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  • Writer's pictureAlaska Pest Management

Mice vs Rats: How to Tell the Difference

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Knowing the type of rodent that is terrorizing your home is imperative. Even though these pests are in the same animal group, they have very different behavioral tendencies that can affect the eradication process's outcome.

Behavioral Differences

Even though there are many differences in behavior, the most important one to know is that mice are curious, and rats are cautious.

Curious mice: Whoever coined the phrase "curiosity killed the cat" never thought of a mouse's curiosity. Mice are very curious and will investigate anything they don't recognize. This trait makes them fairly easy to catch with traps, as long as you put it right in their path. If you haven't caught one in a couple of days, it may be the traps placement.

Cautious rats: Rats, like my father, don't like new things. Any change in their environment they tend to steer away from. If it's a new phone for my dad, it's traps or anything else foreign to rats. Rats need time to familiarize themselves with this new object. Because of this, you may have to place unset traps with food before setting down set traps.

Physical Differences

Here are some of the physical differences between mice and rats.


A rat’s body can range from 16cm to 40cm long and normally weigh anywhere from 150g to 300g. Compared to mice, rats have much smaller ears, and their tails are typically thick and hairless. Rats can also be identified by their large feet. Rat droppings are between 10mm – 20mm long.


A mouse's body can range from 3cm to 10m long and weigh anywhere from 12g to 45g. They have large ears and a long, thin tail with hair. They are covered in hairs with a lighter colored belly Mouse droppings are 1mm – 2mm long.

Whether it's a rat or a mouse in your home, they don't belong there. We know they can be cute, but these pests can not only cause damage to your home but to your health as well. They can carry a variety of deadly diseases in their feces and on their bodies. If you can't get rid of the problem in a few days, call a professional. They are highly educated in pest management and trained to help get rid of your issue.


If you have more questions that we didn't cover above, we would love to hear from you! Our team can help you get a comprehensive solution for your rodent issues!

Call us today at 907-247-2847!

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