Rats can be significantly bigger than mice and have thicker tails which make them easier to identify in the wild. They are also nocturnal creatures, while mice are much more active during the day. Lastly, rats tend to live in large groups, whereas mice prefer living alone or with just one other mouse.

Rat Vs. Mice – Key differences

(Photo by Ricky Kharawala on Unsplash)

Picture of a Mouse


The size difference between rats and mice is one of the most noticeable differences between these two rodents. Rats are much larger than mice, with an average adult rat weighing around 500 grams, while the average adult mouse only weighs around 35 grams. This size difference is due to the fact that rats are members of the family Muridae, which contains some of the largest rodents in the world, while mice are members of the family Cricetidae, which contains mostly smaller rodents. While there are some very large mice, such as the field mouse which can weigh up to 100 grams, they are still significantly smaller than rats on average.

Mice are typically smaller than rats and have pointed nose. They also have bigger ears in proportion to their body. Rats, on the other hand, have a larger body and a blunt nose. Their ears are also small in proportion to their body.


Rats and mice have different life spans. Rats typically live 2-3 years, while mice live 1-2 years. The difference in lifespan is due to several factors, including diet, environment, and genetics.

The environment also affects the lifespan of rats and mice. If they are kept as pets, they will likely live longer than if they are wild animals. This is because pet rats and mice have access to better food, housing, and healthcare than their wild counterparts.

Genetics play a role in the lifespan of rats and mice. Some strains of rats or mice are simply more robust than others and can therefore live longer lives.

Eating habits

(Photo by Mert Guller on Unsplash)

Picture of a mouse drinking from a leftover Starbucks can

Rats are omnivores meaning they’ll eat both plants and animals and require a balanced diet of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy. Mice are mostly herbivores and need a diet rich in plants and seeds.

Another difference is how these two types of rodents gets their food. Rats are scavengers by nature, so they’re not picky about where their meals come from. They’ll often rummage through trash cans or garbage dumps in search of something to eat. Mice, on the other hand, are more particular about their food sources. They’re known to be tidy eaters who prefer to find their food in clean locations.


The main difference in behavior between rats and mice is that rats are much more active than mice. They are also more likely to explore their surroundings and can be more aggressive.

Are rats and mice dangerous?

Rats and mice may seem like harmless creatures, but they can actually be quite dangerous. They are known to carry diseases such as hantavirus, salmonella, and leptospirosis, which can be deadly to humans. They also tend to gnaw on wires and other materials in your home, which can cause fires. If you have rats or mice in your home, it’s important to take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Both rats and mice can carry diseases, and both can bite if they’re scared or feeling threatened. If you have either of these animals in your home, it’s important to take precautions to avoid being bitten.

If you see a rat or mouse in your home, don’t try to catch it yourself. Instead, call a professional pest control company to remove the animal. And if you are bitten by either a rat or a mouse, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and see a doctor as soon as possible.

How to get rid of rats and mice

(Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay  )

picture of a mouse trap

If you’re dealing with a rat or mouse problem, the best thing to do is to call a professional pest control company. However, if you want to try to get rid of rats and mice yourself, there are a few things you can do.

First, try to figure out how the rats or mice are getting into your home. Look for gaps in walls or floors, or holes in screens. Once you’ve found the entry points, seal them up with steel wool or caulk.

Next, set up mouse traps or rat traps around the areas where you’ve seen the rodents. Be sure to check the traps regularly and dispose of any caught rats or mice immediately.

You can also try using a rodenticide but be aware that these products can be dangerous to pets and children if they’re not used correctly. If you decide to use a rodenticide, be sure to follow the directions carefully and keep it out of reach of kids and animals.

What keeps rats away permanently?

One way to keep rats away is to eliminate their food sources. If you have rats in your home, make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs immediately. Store food in airtight containers and keep your counters and floors clean. You may also want to consider sealing any holes or cracks where rats could enter your home in search of food.

Another way to deter rats is by making your property less inviting to them. Remove any clutter or debris where rats could hide and keep your yard tidy. Trim back any trees or shrubs that touch your house, as rats can use these as bridges to enter your home. Finally, seal any openings leading into your attic, crawlspace, or basement, as these are common places for rats to nest.

What attracts rats to your house?

There are many things that can attract rats to your house. If you have food that is easily accessible, such as in a pantry or cupboard, this can be a rat’s paradise. Even if you think your trash is securely stored, rats can often smell food from inside and will tear through garbage bags in search of a meal. If you have any holes or cracks in your walls or foundation, rats may be able to enter your home through these openings. Once they’re inside, they can nest in attics, crawlspaces, and behind walls.

Where do mice and rats hide during the day?

Mice and rats are nocturnal creatures, so they are most active at night. However, they will occasionally come out during the day in search of food or water. When they are not active, they like to hide in dark, secluded places. This could be under a bed, behind a piece of furniture, or in a closet. If you think you have mice or rats living in your home, it is important to inspect these hiding spots regularly and remove any food or water sources that the pests may be using.

Frequently asked questions about rats and mice

Can rats climb on beds?

Whether or not rats can climb on beds depends on the type of rat. Brown rats, also called sewer rats, are excellent climbers and can easily scale vertical surfaces like bed frames. Black rats, on the other hand, are not as good at climbing and are more likely to stick to lower surfaces like floors and baseboards. Either way, it’s important to keep your bed clean and free of food scraps to discourage these pests from taking up residence in your bedroom!

Do mice turn into rats?

The common misconception is that all mice turn into rats, but this is not the case. Mice and rats are actually two different species. While they may look similar, there are several key differences between the two animals.

Are rats harder to get rid of than mice?

Generally speaking, rats are much harder to get rid of than mice. This is because rats are generally much larger than mice, making them more difficult to catch and kill. Additionally, rats tend to be more intelligent than mice, meaning that they are better at avoiding traps and other methods of extermination.

What are rats afraid of?

Rats are afraid of many things, including loud noises, bright lights, and sudden movements. They also have a strong sense of smell and can be repelled by certain smells, such as peppermint.

Will keeping lights on keep mice away?

Mice are attracted to light, so keeping the lights on in your home should help keep them away. Rats are more interested in darkness and will actually avoid areas that are well lit.

Does seeing one rat mean an infestation?

If you see one rat, it is likely that there are many more nearby. Rats are social creatures and live in colonies. If you see one rat, it means that an infestation is likely present.


Featured Image by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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