Rats or mice

Rats or mice? It seems like a difficult question. But, the difference may be more obvious than you think. The size of the rodent is the biggest give away to the species. It’s helpful in preventing infestations if you know the difference between rats and mice.

gray rat


Rats are typically distinguishable from mice by their size. The best known species of rats are the black rat and brown rat. This group is typically known as the Old World rats or true rats originating in Asia. Rats are essentially opportunistic survivors. They will eat anything or do anything that best fits their surroundings.

Rats typically live with or near humans. This makes rats commensal. A class of relationships between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other without affecting it. Rats survive off developed areas because of the food sources and shelter provided by human development.

House Mouse


A much smaller rodent with a pointed snout, small round ears, a body length tail and a high breeding rate. The most common species is a house mouse. They will invade homes looking for food and shelter. Mice are commonly pests because of the damage they can cause house and their spreading of disease through their parasites and feces.

Mice are nocturnal and discovering any mice living in your home can be difficult. They make up for their poor vision with a keen sense of hearing and rely on their sense of smell to find food. Mice usually nest in attics, basements and other safe and warm parts of the home. They’re likely in an area where they have access to pipes, wires and vents. Mice can easily move through the walls to every part of the house.


A house mouse may measure between 12 to 20 cm in length and weigh approximately 12 to 30 grams. They are more white, brown or grey in colour. Mice have triangular snouts with long whiskers. Also, they feature large floppy ears and long, thin hairy tails.

Rats are larger rodents with long tails that are commonly hairless and scaly. They might grow as along as 40 cm and weigh considerably more than mice. Their fur is white, gray, brown or black and are often soiled leaving grease marks on touched surfaces.

Signs of rats or mice.

        • Droppings found around food packages, in drawers and cupboards or under the sink.
        • Strewn nesting materials such as dry fibers, shredded paper or cardboard.
        • Signs of chewing on food packages.
        • Holes chewed in walls and floors to create entry points.
        • Stales smells coming from hidden areas.

Rodent prevention

The best rodent control strategy is to prevent them from even entering your home in the first place. Mice and rats can get into your home through a variety of ways. But, at the end of the day they’re just looking for warm shelter and reliable food sources. You can help prevent infestation by sealing outside entry points. Make sure there are no holes leading to the outside. Remove food sources. Place pantry foods in a glass sealable container. Keep garbage areas clean. Get rid of clutter and other messes.

Oakville pest control

Rodent infestations can quickly get out of control whether you have rats or mice. If you find any clues as to a rodent infestation make sure to contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.