This page tells you how to tell the difference between mice and rats, and how to book a treatment for the control of mice.


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Difference between mice and rats

Mice are completely distinct from rats. They have their own life cycles, habitats and health issues, and must be dealt with in their own way. Therefore it is important to make sure you know which pest you are seeing.

In the home, mice are more common than rats. We do not treat mice infestations outside (in the garden, for example), but we do treat for rats outside. 

Before you book check the differences between rats and mice

  • Mouse droppings are similar in size to grains of rice and are smaller and scattered.
  • Rat droppings are more the size of baked beans or jelly beans and are usually found in groups.
  • Rats are generally bigger, heavier, longer and darker.
  • Mice have longer, thinner tails (relative to their bodies).
  • Mouse ears and eyes are large in relation to their heads. Rats’ ears and eyes are smaller.
  • Rats can be found outdoors, indoors and in sewers. They leave larger holes.
  • Rats eat almost anything, including meat. Mice prefer nibbling on things like cereals.

More advice about mice

For expert advice on preventing house mice from thriving in your home, please read the information booklet from Natural England.