What’s the difference between rats and mice?

by | Nov 8, 2016 | Mice Control, Rat Control | 0 comments

Rats, mice. Mice, rats. Little squeaky noised rodents that are all the same. Right?

While although mice and rats have many similarities in both physical appearance and behaviour, they are not the same. Both rodents? Yes. Both small? Yes. Both possible problems for the average homeowner/property owner? Yes. Same rodent? Nope!

The names mice and rat have always been used interchangeably to describe these rodents running around the property, but should they?  Mice and rats have some significant differences when it comes down to it, but what is important to know are the different types of damages they can cause.

There’s a reason as to why rats and mice are often mixed up, so let’s start with the similarities: The main reason why these two are regarded as the same is because of how they look. Both mice and rats are small rodents, with rounded bodies, a pointed snout with ears that stick up and a long tail. They both scurry through the city, finding their ways into basement, kitchens and hiding between walls, looking for shelter and a reliable food source.

What’s the difference between a rat and mice?

Let’s break it down and identify some of the different characteristics mice and rats have from each other.


  • Mice have larger ears than rats
  • Smaller in size (3-10cm)
  • Weighs up to 19g
  • Long hairy tail
  • Lifespan avg. 2 years
  • Smaller droppings
  • Mostly herbivore


  • Larger than mice (can grow up to 40cm)
  • Smaller pointed ears
  • Hairless tails
  • Rats can weigh over 100g
  • Larger droppings
  • Known as omnivorous/opportunistic eaters
  • Stronger and therefore can cause more damage than mice
  • Lifespan avg. 2.5 years

Knowing some of these key identifying factors can be helpful for you when determining whether you have a mice or rat living on your property.

What are the dangers of having these critters in your house?

Whether you’re hosting either mice on your property, or rats, regardless of the rodent, you’re going to want to have it removed. While they do have many differences as mentioned above, another thing they do have in common (although not always to the same degree) are some of the risks.

Here are some things to be aware of and take precautions for if you’re experiencing any rodent problem

  • Rodents catching and transferring different bacteria, germs
  • Droppings from rodents can potentially be a health risk
  • Possible carriers of parasites
  • Getting bitten or scratched
  • Chewing through your wires
  • Growing population on your property
  • Nuisance for your pets
  • Chewing through structure of property or through personal belongings
  • Leaving droppings and making a mess

And more

Why you should get professional help

Although there are many rat and mice control solutions out there on the market or DIY methods online, they may not always be the most effective nor safest solution.

Getting professional wildlife and pest control services is recommended especially if you have had no previous experience dealing with these sorts of problems. Hiring a professional ensures that the safety precautions are taken, that proper methods are instilled, that effective measures are put in to place and that you will get the results you want.

The sooner you call, the faster you can eliminate the chance of an increasing rodent infestation! If you notice signs of wildlife in your house give us a call. At SOS wildlife control, we provide superior pest control services for residential, commercial and industrial clients, guaranteeing effective results every single time. Let us help you solve your wildlife problems. Taking action before it’s too late will help eliminate animal damage repair costs. We can easily be reached at 1-800-981-0330. Don’t wait and call us to schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection to help evacuate all your unwanted wildlife guests in the most humane way possible.