Tips to Identify Rats vs. Mice

 In Pest Control, Pest Control Tips, Pest Prevention

Rats and mice alike can be a big nuisance for property owners in New Mexico. Rodents in general can be dangerous in your home, making it important to know which species you are dealing with. A rat and a mouse have very similar attributes and behaviors, but also a number of differences that set them apart. One of their key similarities is their ever-growing incisor teeth, which encourage them to be chewing or gnawing on items constantly. Because a rodent infestation can be such a pain to deal with, the team at New Mexico Pest Control is here to keep our customers informed about identifying rats vs. mice.

How Different are Mice & Rats?

All rodents share very common characteristics and behaviors. However, it’s still important to learn how to differentiate between the species.

  • Mice
    • Typically, mice only grow to be about 4 inches in size.
    • Mice have larger ears and tails compared to their body size.
    • The droppings mice leave behind have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
    • Mice are omnivores but mostly feed on seeds, grains, and fruits.
    • They are more prolific than rats: Mice produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.

Rats vs mice in Santa Fe NM - New Mexico Pest Control


  • Rats
    • Not including the tail, many rats can be 7–9 inches long.
    • Rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
    • Their droppings are much bigger than those of mice at 10–20 mm long.
    • Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
    • Rats are not picky eaters that will feed meats, grains, seeds, and many more items.

Are Rats & Mice Dangerous?

Rats and mice are both dangerous pests when they infest homes. Rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of potentially dangerous diseases. They also can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. Lastly, they can cause significant damage to your home. Both mice and rats will chew through insulation, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring. Because of these reasons, it’s crucial to always enlist the help of a professional rodent exterminator when you have these pests in your property.

How to Identify Rats vs. Mice

If you begin to notice the signs of rodent activity, it’s time to call your local experts. The team at New Mexico Pest Control can determine whether you’re dealing with rats or mice, and customize a pest control plan to get rid of the infestation for good. Contact us today to learn more!

Tips to Identify Rats vs. Mice in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

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