Top Tips When Identifying The Difference Between Mice And Rats

Mice and rats are both rodents and they are both very good at carrying diseases. In this sense, you may not be concerned about the difference. However, they are different types of pests and need to be handled differently. You only need to ask your local and reputable Youngsville pest control experts to get an indication of how your particular issue will be dealt with.

It is worth noting that rats and mice are good at gnawing through things. If they are in your home they are likely to damage electric cables and eat your insulation. That’s why you should contact the exterminators and have them eradicated as soon as possible.

After all, they will both run around your house at night eating your food and leaving their waste products behind them. In the process, there is a high probability that they will leave disease behind. If you spot mouse or rat droppings call the experts and wipe all your surfaces with a disinfectant or antibacterial spray.

Identifying Features

You should also note that there are many different types of rats and mice. But, there are only three species that frequent human dwellings. These are the brown rat, ship rat, and the house mouse.

All three of these have the same incisors in their upper jaws. They also have short legs and long tails.

The Mouse

Mice are generally smaller than rats, approximately 3-10cm long. Mice also tend to have larger ears and a longer tail in comparison to their size. Mice are also generally well-proportioned. In contrast, the rat, especially when it is young, has much larger feet and head in comparison to the size of its body.

It’s also worth noting that most mice are either light grey or brown and they usually have lighter belles than top fur.


The size of the rat will depend on its type. The brown rat is generally the largest. It has a thicker body, its tail is shorter than the length of its body, and is a paler color underneath. They also have short noses and small hairy ears.

In contrast, the ship rat is usually black or darker in color than the brown rat. It is slimmer and has thinner, but larger ears. Its nose is more pointed and the tail is longer than the entire length of its body.

Eating Habits

As well as being able to notice the small differences between the appearance of mice and rats, it can be beneficial to know that mice and brown rats prefer cereal-based foods. In contrast, the black, or ship rat likes fruits and moist foods.

Perhaps more importantly, brown rats and mice tend to return to the same spot for food. This makes it easier to lay a trap for them and eliminate them. Black rats are much more unpredictable and go to different spots looking for food.

Rats also need to drink water while mice can survive without it, although they will drink if it is available.

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