Pinpoint Pest Control Blog

Integrated Pest Management Serving North San Diego County for over 40 Years.

The Differences Between Mice and Rats

Mice and rats have several traits in common. These nocturnal creatures eat a wide range of foods and frequently gnaw on building materials. Nevertheless, the two rodents also differ in multiple ways. They don't look identical or engage in all of the same activities.


An adult rat measures about 10 inches longer than a mouse. It has a thicker body and tail. Big rodents typically cause more damage and create sizable messes. However, a mouse can infiltrate your home or business with greater ease.

Mice have tiny triangular heads and pointy snouts. They also feature comparatively large ears. You might find them cute if they weren't trying to raid the pantry or shred your socks. On the other hand, most rats have big heads with a chunky appearance.

Rat droppings look different as well; they're oblong and relatively large. These rodents also shed more noticeable pieces of hair. Rats normally remain in hiding when humans are present, but you might find their detritus in drawers or under baseboard radiators.


Mice usually develop faster than larger rodents. Rats breastfeed approximately one week longer, and it takes them five more days to grow fur. A mouse gains eyesight about three days after birth. The average rat remains blind for almost a week.

This rapid rate of development allows mice to start breeding sooner and reproduce more swiftly. Rats stay in the womb about one to five days longer than mice. It's crucial to banish both pests as soon as possible to prevent them from fully infesting a building.


Mice often build nests inside of furnishings, boxes, closets, attics and walls. Many rats prefer to live in burrows that they create by digging holes in the ground. You might find a subterranean lair under a house, fence or bush. However, some types of rats favor trees and attics.

The average rat behaves more cautiously than a mouse. It will crawl around unfamiliar objects instead of touching them. This vigilant attitude makes it more difficult to catch these large rodents in traps. On the other hand, mice frequently exhibit a naive curiosity.

Although both rodents cause similar problems for humans, they don't cooperate or peacefully share a food cupboard's contents. About seven out of 10 rats will attack and devour mice. Consequently, small rodents avoid them when possible.

If these animals find their way into your dwelling, contact Pinpoint Pest Control.

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