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Pest & Rodent Control In Sarasota & Bradenton

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How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Rat & Mouse in Florida?

Have you ever encountered a sneaky little critter scurrying about in your Sarasota home and wondered if it was a rat or a mouse? Well, don’t feel bad. Even the most experienced pest control experts can have trouble telling the two apart sometimes.  But fear not! Knowing the difference between these two furry rodents is crucial. Why you ask? Well, each species has its own unique set of behaviors and habits, and you’ll want to know which one you’re dealing with to handle the situation effectively.  One of the more common mistakes made when trying to identify a rat or a mouse is to mistake a juvenile rat for an adult mouse.  Most areas tend to be dominated by rats or mice, but they are rarely mixed.  One such area where the mixing of these two rodents is all too common is Lakewood Ranch, FL.  Rats and mice in Lakewood Ranch As new construction dominates this area, mice are initially found but are quickly pushed out as rats expand into the areas of new construction.  So buckle up, grab a snack, and get ready to become a rodent identification pro, with our guide on how do you tell the difference between a rat and mouse in Florida.

Difference between Rat & Mouse in Florida
Photo By: James Knight- Owner of Rodent Solutions Inc

Physical Differences between Rats and Mice

  • The first and most obvious difference between rats and mice is size. Rats are like the heavyweights of the rodent world, with an average body length of 8-10 inches and a length of 7-9 inches. Meanwhile, mice are the featherweights, with an average body length of 3-4 inches and a tail length of 3-4 inches.
  • Another noticeable difference is the tail details. Rats have tails that are thicker like a pencil, while mice have tails that are thin like a cell phone charging cord and hairier than a teenager’s mustache (after a month of growing it out, that is).
  • The ears and nose are another giveaway. Mice have pointy ears and sharp noses making them look like they’re ready to take on the world. Rats, on the other hand, have round ears and a thicker nose, giving them a more chill and relaxed vibe.  We understand it’s startling to see a rodent in your home and you may not remember every tiny detail in your panic.  A way we commonly tell customers to quickly remember the difference is the rat’s ears look more in proportion to their head, whereas a mouse looks like he’s wearing his dad’s ears.  
  • Now there’s the coloring differences. Rats are usually brown or black, giving them a tough and menacing look. Mice, on the other hand, are gray or light brown.
  • Soon, we will have an article on the differences between rat and mouse feces. Until then, here’s a great article with pictures of the differences between rat and mouse feces until our comprehensive article is ready.   

Habits and Behaviors of Rats & Mice

  • Nesting habits are another way to tell these two apart. Rats love to make their homes in secluded places like attics, soffits and pool heaters.  Mice prefer the comfort of walls, cupboards, or cabinets.
  • The diet of rats and mice is also different. Rats are omnivores, meaning they’ll eat anything that’s not nailed down, while mice are herbivores, preferring to stick to a diet of seeds and plants.
  • Rats are nocturnal creatures, meaning they’re most active at night and love to move in a straight line. Mice, on the other hand, are diurnal, meaning they’re most active during the day and like to move in a zigzag pattern. It’s like they’re trying to give their predators a run for their money.
  • And finally, there’s the matter of reproduction. Rats are like the rabbits of the rodent world, with litters of up to 12 babies, while mice are a little more modest, with litters of up to 7 babies.

Additional information on Rats and Mice

Our blogs are a fantastic source of information about all things pest control related.  You can find many articles written on specific pests, rodents, and wildlife listed below.  

  • If you are interested in learning some interesting rat facts,  check out the link here to view one of our previous blog posts
  • If you have an interest in preventing rodents from getting into your home, you can read more about our services and methods here in an article titled “Rodent Control In Sarasota, Florida
  • We also have another fantastic article to help you help yourself with our guide to rat control for property owners in the Bradenton area linked here.   You’ll find a plethora of helpful information.     
Difference between Rats and mice in Florida
Photo & Stats By James Knight Owner of Rodent Solutions Inc


  • So there you have it, folks! The size, tail shape, ear and nose shape, color and coat, feces, and habits and behaviors are all key differences between rats and mice in Florida.
  • If you suspect a rodent infestation, it’s important to get control of the situation before it develops into a severe rodent infestation which can cost thousands in damages. If you’re not up to the task, don’t hesitate to call in the pest control professionals at Rodent Solutions. We have the tools and expertise to eliminate your rat or mouse problem quickly and for good.

Information about Rodent Solutions Inc:

Rodent Solutions Inc is located in Lakewood Ranch, FL, handling most pest control services for rodents (rats, mice, squirrels), general pest control, bats, and commercial bird control.  We cover Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Parrish areas which include most of Manatee and Sarasota counties.  We have been awarded Nextdoor’s Favorite Pest Control Company in 2021 and 2022.  Rodent Solutions employees have all been Rodent Standard Certified by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association.   



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