What’s the Difference Between Mice and Rats?

What’s the difference between mice and rats? Mice and rats are both members of the rodent family, and they can look quite similar to the untrained eye. However, there are some key differences between the two, including physical characteristics, behaviour, and even the environment in which they typically live. Understanding the distinctions between mice and rats can help one identify and determine the best course of action if either of these pests is present in a home or other building.

What’s the difference between mice and rats?
What’s the difference between mice and rats?

The Difference Between Mice and Rats

Mice and rats are both small rodents, and they can look very similar to the untrained eye. However, there are a few distinct differences between them that can help you differentiate between them.


Mice are typically smaller than rats, with an average size of around 3-4 inches while rats can grow to be around 8-10 inches in length. Additionally, mice have longer tails, big ears, and small, pointed noses. Rats, on the other hand, have shorter tails, smaller ears, and longer, more blunted noses. 


Mice tend to live in and around homes and other human dwellings, while rats are more likely to live in agricultural fields and other outdoor spaces.


Mice are often timid and shy animals that like to remain hidden from humans. Rats, on the other hand, are more social and curious, and they are more likely to approach humans. 

rat droppings (rat poop)
rat droppings (rat poop)



Mice are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter. Rats are strictly carnivorous and will only consume meat or other animal products.


Mice reach sexual maturity faster than rats and are capable of producing multiple litters each year. Rats, on the other hand, take longer to reach sexual maturity and typically only have one litter each year.

Overall, while mice and rats look similar, they have a few distinct differences that can help you distinguish between them. Knowing how to tell them apart can help you better understand and manage your environment.

The differences between mice and rats

Mice and rats are among the most common and instantly-recognisable household pests in the UK. Even if you’ve never had the misfortune of meeting one of these creatures up-close, you almost certainly know what they look like and what kinds of problems they cause. Both mice and rats cause endless headaches for homes and businesses if they decide to move in and make a property their own.

The mere sight of one of these rodents can be enough to send some people into a panic, and with good reason. While these are actually very different, animals, the threats they pose to human health and property are significant.

What’s the difference between mice and rats?

Mice are smaller and weaker than rats, but this turns out to be advantageous for their survival. Not only are they capable of gaining entry to properties through the narrowest of passages, but they can survive on the tiniest scraps of food. As long as they have warm shelter and crumbs to live on, mice can thrive almost anywhere.

Rats are bigger, stronger and have been known to behave aggressively towards people and other animals. While mice will chew through wires, cables, and other flimsy materials, rats use their impressive teeth to gnaw their way through much thicker and more robust material.

The easiest way of differentiating between a rat and a mouse is by size, with rats being bigger. But this isn’t the only difference between the species. Mice tend to live in nests and burrows at ground level, whereas rats prefer dark and damp habitats like sewers. Some rat species, notably the black rat, have even been known to nest in the roofs of buildings around ports and ships.

Mice reach sexual maturity much sooner than rats and produce larger litters, meaning a mouse infestation can spiral out of control much more quickly.


No one wants to deal with bugs, rats, micecockroaches, flies, textile pests, insects, wasps, hornets, or bee control and ants in their house or business.

Pest infestations should be addressed as soon as possible, since if left unchecked, they might spread rapidly and cause structural damage to your house, health risks, lots of stress or even a fire danger.

At Bon Accord, we provide a full range of home pest control services as well as the Bon Accord Helpline, which allows us to deliver our clients with the level of service they require when dealing with rodents, ants, cockroaches and other infestations.

We offer a full range of services from basic to expert, ranging from a self-service solution with all the tools you’ll need to DIY treatments, supported remotely by one of our technicians to our premium service in which one of the specialists performs the whole treatment

Carpet Moths

Experts and professionals suggest that homeowners take note of what carpet moth eggs look like to help them identify a potential infestation. Knowing the size, shape, and colour of the eggs can help homeowners take the necessary steps to control or eliminate a carpet moth infestation quickly, before the eggs have had a chance to hatch and the moths have had a chance to spread.


Bed Bugs

For anyone living in London looking for reliable and effective Bed Bug Pest Control, our professional advice is to contact a licensed and certified pest control service provider like Bon Accord to ensure the safety of your home and family.


The most common household pests in London, such as bed bugs, cockroaches, mice, and more, are a nuisance to homeowners, but luckily, there are some effective pest control solutions to help them get rid of these pests and keep their homes pest-free.


If you’re wondering “How to Know if You Have Bed Bugs?“, learn what to look for like tiny black spots in bedding, reddish-brown stains on mattresses, and a sweet musty odour that can help you identify a bed bug infestation in your home.



If you’re looking for an effective way to quickly and easily get rid of booklice in your home, then be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on How To Get Rid Of Booklice, which provides a step-by-step guide to help you rid your home of these pesky pests.


For anyone looking to learn about common spiders found in the UK, this guide provides a comprehensive overview of the many different species of UK spiders, including the types of spiders most commonly encountered in homes and gardens across the country.


This article provides readers with a comprehensive guide to False Widow Spiders in the UK, including identification tips, facts, and information on how to minimise the risk of encountering and being bitten by these venomous spiders.


If you’re looking for control and removal services for the Yellow Sac Spider, look no further than our professional team of experts who specialise in Yellow Sac Spider Control and Removal.


Pest Control Prices

For Londoners searching for the most competitive pest control prices and services, it is important to compare the costs and services of local pest control companies to ensure they receive the best value for their money. Londoners should read reviews and compare the prices of local pest control companies to make an informed decision.

Karin HarndenKarin Harnden
17:14 05 May 24
We thought we had bedbugs but could find no evidence apart from what we thought were bites. I called Bon Accord and Gabriel was there within a couple of hours. He told us we had carpet beetle. Finding the evidence and showing us photos of the skin reaction which was exactly what we had. He advised and returned at a time to suit us to spray which was done thoroughly and efficiently. No sign of the little critters returning. Thank you Gabriel.
Luiza LoboLuiza Lobo
21:02 11 Apr 24
Gabriel went above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgable and very efficient at what he does. The results were outstanding. Nothing is too much for him. Delighted with his professionalism and work.
sam zsam z
19:11 03 Apr 24
Top-notched pest control service!! Went above and beyond to eradicate the rats from our property. Gabriel even offered to further investigate the infestation issues for our neighbours. We found him to be extremely professional and easy to work with. We highly recommend Gabriel to anyone in need of pest control.
23:29 02 Apr 24
Gabriel provided great service , responded quickly on an emergency for pest infestation, professional and friendly. No more pests at home.
Felicity GrayFelicity Gray
21:53 02 Apr 24
Gabriel was absolutely wonderful, a real life saver when I found a mouse by my bed at 10pm. He came in less than an hour and was able to catch the mouse and put my mind at rest so I could go to sleep! Highly recommend, fab service and lovely people.
Med KashaniMed Kashani
10:54 24 Feb 24
Gabriel turned up with an hours notice one evening and immediately identified the issued. He works efficiently and professionally throughout with timely follow-ups to ensure the problem was resolved. Once completed he was kind enough to continue to check in to see that the issue had gone. Having had Rentokil previously that spent two years doing very little this was a complete breathe of fresh air and solved the problem in less than two weeks. We are grateful and would highly recommend his services.
Nesma TalaatNesma Talaat
20:26 20 Feb 24
We were lucky to have found Bon Accord, they responded very fast to our request and Gabriel was very helpful and informative. He made several visits and did his absolute best until the mice problem we had was gone. Highly recommended.

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