find nests inside homes. Most nests are outdoors. Norway rats prefer nests at ground level or in underground burrows. They are great swimmers, so nests are also often built along rivers. Roof rats like to build nests above the ground. They are excellent climbers, so you will often find roof rats in trees, on roofs, and in attics.
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