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The Differentiating Characteristics of Mice and Rats

Updated: May 1, 2022

While some may call rats or mice pets, the fact is that when they are not from a domestic background they can both spread disease and destroy your home, all while breeding exceptionally fast. Consequently, this is why it's vital to deal with a rodent infestation as soon as possible, as two rats or mice can lead to hundreds in a matter of months, meaning more damage and an increased risk to your family's health. But, what exactly are the differences between rats and mice and what does it mean for your Brisbane home?


Akin to their mouse counterpart, rats love to scurry around in hidden, damp spaces, chewing on anything and everything they can. With enormous front teeth, these guys cause severe damage to the infrastructure of your home, including biting through metal, piping, insulation, wooden beams, electrical cords, and in some cases, concrete.

While rats and mice have many differences in appearance, a rat's main differentiating characteristic is their overall body size. Rats can grow upwards of 40 centimeters and obtain a plumper body shape, which can make them easier to spot than mice when they run past. Another physical difference is that rats have shorter, thicker, and hairless tails compared to mice, along with a longer and blunter snout.

Signs that a rat infestation is in your Carindale home are sounds of loud scurrying, squeaking or scratching, primarily through walls, ceilings and cupboards. As well as this, rat droppings will be everywhere and are darker and larger than mouse droppings. This, along with the size of bite marks, are usually distinguishing indicators on whether you have a rat or mouse infestation.


Mice tend to be a more prominent problem in homes as they are harder to detect than rats. Due to their smaller size, they eat less food and cause less damage - usually only noticeable when there are too many to count! Mice are roughly 12-20 centimeters in length, with a long tail covered in small tufts of hair. As well as this, mice have a triangular snout with long whiskers and floppy ears.

Like rats, one of their tell-tale giveaways is their droppings, each mouse leaving upwards of 100 droppings every day, which is significantly more than rats (30 droppings a day). That means if you have 10 mice in your home, you could be looking at 1000 droppings each day!

But, at the end of the day, whether your Brisbane home has rats, mice or both - it doesn't matter. The fact is that both pose a risk to your family, and if you believe you have a rodent infestation it's vital for it to be taken care of immediately. If you suspect you have rats or mice in your home, don't worry, Combat Pest Solutions is here to save the day!

If you are a Brisbane homeowner and have any questions about a potential rodent infestation, don’t hesitate to contact our team by phoning 0419 734 501 or emailing



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