Differences between mice and rats may seem obvious to many, but some of the differences may be more subtle than you think. Of course they both fall into the rodent family and both can cause extensive damage if they invade your home, but if you have them in your home, would you be able to determine which one you have? Depending on which one you may have in your home makes a huge difference when it comes to treating them.
How Can You Tell a Mouse from a Rat?
If a homeowner has a sufficient amount of time to look at the rodent, they may be able to identify it correctly. However, when you’re in your kitchen and see something scurry across your floor your fear and shock may overtake your ability to say “oh that was a mouse” or “oh that was a rat.” Then you’re left wondering, “was that a mouse or rat?”
Mouse vs. Rat – Size Matters?
The typical House Mouse (Mus musculus) is anywhere from two to four inches in length, as opposed to the common, and much larger, Norway Rat which measures seven to nine inches in length. Of course, it may be easy to distinguish between the two if both are at adult size, but a juvenile Norway Rat that has not reached full size can look similar to an adult House Mouse.
Although coloration of mice and rats are similar, there are a few differences in other features that would help you distinguish between the two. Starting with the snouts of both mice and rats, mice will have more of a triangular nose whereas a rat’s nose is blunter.
When it comes to ears, mice have large, floppy ears however rats have larger ears in size compared to mice but not in respect to their body size. Mice also tend to have long, thin tails with hair but rat tails will usually be hairless and scaly.
Rat Behavior vs. Mouse Behavior – Is there a Difference?
Although both rats and mice fall into the rodent category, there are some differences in their behaviors. Even though they are smaller in size, mice tend to be a bit bolder than rats. Mice are usually curious and will explore new things, including traps. It’ll take more than a baited trap to trick a rat though. Rats typically live in fear, so they are very cautious about new things and won’t explore like mice. It takes rats a lot longer to investigate new things as opposed to mice, which sometimes can make it difficult for trapping