Mice Versus Rats How to Tell the Difference

Mice Versus Rats: How to Tell the Difference

Is It a Rat or a Mouse? Protect Your Santa Clarita Home

Although mice and rats share a good number of similarities, and both can cause a major headache when you find them in your home, there are ways to tell them apart. Yes, size is the obvious difference, but there are several other telltale giveaways of one versus the other. The damages these little critters cause in your home can be significant due to the rate they work to reproduce and create an entire community that is living and feeding within the walls of your house.

Do you have mysterious critters scratching in the walls or leaving “presents” on you property? The Santa Clarita rodent control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Inc can help with both mice and rats, using a variety of rodent baiting options, rodent exclusion procedures, and treatments. Our pest control experts are here to service your home and protect your family from contamination in the Santa Clarita Valley. Keep mice and rats out of your home, your children’s bedrooms, and your kitchen with pest control solutions from No Bugs.

Contact our office today to discuss your rodent control needs.

The Difference Between Rats & Mice

Both rats and mice have a set of incisors that require constant chewing and knowing as their teeth never stop growing. They are both nocturnal and tend to shy away from bright lights. How are they different?

  • The most recognizable difference in mice and rats is their size when full grown. Mice are obviously smaller than rats, ranging from 12-20 centimeters in length from head to the tip of the tail while rats can be 40 cm or more.
  • Their tail to body ratio is different, with mice having a longer tail compared to their body and rat’s tail to body ratio being more even.
  • Although their colors are similar, with mice being white, grey, or brown and rats often ranging from white, gray, black, or brown, their coats can be different in other ways. Rats tend to be dirtier, with greasy coats that leave brush marks as the squeeze through holes or walk against walls.
  • Mice have a triangular head and snout. Rat’s heads are blunt, with a shorter snout.
  • Mice eat cereal, grains, and plants while rats prefer fresh grains and meat. Rats will even eat mice.
  • Mice are curious and will approach new things to check them out. Rats are more cautious, meaning it will require a different approach to traps. Often, unset traps along their path will allow them to investigate first, then set traps will not be as likely to deter them and they will approach the traps with less fear.
  • Mice rarely burrow, but rats will dig and burrow in order to get around their obstacles.

  • Although both are excellent swimmers, mice tend to be more likely to jump, climb and walk along wires while rats will burrow, crawl, and stay closer to their home.
No One Likes Cooking Rats
This is only cute in movies.

Do Rats Cause More Damage Than Mice?

Rats and mice may have their differences, but they pose a similar threat to the human and pet members of your family. For example, rats and mice carry and spread rodent-borne diseases, carry ticks and fleas, trigger asthma and allergies, contaminate homes with their droppings, and cause property damage by chewing through wood, insulin, cardboard, and electrical wiring.

There are 3 serious ways that rats and mice can do damage in your home. Watch for signs of these activities that indicate you may have a rodent problem:

  1. Rodent nesting. Both mice and rats like soft, comfortable, warm nests. This leads them to search for, and destroy, cloth, paperwork (important paperwork is not excluded), newspapers, magazines, insulation, drywall, and cardboard. They will even chew through your wires and cords.

  2. Water source. Rodents do not need a large amount of water, as they get much of their water from their food, but they will seek out standing water when needed. They can find water in your pet’s bowl, the saucer of your potted plants, or a slow draining tub or sink.

  3. Search for food. Rats and mice leave a trail of urine and feces when they hunt for food. This means that by the time you notice teeth marks and chewed up boxes in your panty, the mice or rats have already contaminated much of your pantry and walked (and peed) all over your pantry contents.

Along with the three ways listed above, it is important to remember that rats and mice can have several litters every year, with offspring reproducing a short time after being born (6-12 weeks after birth). This means that if mice or rats are comfortable and fed in your home, they will soon take over in vast numbers.

The good news is that you can take steps to keep rats and mice out of your property. Read our blogs on preventing rodent activity in your garage, pest proofing your kitchen pantry, and preparing your home for the winter and spring influx. 

Rats and mice cause damage in homes.
Rats and mice can damage your Santa Clarita home.

How Do You Stop a Rodent Infestation? Call No Bugs!

Rat and mouse traps can be purchased at your local home improvement store or anywhere you buy items for your house. But these may not be enough to get rid of rodent problems. It may require the expertise and products available to pest control companies. When you want to gain control and take your home back, contact our team. At No Bugs Pest Control, we utilize years of experience and in-depth training to battle mice and rat infestations.

As your local Santa Clarita-based pest control company, we live and work in town, so we are familiar with the pests that you deal with! Contact No Bugs for help fighting mice and rats before it gets too late