Many people can’t tell the difference between rats and mice. Lots of people think that mice are just baby rats or young rats. In fact, there are languages across the world in which the word “rat” is used for both animals. Even though they look similar, the fact is that there are many differences between them. There are dozens of mouse and rat species, but the fact is that there are two species that are most frequently found inside or our around our homes – the common rat which is also called brown rat or sewer rat and the house mouse. When it comes to rodents in residential areas, 95% of the sightings are actually mice, not rats.
The reason why it is important to determine whether you have problems with mice or rats is simple – there are different methods of treatment. Generally speaking, rats are a more serious problem and their presence is an indicator that there may be something wrong with your home that needs addressing (malfunctioning plumbing or drainage system etc.).
Let’s compare these two rodents and highlight the differences. To start with, an average mouse weighs half an ounce or around 15 grams while an average adult rat weighs 11 ounces or around 300 grams. Obviously, rats are longer too and they grow up to 10 inches or 25 cm while mice grow up to 4 inches or 9 cm. Even though mice have long tails (between 3 and 5 inches), rats have longer tails (between 6 and 8 inches).
The colour of the fur is another difference between these rodents. Rats have a brown to black colour with their body and upper head while their undersides are a little bit lighter. Mice have brownish gray fur all over the body even though some of them have lighter shades in different parts of their body.
Finally, rats eat almost anything – they are omnivorous. They also need to consume water on a regular basis. Mice prefer cereals although they can eat other foods too. Mice don’t need water on a regular basis because the amount found in the food is usually sufficient for them.
If you have a rodent infestation and need advice on how to deal with it, please contact us now.