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York Region – (289) 221-7035

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or 1-888-380-7378 (PEST)
York Region – (289) 221-7035

Tel: 905.425.0589

How to Tell the Difference Between A Mouse and Rat Infestation

Rats and mice are two rodents that are hard to tell apart. For rodent control efforts to be successful, it is important to be able to tell which animal has to decide to make your home their own. Given mice and rats have different behaviors and intelligence levels, knowing which you are dealing with will give you the best chance of successfully removing them.


One of the differences between mice and rats is behavior. Rats are very cautious while mice are very curious, meaning they will come out of hiding at different times. Rats will not come out of a hiding place until they have become used to the environment; mice however will quickly make themselves at home and begin to investigate the property. This means that you will notice a mouse infestation early on, whereas you will notice other signs of a rat infestation before actually seeing a rat.

Food and Movement

Rats prefer fresh foods like meats and grain, and tend to burrow beneath buildings and vegetation. Given that they are excellent swimmers, rats that are making an appearance in your home could actually just be finding their way in through sewer lines or pipes. This makes them harder to spot around the house, as they may only enter when the timing is right.

Mice rarely burrow, but they will nest in a hidden spot near a source of food. This could mean near the kitchen, garbage area, or compost bins. Mice live above ground and are likely to make themselves a small home in your walls or in cupboards. Most of their activity happens at night however as they avoid bright lights, so they are not easy to spot.

Size of Dropping and Pest

The difference in size will likely be one of the main indicators of which animal you have in the house. Rats can grow to a length of up to eight inches and a tail of nine inches whereas mice grow to a length of three inches. The different size in droppings will also give you a clue. Rat droppings are large and shaped like jelly beans, while mice droppings resemble rice grains and are black.

Getting Rid of Pests

Once you determine that you have is a rat infestation, you need to work to get rid of them right away. Small things you can do include things like: not leaving food out, making sure that every part of your house is clean and dry, garbage bins are clean and empty, and ensuring sheds and crawl spaces do not have holes. If you still see evidence of rat infestation after taking your own measures to get rid of them, call us at Affordable Pest Control. We ensure that our team only uses high quality equipment to remove your rat infestation, and as required by law to not harm pets and wildlife.