by | Jan 6, 2021 | 4 comments

A rat is a rat but not a mouse or a mole or a shrew! But they are all rodents. The two most prolific rats that we, in Southern California, deal with, in our urban settings, are the Roof/Tree or Black rat , which inhabits mostly suburban communities, and the Norway/Sewer or Brown rat, in industrial areas and inner-city communities. It is imparative that rats be gotten rid of fast.
rat-and-mouse-comparison-chartNorway rats have thick bodies with bristly brown fur with some black hairs with  lighter bellies of grey, off white, or yellow). Their tail is thick, scaled and shorter than the body.
Roof Rats have slender bodies, soft, thick fur in shades of brown and black. Their bellies tend to be lighter in color and their tails are long, hairless and slender.
The House Mouse is  dusty gray/brown with a cream-colored belly. Their bodies are compact, tails long and sparsely furred, eyes and ears quite large.
Identifying the type of household invader is important when planning an effective control strategy. Understanding their individual behaviors will help with the selection of a rodent control solution that will control future infestation.  For instance: nesting behavior varies. Roof rats typically nest above ground in attics, trees, or dense vegetation in urban/suburban areas. Norway rats nest outdoors in burrows deep in the ground or in lower areas of buildings (ex. basements) in mostly industrial areas and inner-city communities.
Depending on size for identification can be misleading.

Juvenile Roof Rat

Juvenile Roof Rat

Juvenile rats are often mistaken for adult mice.  A juvenile rat has larger feet and a larger head compared to its’ body length than a mouse. Rat tails are hairless and scaled where mouse tails are long with some hair/fur.
No matter which of these pests you may have invading your space, it is imperative to get rid of them fast! They all carry and spread diseases and have been known to trigger allergies and asthma in humans.  They are not pets! They are dirty, wild animals and they will wreck-havoc in your home.  Corkys Pest Control’s Rat Control Service and Mouse Control Service are effective in controlling these pests and our Clean-up Services, help protect homes and families from the unhealthy conditions these pests spread throughout our living spaces.
Here is an interesting fact about Rats and rodents in general:
Rats belong to the family Muridae, the largest of all mammalian families, within the Order of Rodentia, which includes gophers, mice, rats, squirrels, beavers, porcupines and chipmunks.  Why are all these varied rodent species grouped together?  It’s the specialized teeth they use frat-chewig-wireor gnawing.
Gnawing is a critical activity, but it is not a way to obtain nourishment directly.  Rats don’t ingest what they gnaw. Gnawing is for excavating small holes and crevices into larger ones, providing rats with access into areas where food, water and or shelter can be found.  So, the smaller than a dime, space around the water pipe outside is an excellent opportunity, for a rat.
Successful gnawing depends on 2 things – (A) how hard the teeth are and (B) how strong the jaws are. Rodent teeth have a special dental enamel consisting of a mineral called calcium hydroxyapatite embedded in collagen – extremely strong. The design of the rat skull and leverage points of the jaw muscles enable the rat to exert an incredible force compared to its body size – 12 tons per square inch. In comparison, a great white shark can only exert 2 tons on a good day and crocodiles manage about 1.5 tons.rat-at-dentist-1_k2puy3y6fb6ohq-5csefw With all this going for them, there is one big drawback to their teeth.  The two front teeth will keep growing unless they are worn down by the act of gnawing.  If they don’t gnaw, they die, as their teeth will grow right into and through their mouths, making eating impossible, effectively starving them or worse, into their brains.  Not a good way to go.


  1. Manoj Kumar

    “Rodents, mice, and rats are the worst when it comes to getting your important work, paper, or anything damaged.
    You name any object, and they will bite it up and damage it. As rightly pointed out in the article, the rats are very unhygienic and put you at risk of catching any infection or virus.”

    • Nancy Schaible

      Manoj, Yes they are very destructive, and can cause a lot of havoc. But they are wild animals just doing what comes naturally. Our objective is to keep them in the wild. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Debbi Catapano

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.


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