How to Identify and Get Rid of Mice and Rats

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How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats

Mice and rats are more than a nuisance. They can cause major damage to your home or business and they carry plenty of diseases they can spread to you, your family or your employees. These rodents have two reasons to try and get inside – they are looking for food or a warm, secluded place to have their babies. So, a small infestation can become a large one quickly and you don’t want that.

One of the easiest ways to know if you have mice or rats in your home is by hearing them. Often, you can hear them crawling or scratching around in the attic or in the walls of your home. Droppings and chewed wires are also an indicator of a mouse or rat lurking around. Rats and mice can chew through floor joists and walls, damage your insulation, cause foundation issues with their burrowing and cause fires by chewing on electric wires and cables. They are extremely destructive little creatures. So, you need to get rid of them as quickly and effectively as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is to control and eliminate them.

How to Identify Mice and Rats 

The first step in alleviating a rodent infestation is determining if you are dealing with rats or mice. They may seem the same, but rats and mice require different types of treatment, so it’s best to figure out which one you have.


Mice are the smaller of the two rodents. They’re usually between four and seven inches long and have larger, floppier ears. Mice are gray or brown with white bellies and long, hairy tails. They have triangular-shaped heads and really long whiskers.


Rats are much bigger than mice – they can be up to 15 inches or more in length. They are black, gray or brown with white bellies. They have long, pinkish tails, and unlike mice, a rat tail does not have hair on it. A rat’s face isn’t triangular in shape either.

You probably don’t want to get close enough to be able to tell the difference, or the rodent may move too fast for you to be able to tell anything more than its color. Another way to know which is which is the size of the droppings you may find. Mice leave behind small, brown droppings about the size of a piece of rice. Rat droppings are larger, longer and wider.

Footprints and tail marks that can be seen in dusty areas are an indication of both. Rats and mice also leave behind greasy smudge marks on walls and other surfaces where their bodies rub up against it.

​Preventing Mice and Rat Infestations

Rats and mice can get inside your home through the tiniest of holes or spaces. They can wreak havoc before you fully realize they are even around. So, the best way to get rid of them is to call a pest control professional, but there are a few do-it-yourself options you can try first:

  • You will want to figure out how they’re getting in and where they’re staying. So, it’s important to walk in and around your property and give it a thorough inspection. Look for holes or openings they may be using to gain entry. Look in your basement, attic and crawl spaces for nests. Rat and mice nests are made with anything they can find – paper, insulation, cardboard and other soft materials.
  • Once you’ve found their entry point and their living quarters, you will want to set traps nearby to catch them. There are different kinds of traps, but most require some type of bait. Peanut butter, chocolate, cheese, bird seed or nuts can all be effective in luring a mouse or a rat.
  • Rats and mice don’t care for peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, black pepper or cloves. So, you can sprinkle these around the entry points and nests to try and drive them out or keep them away.
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Getting Rid of Mice and Rats in Your House

Treatment Methods for Mice and Rats

If the do-it-yourself methods don’t work or the infestation is too big for you to handle, Ehrlich Pest Control will be happy to help you rid your home or business of mice and rats. Our pest control professionals are trained to quickly find entry points and safely, effectively eliminate the problem and keep them from coming back.

Step 1: Free Inspection

We will gladly set up an appointment that fits your schedule. One of our trained technicians will come to your home and thoroughly inspect your property for free to find potential entry points and signs of infestation, paying particular attention to the information you’ve given them about the problem.

Step 2: Customized Plan

Our pest control professionals will give you our expert recommendations on how to get rid of the problem, how often treatment will be needed, give you a price quote for our services, and answer any of questions you may have.

Step 3: Protection and Prevention

We are highly trained in successfully getting rid of your mice and rat problems, as well as keeping them from coming back. Our comprehensive treatment and prevention plan will eliminate the rodent and protect your property. Our pest control professionals will visit and treat your property on a regular schedule, as well as any time outside of the schedule you need additional help with pest control.

Treatment plans may include:

  • At Ehrlich, we developed our own rat bait stations in-house to effectively eliminate your problem. Our rat bait stations are tamper-resistant, and safe to use in areas where children play or pets roam. The rat or mouse bait is customized for your particular rodent problem, it is successful and is only accessible to rats or mice.
  • It’s important to get rid of nests, our professionals will safely and securely destroy any and all nests mice and rats may have built and are using in your home.
  • Ehrlich technicians will help you identify access points and provide you with expert advice on how to seal them and keep the rodents out for good.
  • We will also determine what keeps mice coming back to your property and offer solutions on how to keep them away.

Professional Mice and Rat Treatment

If you happen to spot one mouse in your attic or one rat around your property, you may be able to get rid of it on your own. The trouble is another one will often replace it and you will end up spending a lot of time, money and effort trying to get rid of them. Ehrlich can get rid of the ones you find now, and keep new ones from showing up in the future. Give us a call for a free inspection, effective treatment and peace of mind.

Ehrlich’s Mice and Rat Services

Whatever pest control issue you may have, Ehrlich is here to help. Our pest control specialists are highly trained, licensed and certified professionals who use the latest technology, treatment and tools to eliminate your current problems and prevent future infestations. We have been protecting homes and businesses from pests since 1928 – we’d be honored to protect yours too.