What’s the Difference Between Rats and Mice?

We’ve all wondered about the difference between rats and mice at one point or another in our lives, albeit probably when we were still learning how to spell the words “rats” and “mice.”

Though they’re very similar creatures, there are several key differences between mice and rats that determine the most effective rodent control methods for each.

A Rat by Any Other Name Would NOT Smell as Sweet

Let’s get the similarities out of the way first. They’re both furry with long tails, whiskers and make you uncomfortable in your own home. They’re also nocturnal scavengers that stick within a prescribed radius to their nests, though a rat will range further afield than a mouse in search of food (100ft-150ft versus 20ft).

Whereas mice are content to nibble on seeds and cereals, their larger cousins have much heartier appetites and will eat meat and fish. Of course, both will eat you out of house and home if given a chance.

Of Mice and Men (and Rats)

While you don’t want either living between your walls, one key difference between rats and mice is that rats are much more dangerous in terms of the diseases they carry. The fact that they were the original carriers for the bubonic plague is just one reason you shouldn’t keep them as pets (we covered the rest here.). Luckily, rats favour urban environments, so if you’re in the suburbs you should be safe from that threat at least.

The most obvious sign of a rodent infestation is their droppings; a rat’s is larger than a mouse’s, but mice relieve themselves most often.

While patching up their holes is a good short-term solution, Terminix Canada can implement rodent control methods tailored for the specific infestation. For instance, by putting strategic anti-coagulant bait traps around your property: a modern update on snap traps with cheese.


If a rodent infestation has you feeling like a mouse trapped in a maze, Terminix Canada will guide you to the other side, first by eliminating the infestation and then taking you through the steps necessary to prevent both mice and rats from making their way back into your home.

Make sure to call us today for a free consultation!