Mice are grazers and will often be found eating at many different times at different places. Mice will snack every few hours throughout the day. However, you’ll often find them eating a majority of their food before dawn and at dusk. Mice are big eaters and they can eat about 10% to 15% of their body weight every day.
Rats are a little less picky when it comes to what they eat. Certainly, they have things they prefer over others, but rats will pretty much take anything they can get their paws on. Rats don’t have any issues with eating out of your garbage, so make sure you keep your trash containers sealed to keep rat issues at bay.
With all that food consumption mice and rats do, droppings are something you’ll commonly find throughout your home when you have mice issues developing. Mice droppings are about 1/8-1/4th inch long and rod shaped while rat droppings are similar in shape but slightly larger.
Mice don’t stop with just chewing on food. They often will chew on other things around your home as well. This could consist of things like wood, walls, furniture, boxes, paper, wiring coating and more. They often gnaw small, clean holes about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Some of the materials they destroy is later used as building materials for their nests.
Rats don’t mind being a bit less comfortable than their mice relatives. Rats will build a variety of different kinds of nests, burrows, and even simple holes to live in. Rats can build their burrows around the foundation of your home, near garbage cans and dumpsters, and even around wood piles. Their burrows typically have a series of tunnels attached to them in order for rats to escape quickly in the case of danger.
Rats prefer to live above ground, so if there are options for them to build a nest inside you home or in your walls, they will take it. They can also build nests in attics or even in your kitchen cupboards.
Rodents can sneak into the smallest of spaces
You might think a crack under your door or a broken screen isn’t a big deal, but rodents like mice and rats, can squeeze into the tiniest of spots and get into your home. Rodents only need ¼-1/2 inch to gain entry.
Common entry points for rodents include under doors, through broken screens, open windows, through chimneys, and even open dryer vents and exhaust fans leaving your home. Sealing these entry points is a major step towards preventing rodent issues.
While a lot of work and hours can be spent trying to block off the obvious holes around the home, remember that even the most thorough homeowner may miss places that rodents can still get in. Some entry points may even be concealed below the ground surface.
The prospects of blocking off every ¼ inch gap can be somewhat overwhelming. Even if you were to find every gap in the home, these pests can run up a pipe and chew their way into your home the next day. With rodents being such amazing infiltrators, is all hope lost? Sometimes help is needed, but the battle can be won.