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Rat vs. Mouse – What Makes Them Different!

June 15, 2022 Jessica Carpenter Rodents
Rat vs. Mouse – What Makes Them Different!

Many people believe that the distinctions between mice and rats are evident; however, some of the differences may be more subtle than you realize. Of course, they both belong to the rodent family and may wreak severe damage if they get into your home, but if you had both, would you be able to tell which one you have? When it comes to treating them, the type of one you have in your home makes a tremendous difference.


But in general, mice are considerably smaller than rats, measuring around 12 to 20 cm, while rats are about 40 cm. A mouse’s head is also much smaller than a rat’s head in direct relationship to its body. Rat heads are heavy, blunt, and chunky, while mouse heads are tiny, sharply triangular, and have pointed noses.


Rats typically reside in burrows and on the ground. They are commonly found in buildings, sewer systems, and outdoors. They prefer to walk on the pads of their feet, and the surfaces it travels on are covered with smudges from their oily fur. Mice, on the hand, prefer to build their nests near food sources. They will construct their nests out of any soft material or shredded paper.


The truth is that if you have either of these rodents in your home, the damage can be severe, and you must have a professional come in and manage the matter.

Rats and mice can gnaw on numerous structures and wiring in your home, perhaps causing a fire. Mice have weaker teeth than rats. Thus any food supply suitably housed in glass or metal can be protected against mice, although rats may not. Rats are significantly stronger than mice and have been observed chewing through numerous building materials such as aluminum, wood, glass, sheet metal, and even cinder blocks.


Although rats and mice are both rodents, there are some distinctions in their behavior. Despite their diminutive size, mice are more courageous than rats. Mice are naturally inquisitive and will investigate new things, including traps. However, it will take more than a baited trap to trick a rat. Rats often live in fear, so they are wary of new experiences and will not explore like mice. Rats take far longer to study new items than mice, which might make catching difficult at times.

When it comes to nesting, mice are expert climbers and have no issue living in your attic. Mice, because of their small size, may also fit into the smallest of openings, allowing them to gain access to areas of your home where you didn’t believe anything could fit. Rats, on the other hand, are capable of climbing but prefer to live in lower levels of a structure, such as a basement or a crawlspace.

Contact Our Pest Control Professionals Today!

If you have recurring problems with rats, mice, or other rodents in your home, Vinx Pest Control has a permanent (and highly recommended) solution. We understand a homeowner’s urgency in addressing rodent problems, which is why we strive to have one of our representatives meet with you the same day or the very next day to address your situation. For more information on our rodent control services, contact us today!