At first glance, mice and rats seem incredibly similar. In behavior and anatomy, however, they have a lot of differences. The words rat and mouse aren’t scientifically given. Still, it’s possible to tell them apart at first glance.
Before we discuss the differences between mice and rats, let’s cover some of their similarities. Both mice and rats are rodents. Rodents fall beneath the order Rodentia. Their incisors don’t stop growing, so they need to constantly chew for them to stay short. Sometimes, a rodent’s bits of teeth can even be mistaken for fingernails.
Underneath order Rodentia, mice and rats exist in the family Muridae. This said, each has its own genus: Mus and Rattus, respectively. These areas are further divided into separate species, though each sub-species tends to be similar to others of its genus.
Both mice and rats often reside in homes, garages, barns, and sheds. They thrive where warmth, and food, is available. While mice tend to be associated with indoor life, it isn’t uncommon to see a rat in the house. Both mice and rats are nocturnal, and they can be noticed due to their midnight sounds.
The Big Differences
While mice and rats are similar, due to coming from the same order, they have several notable differences. Rats are much larger—about the size of a guinea pig—and have much pointier faces than mice. Mice, being the dwarfed of the two, have much rounder faces.
Where diet is considered, a rat is much more flexible than a mouse. Rats have been known to eat anything from crackers to cockroaches. Some rat species are even hoarders. Because they eat so much—and in such a wide diet—they need up to two ounces of water, per day, to survive!
Mice are much pickier. Though they’ll adopt a flexible diet if need be, adult mice tend to nibble on snacks. Similar to rats, they may
store food—but only if it’s in abundance.
Examining the Markings
Aside from the facial differences, one can spot a rat due to their teeth marks left on their food. They tend to chew large, round and rough circles around their dish. You’ll know if a rat has been eating because the end result is a shred of snack about the size of a quarter.
If your home has mice living in it, though, you’ll notice small holes in cardboard—about the size of a dime. This doesn’t mean they’ll be less bothersome to homeowners, however. Both mice and rats can cause problems for families. While not all rodents carry disease, they can still create an unsanitary environment for people.
If you think you have a rodent problem, contact American Rat Control today. We’re ready to find your home’s squeaky source of midnight chatter behind the walls. We’ve been in the business for a while, and we’re well-trained in the art of finding rodents.
Whether your home has mice or rats, our team can figure out a solution. We’re nonintrusive, assuring the homeowner is always comfortable during services.