What’s the Difference Between and Mice and Rats?

Mice and rats are both common household pets. Though they are often associated with one another, mice and rats are actually very different creatures. They can be distinguished from one another by their physical and behavioral characteristics. Generally, mice are much smaller than rats. They have furry tails, while rats’ tails are hairless and scaly. In terms of behavior, mice are curious, adventurous and fast-moving creatures who are primarily nocturnal, but may venture out during the day to find food. Rats, on the other hand, are cautious, nervous creatures that tend to stay relatively close to their nests at all times. They are rarely seen during the day.

The signs of mice and rat infestations vary as well. While mice tend to build nests out of soft, shredded materials and often live in attics and wall interiors, rats tend to burrow and nest in crawl spaces, wall insulation, basements and attics. Signs of mice include small droppings, tiny tracks and gnaw marks, while signs of rats include grease marks along floorboards and rat droppings.

Another common question we encounter is, “Do mice bite?”. Find out more!