Rat vs Mouse: What’s the Difference?

Rat vs Mouse: What’s the Difference?

South Florida Rodent Control

Seeing any wildlife creature in your South Florida home is always alarming! While both are harmful to our home and the health of our family. These creatures will contaminate homes, chew wires, and transmit diseases to humans and pets. It’s important to understand their key differences to help prevent both rodents.

House mice are smaller than rats, ranging from four to six inches in length, and can be light grey, white, or brown. While rats are double the length of the average house mice, Norway rats are around 10 inches long. A difference seen between the two rodents are their tails. Mouse tails are equal in length to their body and are thin, long, and hairy. Rat tails can be 7” to 9” in length and are long, thick, scaly, and hairless.

If you have rodent infestation, you’ve probably seen their droppings. The difference between rat and mice droppings is noticeably different. Mice have smaller droppings, only about an eighth to a quarter of an inch long. Rat droppings are larger, about a half to three-quarters of an inch long.

Both rats and mice will happily nest inside or around your property, but their difference is the location they choose to nest in. Mice are great at climbing, typically making their nests in wall voids, attics, sheds, cabinets, and barns. While rats, such as Norway rats, will choose to live in burrows underground like crawlspaces, attics, and basements. Other rats, such as roof rats, are also great climbers but prefer to habitat in upper parts of buildings, trees, or attics.

Whether you’re dealing with a mouse or rat, proper identification and treatment are essential to remove them. It’s best to contact your local South Floria pest control company who will identify the rodent, locate entry points, and provide a treatment and prevention plan.


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Top 3 Common Florida Rodents

Top 3 Common Florida Rodents

South Florida Rodent Control

While rodents are known to infest during the winter months that doesn’t mean they won’t sneak into your Florida home during the summer months. Once inside, rodents can cause significant damage to your home, including destroying insulation, chewing electrical wires, and leaving their droppings behind. Every homeowner should be aware of the types of rodents popular to their area and how to prevent them from infesting.

Norway Rats

Norway rats are larger rats with hairless tails and grey coloring. These rats tend to be ground dwellers, meaning they like to habitat in sewers or burrows, especially within the coastal communities in Florida. You can usually find their nests near homes or businesses, as they will forage for food in open garbage cans. These rats find their way inside through entry points close to the ground, such as your indoor plumbing drain system. Once infested, a female Norway rat will produce tons of offspring, growing an infestation very quickly!

Roof Rats

Smaller than Norway rats, a roof rat can weigh a half a pound or less! These rats are usually identified by their tail as it is longer than the distance of their body. Because of their slender body and longer tail, they are great at climbing, utilizing this skill to climb onto roofs through trees, shrubs, or power lines, typically nesting in the attics. These rats tend to stay in a familiar area, avoiding exploration. If an area provides shelter and a food source, they will stay close or habitat there.

House Mouse

Ranging from 5 to 7 inches in length, a house mouse has a long, rough tail with light brown to black coloring. These creatures are also known to be great climbers with a keen sense of hearing, touch, taste, and smell! The house mouse is known to live around homes, farms, and businesses. When they find a food source, they will establish a territory 10 to 30 feet in size. If they infest a home, they will gnaw on surfaces to wear them down, causing extensive damage and contamination.

If you have a rodent infestation or want to get on top of rodent prevention, reach out to your South Florida wildlife control company for a Rodent Control Inspection and Estimate.

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