Rats and mice belong to two species of rodents. They look similar and that is why most people believe they are the same. But the fact is that they are very different in nature and they behave quite differently when they settle themselves in your home. If you want to call mice exterminator Toronto to get rid of the rodents, it is essential for you to understand the difference between rats and mice to get effective treatment. You will be surprised to know that rats and mice cannot cohabitate peacefully with each other despite belonging to the same species. To add to that, they generally fight and eat each other. Rats are bigger in size and are very possessive about their territory. Small mice and rats thus can fight over territory. In this battle, the mouse generally loses due to a smaller size. However small in size, mice are dangerous creatures. They are carriers of up to 35 different viruses which they spread through their urine and feces. That is why, when you spot a rat or mouse in your house, you should call pest control service without wasting a moment to permanently eradicate them. 

1. Behavioural difference:

Mice and rats behave a fundamental difference in their nature. To be precise, rats are cautious and mice are curious in nature. When it comes to rats, they are very careful about their surroundings. If they spot a new thing around, they will take time to get used to it. That is why it is unlikely that the rats will be caught in your set rat traps on the very first day. You will have to place dummy traps on their route to make them used to it. On the other hand, mice are explorers. The moment they find a new thing, they will be curious to know more about it. As a result, if you set up a trap in mice’s path, they will be caught within the first few days.

2. The difference in physical characteristics:

Difference in physical characteristics

In North America, over 70 species of mice and rats are found. The mouse generally spotted in the house belongs to the Muridae family which is considered as the largest family of rodents and mammals in the world. Mice found in the house are mostly of Mus Musculus (the house mouse), Rattus Norvegicus (Norway rat) and Rattus Rattus (roof rat) species. All three have peculiarly different physical characteristics which will help you spot a difference between them.

 

          House mouse: Weighing around 0.5 ounces (15 grams), the house mouse has a small head, small feet, pointed snout and large hairy ears. Their color is light brown with some grey shading. Their tails are generally of a dark colour and they leave droppings shaped like rods wherever they move.

          Norway rat: They are heavier than the house mouse and weigh around 11 ounces (300 grams). The shape of their droppings is different too. It is more like capsules. They have a heavy and thick body, blunt snout, short ears having dark hair. Their body color is brown but it has black shading and a shaggy coat.

          Roof rat: Roof rats are bigger than the house mouse but smaller than Norway rats. Adults weigh around 7 ounces (200 grams), They leave droppings shaped like spindles. Their body is smooth and of grey colour. You can see black shading and a dark tail on their body. When it comes to appearance, they have a light and slender body,  pointed snout and large ears that do not have hair.

3. Breeding pattern and habitat:

Mice choose to build their nest near to a food source which is generally built from shredded paper or any soft material. They thrive on cereal grains and plants. However, they can eat anything and everything they get to lay their hands on. Once settled in your house, their count increases rapidly since one female mouse can breed up to 10 litters of five to six babies. It is like adding 60 mice to your home every year. They start reproduction from the sixth week of their life. Imagine 60 mice reproducing in your house. Within no time, your home will be infested with mice. Their lifespan is generally 9 to 12 months.

Rats like to burrow. They dig under buildings, fences, plants, and debris to build their nest. Norway rats are generally found in burrows while nests of roof rats are found in walls, attics, and trees. Rats eat everything but fresh grain and meat are their favorites. Rats need around ½ to one ounce of fluid every day to survive. It is equally important for them to find the source of water near their nest.  Like mice, rats breed quickly. A female Norway rat gives birth to six litters a year, each having 12 young. Before they turn 3 months old, they can start reproducing. Spring is primarily considered as their breeding season. Their life span is of 12 to 18 months. In comparison to the Norway rat, roof rats breed slower. They can have eight litters per year, each having up to eight young.

Mouse or rat infestation is difficult to control. You should seek help from mice control Toronto the day you feel their presence in your house.

4. Movement:

Do you know mice are pro at jumping, swimming, and climbing? No matter what the surface is, they can easily climb up. They have a commendable ability to jump. They can jump as high as 13 inches and run along wires, cables, and ropes. They move on all four legs and their tails help them balance. When frightened, these fast runners just like to run out. They are often spotted standing up on their two hind legs. These nocturnal creatures are generally spotted when it is dark. They shy away from the bright lights. Only if their nest is disturbed or they run short of food, they prefer to move out during the day time. They are so soft that they can slip through a ¼ inch hole or gap.

Rats are bigger in size and thus they need at least a hole or gap having a diameter of ½ to enter. They are good swimmers. Be cautious if you have broken drains or toilets. In search of food, water, and shelter they can climb anywhere and everywhere. They like to stick to a routine. That is why you will spot them on the same path every day. They hate surprises and avoid new objects found on their way. Rats generally like to stay near to your nest or burrow and hardly move away more than 300 feet from their nest.  

Despite being house creatures, mice and rats reside in very different environments. Like a typical rodent species, mice look for indoor shelter. Rats, however, can survive outside in harsh and cold climates. Both build their nests in different settings. The moment rats spot mice, and if they are small enough to prey, they surely will kill mice. In order to survive, rats can eat anything including mice. One can also observe both species competing for a food source in the house. In a rare instance, they share food if there is plenty. However, unlike most people believe, they cannot breed or interact since they have a vast difference in their nature.