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How is a rat different than a mouse?

1024px-Rat_in_a_suburban_Vancouver_drivewayBoth rats and mice can be unwanted pests in the home. Not only do these rodents burrow in unwanted places and damage outdoor environments, but they can also leave behind harmful droppings that can lower the air quality. While both belong to the same family, they are starkly different in physical appearance and activity. Also, both can invade a property, but many homeowners do not know primary differences between these two nocturnal pests. Read on to learn more.


Mice are typically smaller than rats and are much more timid in their mannerisms. Mice are not as territorial or as aggressive, and they prefer to work behind the scenes when they infest a home. Mice produce between 40 and 100 droppings throughout the day, making them a larger danger in smaller homes. They have a triangular snout when compared to rats, and they typically have longer and hairier tails. Mice are far more dangerous in an outdoor environment because they are opportunistic eaters when it comes to gardens and plots. Homeowners who have a particularly bountiful outdoor area may already have mice snacking on their produce without even know it. Though mice can live up to six years in captivity, they typically only live a year in the wild.


On the other hand, rats are much larger and aggressive than mice. They have a rounder snout and smaller ears, and their tails are thicker and hairless. Rats only produce between 20 and 50 droppings a day, but they are far more destructive inside of a home if they are given free reign of the property. Wild rats leave a greasy residue on things they touch, which contributes to deterioration and damage to organic surfaces, such as different types of woods and fabrics. Like mice, rats are nocturnal in nature, and they are more likely to come out into the open than their smaller counterparts. Because of their size and weight, rats may also contribute to damaging weight loads if they live in the attic and rafters of the property.

Professional Help

If you are worried about a rat or mouse infestation on your property or would simply like to learn more about other pest control options in North Carolina, contact Clegg’s online. Or you can call on the phone at 888-672-5344 for a complete evaluation of your home or business.

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