What's the Difference Between Rats and Mice? | PMi Pest Management
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Rodents

What’s the Difference Between Rats and Mice?

Most homeowners don’t know the difference between rats and mice; they just know they want these pests out of their homes. However, when it comes to pest control, correctly identifying the pest is a crucial part of treatment. Not all pests behave the same, which requires different approaches and techniques to ensure long-term eradication. If you tend to lump mice and rats into the same category, keep reading to learn the important differences between these animals. 

Size

Mice are tiny relative to a rat. The size of a mouse ranges from 12cm to 20cm. Meanwhile, rats can be twice as long and weigh much more than mice.   

Color

While rats and mice can both come in white, brown, gray, rats also come in a dark black color. Rat’s fur is often extremely dirty to the point where they will leave behind grease marks.    

Appearance

Perhaps the main distinguishing characteristic of a rat is its long, hairless tail. Without any hair, the tail can take on a scaly appearance. Mice, on the other hand, have thin, furry tails. Mice also have longer, triangular snouts and large floppy ears while rats have a more blunted face and head and smaller ears. 

Behavior

Mice and rats are both nocturnal and will enter homes and buildings looking for food and water. This also means that they will leave behind dozens of droppings in a single day, which can spread disease and contaminate food. If you have actually spotted a rodent, it is probably a mouse because they tend to be bolder and take chances. They are also very curious and good climbers, which can make them easier to trap.

Rats prefer to stay on the ground in and lower levels of any structure, such as the basement. They are naturally fearful animals, so they are more cautious when it comes to traps.

Whether it is a mouse or a rat, you don’t want it in your home and you don’t want them nesting and multiplying. With help identifying the right rodent and implementing a safe and effective pest control plan, call PMi Pest Management

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