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What Is the Difference Between Mice and Rats?

At first glance, mice and rats may not appear to have many differences. Both are rodents, both are unsanitary and both are not welcomed in your home. Deciphering the variations among rats and mice can prove helpful for treating an infestation. Keep reading for some easy ways to spot the contrasts between these two common rodents.

Size and Appearance

Generally, rats are larger than mice as rats grow to about 16 inches in length, while mice grow to two to four inches. Overall, a rat’s build is larger and bulkier. A mouse has a smaller build with a triangular face and pointed nose. Most mice have light brown or gray fur that is soft to the touch. Rats have various shades of brown fur that are coarse to the touch. A mouse’s tail appears to be longer than its body, and a rat’s tail looks thicker and short.


As rats are larger in size, their droppings are also larger. A rat’s droppings also have round edges. Mouse droppings are pointed in shape and smaller in size. Both mice and rats have dark-colored droppings. If it is dry and begins to crumble, then the droppings have been there for a time. Fresh droppings appear wet.


If left undetected for long periods of time, both rodents can cause costly damage to a home. As rats are larger, it may be misconstrued that they cause more damage as they have larger teeth. This, however, is not the case. Mice can chew through walls, baseboards, ceilings and even wiring. Keep in mind that rats can chew through things that mice cannot, such as aluminum, barbed wire and even concrete! 

Routinely check your home for holes, areas that have teeth marks or frayed wiring. Any of these things could be an indication of rats or mice invading your home. The quicker you detect the damage, the faster you can solve the issue and hopefully avoid dangerous and costly damage to your home.

Whether you find mice or rats in your home, do not wait to let them infest your home and create chaos. Contact Abarb Pest Services today!

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