Differences Between Mice and Rats

Rats inside

Is that little thing scurrying across the floor a mouse or a rat? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. Size is the most obvious physical difference between mice and rats, although juvenile rats are often mistaken for mice. A closer look at these common rodents reveals more differences.

Both mice and rats can be invasive pests that pose health risks at home for you and your family. Mice and rats will sometimes establish colonies indoors, where they may cause damage to your home.

You can depend on the wildlife experts at Animal Remover to provide safe, humane, reliable, and effective rat removal, trapping, and control.

Related Post: The Top Reasons Why Rats Are in Your Home

Mouse and Rat Characteristics

The term “house mice” is used for many subspecies of Mus musculus. These mice have body lengths of about 3 to 4 inches and typically have tails that are another 3 to 4 inches long. Mice have sharp, narrow muzzles compared to the blunter, broader muzzles of rats. Mice ears are also slightly larger than rats, relative to the size of their heads.

The most common rat in the United States is Rattus norvegicus, also referred to as a brown rat or a Norway rat. The Rattus norvegicus has an average body length of 8 to 11 inches, with a tail that is roughly as long as their body length. Rats have larger feet relative to their body size than house mice, and rats are much heavier. An adult mouse may weigh about a pound, while an adult rat may weigh close to 9 pounds.

House mice vary in color, including brown, white and grey, and they may have patterns or markings in their smooth fur. Rats have coarser coats that may be white, gray, black or brown. Rats may leave oily streaks on walls or baseboards.

While mice and rats share many physical similarities, rat feces are noticeably larger than mice feces due to their body size. Mice and rats can eat almost anything. They both prefer grains and other carbohydrate-rich foods, though mice have demonstrated a greater willingness to feed on fruits and vegetables.

Even though domesticated mice and rats can be kept as fur babies, invasive rats and mice are not safe in the house because they can transmit disease, contaminate food, and cause damage to your home or business.

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Rodent Removal and Control

It is not recommended to use poison on rats, because they are likely to die inside your home —often behind walls or floorboards— leaving a very unpleasant odor. Trapping, control, and exclusion are the best and proven methods.

The wildlife experts at Animal Remover provide safe, humane, reliable, and effective rat removal, trapping, and control. If rats are damaging your property, we can help. Give us a call at 513-324-9453 for a quote or contact us online to schedule an appointment so that we can trap the rats that are causing problems for you.