Are Squirrels In The Loft a Problem?
Are Squirrels In The Loft a Problem?
How Do I Tell Where Ants Are Coming From?
How Do I Tell Where Ants Are Coming From?
Are Squirrels In The Loft a Problem?
Are Squirrels In The Loft a Problem?
How Do I Tell Where Ants Are Coming From?
How Do I Tell Where Ants Are Coming From?

Do I Have Mice Or Rats?

Mice and rats are two of the most common British household pests. Still, it isn't easy to distinguish the differences between the two. For example, baby rats are often mistaken for mice, and large mice can be mistaken for rats.

Suppose you have an issue with either of these pests. In that case, it is important to get the situation under control quickly, as both rats and mice carry diseases that can harm humans. They are also both known for their gnawing capabilities which can lead to damage around your home, whether it be furniture, pipes, wires and even walls, ceilings and woodwork. This can be hazardous as it can cause gas or water leaks and even electrical fires.

Identifying Features

Both mice and rats enter properties for similar reasons – warmth, food, water and shelter from prey. So they nest where these conditions are available, with common areas being attics, roof space, floor cavities and wall cavities.

The most obvious difference between mice and rats is their tails. A rat's tail is hairless and thick, whereas a mouse's is hairy, longer, and thinner.

Another aesthetic which may allow you to tell the two apart are their snouts. A mouse's snout is longer and more pointy than a rat's.

Size can be an identifiable feature. However, as previously mentioned, baby rats can look like mice and large mice can look similar to rats. The average adult mouse is between 3-10cm long and weighs 12-45g, whereas a rat can be between 16-40cm and can weigh up to 300g.

Aesthetic features can be helpful, but as they are nocturnal animals, it is not always guaranteed that you will see the pests seeking shelter in your home.

In addition to aesthetic features, rats and mice can be identified by their different habits.

Although you are not guaranteed to face these pests, finding their droppings around your property is common. These can be a great way to distinguish the type of pest that is present in your home. For example, mouse droppings are around 1-2mm, whereas rat droppings can be ten times the size at 10-20mm.

Their droppings differ in quantity and shape too. Mouse droppings are pointed at the ends and tend to be straighter than rats, which are usually curved. Although mice are the smaller animal out of the two, they can produce twice as many droppings as a rat.

Both rodents are prolific breeders, but mice have larger litters and reach sexual maturity at a young age. A rat's litter size can range from 5-10, whereas mice can have a litter as large as 16. They can also produce up to eight litters yearly, whereas a rat may only produce around 3-6 litters. All newborn rats and mice look similar due to being born hairless.

How To Avoid Infestations

If you want to decrease the chance of infestations of mice or rats, ensure all gaps and cracks in your home are filled with a hardy material that is difficult for rodents to gnaw through, such as metal mesh combined with filler. Rodents are capable of squeezing their bodies through very small gaps.

It is also recommended that any foods are kept in a sealed container, pet food is not left out, and waste is disposed of correctly.

If you find yourself infested, purchasing rodent poisons and traps is possible. Still, unfortunately, many of these products can be ineffective.

If you are experiencing issues with rodents on your property, please do not hesitate to contact a trained pest controller, like ourselves, who will assess the situation, provide information on the pests and control the infestation professionally and safely.


If you have a problem with rats, mice or any other type of pest contact that needs professional treatment contact us below or call us on 07443 052851, and our experienced, friendly team will offer advice and provide an effective solution.