How to Spot the Difference Between a Rat and Mouse Infestation in Your Home?


We all must have faced this at some point, a sheer terror of seeing a mouse jumping across the floor. Some of you may find that mice are cute in some contexts, however, they can be the most frightening thing if you see them unexpectedly on your premises.

If you are facing such rat infestation in your home or office, then it is the right time to seek help from a professional company like pest control Manchester. This company is in this business since more than the last thirty years.

The following are a few tips to identify if your home is infested by mice or rats that are chewing up your furniture.

  1. Check their size

The typical mouse can be anywhere from 2” to 4” in length, whereas a rat can be much larger. A Norway rat can be as big as 7” to 9” in length.

It will be easier to differentiate between the two if you see both of adult size, but any juvenile Norway rat may look similar to any adult house mouse.

  1. Check the smell

We can often notice with mice the scent of their urine, but it will be pale as compared to rat urine.

  1. Check chew and claw marks

It is easier to find the difference between a mouse and a rat because of their chew marks. Rats will often leave behind a few more prominent teeth marks, while mice have got smaller teeth marks.

If you observe a surface having minor scratches and chew marks, then it is likely to be mice.

  1. Check the appearance

Colour of mice and rats may be similar, but there can be a few differences if you closely observe a few other features.  A mouse may have a triangular nose whereas the nose of a rat is blunter.

If you look at their ears, mice have got large, floppy ears but rats have larger ears.

Mice also may have long, thin tail with hair, but usually rat tail will be hairless and scaly.

  1. Check the behaviour

Mice are a bit bolder than rats. Usually, mice are curious and may explore new things, but rats need more baited traps to trick them. Typically, rats are more fearful hence more cautious than mice.

Being a little more fearful rats prefer to choose lower levels like basements but due to smaller size mice can find access to almost anywhere.

  1. Check how much damage it caused

Both can gnaw on your structures and wires, but mice have comparatively weaker teeth than rats. Rats can be much stronger comparatively and are able to gnaw through almost any building material like:

  • Aluminium
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Sheet metal.


Both rats and mice can cause a lot of damage to your property, however, a rat because of stronger teeth is capable of causing more severe damage. As rats are heavier, they prefer to stay in lower-level areas whereas mice can hide in almost any smaller place anywhere.