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Mice vs. Rats – What’s the difference?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

Rats and mice are hard to tell apart. They’re both a part of the rodent family, have similar appearances, and can cause extensive damage if they get indoors. But, if you have rats or mice in your home, would you be able to tell which one you’re dealing with?

With how similar rats and mice are, some people assume it doesn’t really matter which pest you’ve got crawling around. However, being able to tell rats and mice apart can actually help you predict their behaviors and build an effective treatment plan. Here’s a breakdown of mice vs rats from the experts at Cooper Pest Solutions.

Differences Between Rats and Mice

If a homeowner has a sufficient amount of time to look at the rodent, they may be able to identify it correctly. However, when you’re in your kitchen and see something scurry across your floor, correct rodent identification is probably not the biggest thing on your mind. That said, there are a few key differences between mice and rats that can help you tell which is in your home:

Size: Rats are Much Larger than Mice

Rats are considerably larger than mice. For example, the typical house mouse is anywhere from two to four inches in length, as opposed to the common (and significantly larger) Norway rat which measures seven to nine inches in length. 

While it’s easy to tell rats and mice apart by size when both rodents are fully grown, this can get a little tricky when dealing with juveniles. A young rat next to a full-grown mouse may look extremely similar, so if you think you have mice, it may be helpful to get an inspection from an experienced rodent expert. 

Appearance: Look for These Characteristics

what is the difference between mice and rats infographic | Cooper Pest Solutions

Although coloration of mice and rats are similar, there are a few discrepancies in other features that would help you distinguish between the two. From snout to tail, the main visual differences between rats and mice include:

  • Mice have more of a triangular nose whereas a rat’s nose is blunter.
  • Mice have floppy ears that are large in relation to their body size. 
  • Rats have longer, ticker, and hairless tails compared to mice. 

Behavior: Do Rats and Mice Act Differently?

Rats and mice may both belong to the rodent family, but they don’t always act related! If there’s an infestation near your home or business, you may notice these behavioral differences:

  • Mice tend to be more brave: Even though they are smaller in size, mice are often a bit bolder than rats. Mice are usually curious and will explore new things, including traps. It’ll take more than a baited trap to trick a rat though. 
  • Rats are harder to trap: Rats typically live in fear, so they are very cautious about new things and won’t explore like mice. It takes rats a lot longer to investigate new things as opposed to mice, which sometimes can make it difficult for trapping.
  • Mice can hide in tinier places: Due to their small size, mice can also fit into the smallest of holes, allowing them to access parts of your home you didn’t think anything could fit in. 
  • Rats are less likely to climb: With the exception of roof rats, most rats prefer to build their nests in lower levels of a structure. When it comes to nesting, mice are skillful climbers and have no problem inhabiting the attic in your home. 

Is it Worse to Have Rats or Mice?

Unfortunately, if you have any type of rodent in your home, you’re at risk of experiencing major health issues or expensive property damage. Both types of rodents can lead to all sorts of problems such as:

  • Gnaw marks on walls or furniture
  • Contaminated food sources
  • Chewed-up insulation
  • Electrical fires from stripped wires
  • Transmission of potentially fatal diseases

Finding rodents in your home or business is stressful, but Cooper Pest Solutions is here to help. We offer several different services to accommodate your mice and rat removal needs, from one-time removals to ongoing pest control plans. Our technicians will help you through every step, from identifying what type of rodent you have to providing you with follow-up care to ensure your infestation is gone for good. 

Dealing with rodents? Call us today!

How Can Cooper Pest Solutions Get Rid of Mice and Rats?

At Cooper Pest Solutions, we understand how difficult rodents can be to remove and the headaches they cause homeowners, which is why we offer several different services to accommodate your mice and rat removal needs.

  1. One-Time Mouse Control Service
  2. Home Traditional Service (excludes rats)
  3. Home Intensive Service (excludes rats)
  4. Rodent & Wildlife Exclusion Service
  5. Rat Control Plan

The One-Time Mouse Control Service will take care of your current rodent problem by eliminating the activity within the home and providing the homeowner with a 90-day coverage plan guarantee. This service is ideal for anyone who is looking for a short-term solution that targets a single pest.

Mouse control is now available for scheduling and pre-pay online! Checkout online for contactless scheduling and payment. No inspection needed.

Order Service Online

The Home Traditional Service is a quarterly maintenance program that offers coverage should you experience a mouse problem and will help to prevent the establishment of mice populations in your home. This plan provides year-round guaranteed coverage against mice and over 20 other common household pests.

The Home Intensive Service is also a quarterly maintenance service like the Home Traditional Service. Year-round coverage is provided for not only mice, but more pests than the Home Traditional Service. This is our most popular plan and provides the most protection for your home.

Order the Home Traditional Service or the Home Intensive Service online for hassle-free scheduling and contactless checkout!

Schedule Home Pest Control Plans Online

Rodent & Wildlife Exclusion is also available for clients. If you experience recurring problems with mice, squirrels, or other rodents getting into your house, a permanent (and highly recommended) solution is available from Cooper Pest Solutions. Since rodents can squeeze into the tiniest of places, older home structures often have many gaps that rodents find very attractive, and this is how they enter your home. To learn more about Cooper’s Rodent & Wildlife Exclusion Services, click here.

Rat control plans are also available with an inspection. Because rats are very challenging to control, plans are customized to fit the needs of your home.

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 very next day to address your situation. For more information on our rodent control services, call 1-800-949-2667 or fill out our free estimate form

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