Despite the fact that mice and rats are both rodents, they expose different kinds of risks, and the methods of treatments should vary, too. This article will teach to differentiate…

Rats vs Mice: How to Differentiate One From Another?

Despite the fact that mice and rats are both rodents, they expose different kinds of risks, and the methods of treatments should vary, too. This article will teach to differentiate one species from another.

 Mice vs Rat Droppings

One of the first signs of infestation is presence of rodent poop in house. Rats’ and mice’s feces may be found in groups or scattered. They are both pellet shaped, but rats leave ½ – ¾ inch long feces, while mice produce smaller poop up to ¼ inch long. Fresh excrement is dark colored and wet on surface, while aged turns grey and dusty.

To see the difference more clear, check for rats vs mice poop pictures in the Net. You will realize that mice droppings are about the size of rice, while rat feces are bigger.

Mouse and rat pellets vary in size,

Do Mice or Rats Squeak?

When people hear squeaking, they start scratching head over thinking: are these mice or rats in garage? Who produces this noise from under the floor?

In fact, everything is simple: mice tend to squeak almost all the time, their activity is often accompanied by sounds. On the opposite, rats are very quiet and squeak only when they are scared or feel pain. They communicate with each other using ultrasound not heard by humans. So if you hear strange noise coming from inside walls or the floor, these are more likely to be mice.
mouse queak

Mice tend to squeak almost all the time.

Do Mice or Rats Jump?

Yes, both species are very agile. Mice can jump up to 50 cm, and crawl up by curtains. Rat is able of jumping 80cm high, and may even jump at 2 meters in case of danger. You can bump into a rat or a mouse in your cupboard drawer, wardrobe, and even see them under the roof. But, in fact, brown rats tend to live in basements and first floor, while black rats settle up on attics and higher locations.

mouse jumps

Mice can jump up to 50 cm.

Do Mice or Rats Carry Rabies?

Rodents are rarely ill with rabies – they die quickly from it, but do not transmit it via bites and saliva. For some reasons, the mechanism of disease transmission doesn’t work this way in mice and rats. Thus, people are not likely to catch rabies from rodents. But if you get bitten by a rat or a mouse, visit a doctor and, probably, he will prescribe vaccination.

House Mouse vs Brown Rat

These species look alike, having grey-brown fur, but homeowners can define who exactly invaded their dwellings looking at the size of animals. As a rule, mice are 12-20 cm long, and have hairy tail shorter than body. Brown rats are bigger: 40 cm long and more, and their hairless tails are the same length as body.

house mice

Brown rats are bigger.

Rats vs Mice: Comparison Table

Size12-20 cm including tail. Weight 14-30 grams.40 cm and more, heavier than mice.
HabitatMostly terrestrial animals. Live under floor boards, in crevices and discreet places, between walls, etc. May also organize nests in diggings and bushes.Brown rats are terrestrial like mice, black rate prefer higher places under roof, on attics, higher floors.
What they eatOmnivorous, but mostly prefer grains, fruits and seeds.Anything from grains to meat. Gnaw wood, plastic and even metal to sharp teeth up.
ColorWhite, gray or brown.Brown, gray or black.
Poop¼ inches long (the size of rice grains), has curved ends. A mice produces 40-100 pellets a day.½ – ¾ inches long, found scattered or in groups. A rat produces 30-50 pellets a day.
NoiseSqueak quite often.Usually keep silent.
Time of activityNocturnal creatures: more likely to go out into the open when are not disturbed by humansAlso nocturnal
read:  Are Rat Diseases in Human and Pets As Dangerous As They Are Claimed to Be?

Now you are able of differentiating mice from rats, and knowing exactly the species that invaded your house can choose the right tactics to get rid of pests.

1 Comment
  1. Wow, I never knew that both rats and mice are capable of being extremely agile and hard to catch. This might make things tougher for me since my son has recently started telling me he’s been seeing mice around the kitchen, and I had thought I can handle this by myself. I’ll look for a pest control professional right away so they can assist me in catching those pesky pests.

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