Save $50.00 On Your Initial Pest Control Services SAVE50
*Terms & Conditions Apply - Call For Details
mouse outside of norfolk va home

The Differences Between Mice & Rats In Hampton Roads

Get Your Free Quote!

Choose the team that has been protecting Hampton Roads residents for over 100 years!

How to tell if you have mice or rats in your home

If you’re hearing suspicious noises coming from inside your walls at night or have discovered droppings in your kitchen cupboards, there’s no mistaking you have a rodent problem. But is it mice or rats? Without seeing a live rodent skulking around your home, it’s not always obvious and even then it can be tricky. In this article, the local VA pest control specialists at Getem Services help Hampton Roads homeowners identify the differences between mice and rats, and specifically roof rats as they are more prevalent in our region. We’ll also explain what to do if rodents have become uninvited houseguests.

comparison of a house mouse and a roof rat

The differences between house mice & roof rats


  • Size: Mice are the smaller of the two rodents, measuring 5 to 7 inches, nose to tail.

  • Coloring: The house mouse varies in color from light brown to gray to black. They also have lighter-colored undersides.

  • Features: Mice have large floppy ears, small eyes, and triangular snouts with long whiskers. Their tails are long, thin, and hairy.

  • Reproduction: Mice reproduce rapidly; a single female mouse can have approximately 35 babies per year.

  • Droppings: House mice droppings are about ¼-in in length and have pointed ends. They resemble dark grains of rice.

  • Diet: Mice eat just about anything they can find, from crumbs to grains and even insects.

  • Indoor nesting sites: Mice prefer cozy, hidden spots like wall voids, attics, and crawlspaces.


Roof rats

  • Size: Roof rats are larger, ranging from 13 to 18 inches from nose to tail.

  • Coloring: Roof rats are covered in sleek dark brown to black fur.  Their undersides are often white, gray, or black.

  • Features: This species of rats has large ears, large eyes, and pointed snouts with long whiskers. Their tails are long, thin, and scaly.

  • Reproduction: Rats also reproduce quickly, with mature females capable of producing four or five litters annually.  

  • Droppings: Roof rat droppings are dark in color and measure approximately ½-inch in length and have pointed ends.

  • Diet: Roof rats are also omnivores and while they favor seeds, nuts, and fruit, they will eat both plants and animals as well as pet food, animal feces, birdseed, and grease.

  • Indoor nesting sites: Roof rats are likely to be found in elevated areas like attics, rafters, and false ceilings.

Why knowing the difference between mice & rats matters

Properly identifying mice and roof rats in your home is necessary for effective rodent control. Different rodent species often require different traps, bait, and extermination techniques.

What to do if you suspect a rodent problem in your home

If you’ve noticed signs of rodent activity or maybe even saw a live rodent scurrying along the garage wall, don’t panic. Do not ignore the problem either. As we mentioned above, both rodents get five stars for their reproduction efforts and so a small rodent infestation can quickly develop into a major rodent problem and rather quickly. So, what should you do? Contact Getem Services, of course!

Effective rodent control for Hampton Roads

For homes in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach as well as throughout Hampton Roads, Getem Services offers effective rodent control. When you reach out to our locally owned and family-operated pest control company for help getting rid of mice or rats, here’s what you can expect:

  • A thorough rodent control inspection to accurately identify the species and assess the severity of the infestation as well as locate harborages and entry points
  • Customize rodent control services that may include the interior rodent traps, exterior bait stations, and rodent exclusion strategies
  • Follow-up services to ensure that our team has successfully eliminated the rodent problem

Sign up for quarterly home pest control services for even greater protection against rodents

If you have more than an occasional rodent problem or you live in an area prone to rodent infestations (which is quite common in our neck of the woods), we highly recommend signing up for year-round home pest control services. Check out our plan details below or simply give us a call.

  • local exterminator inspecting kitchen for pests
  • exterior pest treatment
  • friendly pest control specialist greeting hampton roads homeowner
  • local exterminator inspecting kitchen for pests
  • exterior pest treatment
  • friendly pest control specialist greeting hampton roads homeowner

Plan Details

Quarterly pest control services

When you sign up for Getem's residential plan, you'll receive quarterly pest control visits. During each visit, a fully licensed pest control professional will:

  • Knock down spider webs & wasps nests (up to one-story)
  • Create a barrier of protection around the perimeter of the house to stop pests from entering
  • Check & replenish bait stations, if necessary
  • Provide an interior treatment if there's a problem

Covered Pests:
Ants, beetles, black widows, cockroaches*, centipedes, earwigs, fleas, mice, millipedes, rats, silverfish, spiders & springtails.

Plans starting as low as


Free Quote Or Call Now! (757) 489-8610

*Plan excludes German roaches, termites, bed bugs, stinging insects, and ticks

A family swinging their children.
termite control reviewer
Been using Getem for a few years for termite control. Added quarterly service to make my house fit to use as an Airbnb. Kevin was awesome. Thank you!
Aaron G.
Getem Services received an average of 4.9 of 5 stars from 1954 reviews

Get Help Now!

Request Your Free Quote 

There was a problem with your submission. Please correct the issues below

Or Call Now! (757) 489-8610

Please wait…

Our goal is to be the best and last pest control company you ever have to use.

As a full-service pest control company serving Norfolk and Hampton Roads, we stand by all of our services.

Our goal is to be the best and last pest control company you ever have to use.